Preparing an Apartment for Sale
It’s easy for a real estate broker to waltz through your apartment suggesting paint and repairs, not to mention storing enough of your belongings to remove any clutter. But to live through this when you’re probably already overcrowded is another story.
On the other hand, there is no doubt whatsoever that a clean, fresh looking apartment sells faster and for a higher price than one that looks tired and worn.
Here are some tips:
- Paint, touch-up or scrub walls, moldings, etc. Wax your floors or have them professionally refinished (at the very minimum, do the foyer and living room if they are in poor condition).
- Remove clutter. If you can’t find storage space under the bed and in the closets (neatly), rent a storage bin.
- Wash the windows – even if they look onto a courtyard.
- Use high-wattage light bulbs and, if the apartment is dark or the day is dreary, turn them on before the customer arrives.
- Give up fish and cigars for the duration. Bathe your dog and clean the kitty litter daily. Room sprays are nice, but they don’t cover odors and are easy to overdo.
- Kitchen and bathrooms must be spotless. Clear counters = perceived space!
If you can’t face these jobs or don’t have time, there are services that will do it for you. Ask your broker for a referral.
Finally, when the broker is due to arrive with the customer, leave! And take your children and dogs with you. Let the prospective buyer spend time in your apartment, feel comfortable in the space.