Whether your downsizing an empty nest or you’ve outgrown your starter apartment, selling a home takes some work. If you’re like the majority of NYC sellers and have hired a seller’s agent, they can handle the trickier parts of prepping a home before it hits the market. As they work on compiling the CMA and researching the local market to estimate fair market value, you can start by getting your apartment in top condition. Just giving the place a good clean won’t be enough. If you really want to send buyer’s scurrying for their checkbooks here’s how to spruce up your home in a way that will make it irresistible.
Depersonalize and disassociate yourself from the home
It can be difficult letting go of a place that’s been your home for years, but you’ve got to make a break from it. Make peace with that fact that this will soon no longer be your home. Emotions only get in the way of a sale. If you’ve been living there for many years and have become attached to it, then take some time to say goodbye and remember the memories. The way to look now is forward to the future, not backward.
Depersonalize the apartment by packing away personal belongings. Buyers have a hard time seeing past family photographs and personal effects. Instead, you want them to picture their own photos on the walls. Declutter everything and store them somewhere that buyers won’t find them during a viewing. It might be worth temporally renting out a storage unit.
Make minor repairs
Assumedly, at this point, you’ve already handled any significant repairs and renovations. Now is not the time to start dealing with those termites or leaking roof. NYC is a buyer’s market now so no matter how small a problem may seem it needs to be fixed. It might even be worthwhile hiring a home inspector to look the apartment over for any issues you mightn’t have noticed. Common minor repairs include:
- Leaky faucets
- Burned out lightbulbs
- Doors that don’t close properly
- Cracked floor or counter tiles
- Crumbling plaster
Perform a deep clean
Now with the apartment decluttered and all minor repairs seen to it’s time to make the place shine. This type of cleaning calls for far more than your usual weekly or day-to-day cleaning. It could take days, and you may want to consider hiring professional help. Leave no stone unturned and give serious attention to everything.
- Clean out the refrigerator
- Scrub the oven clean
- Wash windows inside and out (if possible)
- Wax floors
- Have any carpets professionally deep cleaned
- Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures
- Hang up fresh towels
- Polish chrome faucets and sinks
- Bleach tiles
This won’t be a viable option for everyone but if it’s anywhere in the cards moving out will make for a quicker sale. If you’ve been diligent in hiring a good sales agent, they can be trusted to handle things from there. Why not leave them to get along with it?
Don’t take it personally. It’s just that buyer’s find it hard to envision themselves living there if you’re hovering around. If you can fully move out, this will mean the place won’t need to be cleaned every time a new viewing is being done. This way you can expect to have the apartment sold in much less time than otherwise.
Plan for home staging
Having come this far, it’s worth considering going further and preparing for an open house. Not everyone will have the funds to afford home staging, but in today’s market, you can ill afford not to do one. A professional stager will bring in extra furniture that can help highlight the best features of the apartment. Buyers tend to have a good idea of what they’re looking for in a home and a professional home stager will know how to stage a home in a way that will make it appeal to a broader audience of buyer’s.