How to Sell Your Condo Episode 10 – Understanding Multiple Listing Contracts for Vancouver Property Sellers
In Episode 9 of How to Sell Your Condo in Vancouver, we discussed marketing strategies…
For condos, the first and most basic thing you can do to increase home value and sell your place is, at the very least, have the property in its original operating condition when it was new. The walls should be free of nicks, clean, and freshly painted.
Beyond this, you want a look that avoids appealing to just a small niche. Here are some things that can be done to appeal to a broad audience and increase your property’s value:
New appliances. If you have an older unit, installing new appliances can make the property more attractive to buyers. The appliances must present well and look good — and, to minimize clutter, they should actually replace decor in the kitchen while being functional. Stainless steel is the best option, even if it’s more expensive, as white appliances just don’t look as fancy and high-end.
Paint. Choose a neutral, light coloured paint that appeals to a broad audience. Polarizing, bright, or dark colours aren’t a good choice for the layperson buyer (if you’re a designer and are a pro that’s different, but you should try to create the broadest appeal).
Flooring. If you have wall-to-wall carpet, consider changing to a hardwood or high-end engineered flooring. Laminate can work on a case-by-case basis. Using the cheapest laminate is actually worse than carpet as it can look cheap and may not result in a higher sale price.
Window coverings. Roller blinds or Venetians are best. In the Vancouver area, condos tend to look best for resale with a clean, minimalist, modern look. Traditionalism in the 2020 Vancouver real estate market is polarizing and is typically good only for older markets who aren’t necessarily the target audience when selling urban condos. Even if you personally find the neutral, modern look boring, when selling there are objective things that appeal and increase the value of a place more broadly than others.
Cross-culture appeal. When decorating or preparing a property, make an appeal to a broad audience from a cultural perspective. Focus on cross-cultural appeal to a wide audience and not just one niche group or market.
Furniture. Avoid overstuffed, large furniture pieces, and go with smaller pieces with right angles instead. Light coloured glass or chrome are great because they make pieces look smaller and therefore the space look larger – which creates a greater perception of value.
Doing renovations or home improvements to increase value for purposes of a sale is a risky proposition, unless the homeowner is a professional interior designer or does renovations or construction for a living. It’s not recommended to do renovations for selling purposes because the return on investment is often negative. You might do a big, beautiful renovation to make your property look a certain way, but prospective sellers may not like it and therefore won’t buy the property. For older properties that need work, it’s often better to just get them up to the original spec and left as a blank slate for a new owner to come in and decorate, renovate, and otherwise make the place look how they want it to look.
I had a situation where a prospective seller renovated and added new, very dark, bold and polarizing floors. People then came in who said they loved the apartment but hated the floors. The seller could have left the floors as they were, clean and in good condition, and a buyer would have simply come in and replaced them if they’d wanted to.
What are cheap ways to increase home value?
The cheapest way to increase home value is just to get it in good condition. Things like basic repairs of broken items, getting it as clean as possible, adding a coat of paint, and steam cleaning carpets are key. The simple things have the best return on investment, as does getting the property to appeal to the broadest possible audience (which is the cheapest, simplest thing to do).
What is the best flooring to increase home value?
The best flooring to increase home value really depends on the property. For a simple, base-model, entry-level rental property, laminate flooring is a totally acceptable option. Plus, replacing wall-to-wall carpet with laminate is a great thing to do because most people, especially the younger generation, don’t like wall-to-wall carpet anymore. There is a perception that it’s less healthy and clean than laminate. Plus, it can be bad for allergies. When you get into a mid-grade property that appeals to an investor or owner-occupier, flooring could be a very high-end laminate, though it’s better to go with an engineered hardwood product. For luxury or super high-end properties, tile, marble, or real or engineered hardwood work well.
Keep in mind that for condos, in many cases, you need permission from the strata council to install floors and, sometimes, even for the type of floor you wish to install. Often, stratas will not allow floors to be glued down to the concrete because the sound conducts, like electricity, and will go right through the floor to the unit below. So, owners often must install an acoustic underlay (which can be an artificial or cork product). If you don’t get permission and install flooring, stratas have the right to have you pull the floors out – that’s where things can get messy pretty quickly.
What colour of hardwood floor is best for resale?
Light colours of hardwood flooring are best for resale for three reasons. Light colours:
What are the best paint and carpet colours to sell your home?
The best paint and carpet colours to sell your home are those that are neutral, like white, tan, or grey. Avoid intense, bright, polarizing colours like red, purple, black, or dark blue. Again, the key is to appeal to the broadest possible audience.
Should carpet be replaced before selling your home?
Carpet could be replaced, depending on its condition or if it’s a polarizing style or colour, such as shag. If it’s damaged, stained, or dirty, replacing carpet is a very good thing to do for resale purposes. Buying decent quality carpet for higher-end properties is important, as cheap carpets can look cheap and also off-gas – the hydrocarbon-based nylon or plastic in carpet can be off-putting and trigger sensitivities in people. Natural fibre carpet is great as it avoids this, and often looks and wears better. Just like with other flooring, a light, neutral, and non-polarizing carpet colour will have the broadest appeal.
Does tile flooring increase home value?
Whether tile flooring increases home value depends on the property’s market and location. Tile is a niche type of flooring that’s popular with certain cultures and people from hot climates. However, it can be polarizing and may not be the best choice if the floors of your property get cold (though, radiant floor heating is great!)
Certain buildings, like Vancouver’s Patina by Concert at 1028 Barclay Street, have nicely done tile but, if not done well, tile can turn buyers off. Be very cautious if you’re considering tile flooring for the purposes of selling your property. If you originally had tile and decide to replace it with tile, that’s fine, but understand the target market of your buyer and get advice from your realtor on what that market thinks of tile.
Interested in reading more? Check out this article on What Not To Do When Selling Your Home.