2016 Apr 1st

Is it a Bad Thing to Try to Sell Your Hoboken Condo when it’s Vacant?

Not every Hoboken seller is selling their occupied primary residence.  Many people moved away from Hoboken when the sales market was not as robust as it is now and rented their condo rather than sell during a down market.  Other investors purchased when prices were low and are selling now to earn a profit.  There are also sellers who, for a variety of reasons (i.e. new job etc.) need to move into a new home before selling their old one.  In all of these cases, they will have to show an empty apartment to potential buyers and they often ask me if that will affect the chances of the property getting sold or reduce the amount they can expect to receive.  Should the seller keep the home furnished (or pay to have it staged) during the listing period?  If the home remains empty, will it be possible to get a good or as good a price?

If you are the proud owner of an empty home, you may have many more questions.  While these are all legitimate doubts, I believe that selling an empty property isn’t difficult.  However, you should do a few things to make your home ready for showings.  Selling a vacant property will not be detrimental if you take the right steps.

First of all, when buyers take a look at your home, they must not get the impression that it has been neglected.  This is very important.  Here are a few tips to improve the appearance of your empty condo:

Living RoomGive your walls a makeover

A fresh coat of paint will greatly improve the appearance of your home.  It will remove dirt and stains from the walls and correct minor cosmetic flaws.  It will also make the home look well-maintained.  That is exactly what buyers want.

While painting your walls, forget about your personal preferences.  You might like vivid colors, but the buyer may not have the same taste.  Choose neutral colors in light shades.  They are a safe bet and likely to appeal to the greatest audience.  Another advantage of choosing lighter shades is that they will make the rooms look larger.

The Turoff Team at KW City Life have relationships with skilled painters and contractors that do excellent work at a fair price.  We can introduce you, and can help to arrange for and supervise the work if you are not available to do that yourself.

Enhance the curb appeal

If you are lucky enough to own a home with some sort of outdoor space (a terrace, balcony or garden) keeping that area well-maintained will easily add to the amount you receive and may be the difference between one and multiple offers.  Buy plants and don’t let them die in your absence.  If you don’t have the time to tend to them, you should get someone to do it.  Also remove all those unsightly structures (like beat up picnic tables or rusty BBQs).  Make sure the grass is mowed and pick up after the tenants dog if they left you “presents.”  This may all seem obvious to you, but trust me, I’ve seen it all.

Keep your fixtures in working condition

It boggles my mind how many properties I go to show to potential buyers where the lights don’t work.  Your light fixtures must be in working condition.  If the lights don’t work or there are burned out bulbs, replace them promptly.  Even minor fixes can increase the curb appeal of your home.

Keep it dust-free

If the home is empty, dust will easily accumulate on the floor.  Don’t forget to sweep the floors before buyers walk in.  Also dust the counters and surfaces.  The insides of the cabinets, too, need to be cleaned.  Potential buyers will likely look at them.  Hire a professional cleaning company to give the place a once-over before you list and make sure they windex the windows.  Nothing makes a place look more inviting than sunlight streaming through crystal clear windows.  The Turoff Team knows of reliable cleaning services too!

Have your floor plan close at hand

Empty homes look larger than they are.  So buyers may have difficulty figuring out the actual size of the rooms.  If visitors request a floor map, you should be able to give it.  You must at least know the dimensions of the rooms.  FYI – The Turoff Team at KW City Life is the only Realtor team in Hoboken that I know of that has a licensed architect on staff.

Get the price right

Your home is as valuable as comparable homes in the neighborhood.  Just because it has been lying empty, it is not worth any less.  You must have decided on a competitive selling price before listing the home.  The Turoff Team at KW City Life knows the sales price of comparable homes in Hoboken and Jersey City and we are here to help you.

Stage it

Finally, you should be aware that a staged apartment will help buyers visualize how their furniture may look in the unit.  Many first-time buyers lack the ability to conceptualize how a vacant apartment will look with furniture.  Fully staging an apartment with rented furniture is expensive and time consuming.  I am a certified staging professional and can share with you many tricks to make a vacant unit appear warm and inviting with minimal staging and at very little cost.  Call me to schedule a consultation.  The Turoff Team at KW City Life is ready to help you sell your apartment quickly and for the most money possible.

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