So, you’ve invested in a condo property and are looking for ways to make it seem more attractive to prospective buyers. Let’s just get this out of the way first:
“Vacant properties sit, and staged properties sell.” It’s a phrase used by Lucie Brand, owner of Toronto Condo Staging and Design. How would you go about furnishing your space?
You may be showing your unit to rent it out, or you may be wishing to sell it completely and release it to market. The only difference here is that with a rental, you may rent your place furnished, which means that the tenant has the option to keep all or some of the furniture present, versus a full sale, where the staged furniture will more than likely disappear.
All in all, you have to look at the property from the buyer’s perspective, and it should go without saying that a clean and tidy unit is essential!
Consider a staging team
If interior design isn’t really your thing, consider hiring a staging professional to do a walk-through of your unit and suggest areas to highlight or areas where arrangements or features could be improved for maximum interest.
For example, they can tell you where the best place is for the sofa and TV, if there’s a unique dining opportunity that will make your unit stand out, if built-in storage is a better idea for the master, or if superficial updates are required.
These are all things a professional stager can suggest or be hired to complete while you promote the listing. They will likely suggest a few of the quick tips below.
Since you’re staging a condo unit, you don’t have to worry about curb appeal. Because of this, you should pay special attention to the interior colours of the unit, as this can serve as the de facto first impression.
Emphasized, heavy colours may be great for you, but they’re not the most attractive for buyers who may want to put their own spin on the place. A bold red will take some work to cover up, so go with eggshell colours, or the warm, lighter end of the Pantone wheel.
Open up space and use lighting to your advantage
You’re going to want to make your unit as full of natural light as possible, while using tricks to brighten up notoriously dark spaces like hallways and bathrooms. Use bright (but still neutral) paints and improve lighting if needed.
If there’s only one light bulb in a dark space, splurge and make it two, or add a unique lighting fixture that maximizes the spread of light. And if there’s room, add some ambient lighting near the floors by way of walkway potlights, desk lamps or floor lamps that make the space seem warmer and more inviting.
You can even add mirrors to illuminate dark spaces, taking advantage of the natural light that comes in from outside.
Take stock of your flooring
If you’re flipping a recently purchased or even brand-new condo unit, this section probably won’t matter much. But flooring will matter for older units, so if things are looking a bit worn, keep in mind that buyers are looking for any reason to discount their offer. A poorly kept floor or carpeted area could end up costing you more than simply replacing or polishing it would.
Never forget the kitchen or bathroom
Make sure these spaces are competitive with other condominium units of the same class. Dated cabinets, counters and appliances will have visitors heading for the door when they begin to think about the added cost to update them.
Buyers could also low-ball you if you neglect these places. Fresh paint on cabinets or new hardware could stretch your budget if you can’t afford an entire renovation. Simply put, you never want to shock visitors with an outdated or haphazard kitchen or bathroom; these are some of the most important bargaining spots of the unit!