Get Your Vacant Westchester Co-Op Noticed And SOLD!
Previously I have written about the misconceptions of what staging is, and what preparing a property for sale or lease is REALLY about, but vacant co-ops are a breed unto themselves. Because there are generally fewer dollars laying around, your own success is literally in your hands.
If YOU are the owner of a vacant co-op apartment YOU want to sell, the question becomes do YOU choose to stay between a rock and a hard place, or do YOU focus on what YOU can do to change YOUR situation?
This post is longer than most, with interactive solutions…notice how YOU/YOUR have made up about 11% of the words in this post so far?
First I must be blunt. If you have neither funds, ability to make changes or a desire to find a way, this post is not your silver bullet… but it might make your decision easier.
Do nothing and wait-your choice will be taken away. You will drift wherever the market takes you, either eventually accepting a lower price than you want/need, or slowly bleeding out any equity you might have via maintenance and carrying costs. I see this in the case of a lot of estate sales, with heirs that want to be right, instead of at closing. Aggressively pricing it from the get-go might be your best answer. Hire an experienced Realtor who knows the local market to best advise you.
Vacant spaces do not photograph well, or typically woo buyers, unless the view, history or architecture is so outstanding. Which is typically not the case for most co-op apartments. Because of their price point, there are proportionally fewer dollars laying around.
But if you are in a position to make something happen, here- in ascending order of effort and effectiveness and mostly cost-are what YOU can do to get YOUR vacant Westchester co-op apartment noticed and SOLD:
1. The apartment must be clean. Not just swept clean and vacuumed, but Q-tip-around-the-faucets, in the refrigerator grill, and in the corners of the window clean. No ifs ands and buts. Just do it, or stop reading right now.
2. Repair, prepare and paint the walls. TRUST ME white walls are the kiss of death. There is nothing special about them. They photograph horribly, and in the buyers’ eyes only underscore the space is vacant, probably neglected, too.
Filling, sanding and priming is tedious work, but necessary. Quality buyers will pass on shoddy work. USE PAINTER’S TAPE to create straight lines, and spring for the extra $20.00 +/-, use semi-gloss white for trim work, mouldings and doors. The contrast color and finish calls attention to detail lost in a big vanilla space.
Warm, classic, easy on the eye colors create a pleasing canvas while defining the space. I like Benjamin Moore Historical Colors. Lighter colors are not frothy pastels, and the deeper colors are not harsh. HC-32 Standish White, HC-33 Montgomery White and HC-39 Putnam Ivory are my current favorites.
Because these rooms are typically modest, and might not get a lot of light, visually stretch the space by choosing a color that will reflect light, almost ’glow’. BM #922 Antique Lace is good for that as well.
3. Get rid of old carpet. PERIOD. Gleaming hardwood floors are preferred in this market, but tend to cost more. HOWEVER, in an empty space, with no furniture to move/store, it might not be that much of a difference. Price out your options, but ONE CAVEAT: get a good re-finisher, and clear the power requirements and source with the super, so the building doesn’t short out.
4. Change out knobs and dated lighting fixtures. Yes, really. Old spaces with old fixtures and hardware are just old and neglected. Sleek new fixtures and hardware, are ’retro’, they say someone has been paying attention to this space. $200.00 at a big-box store here will put that much-if not more-back in your pocket real quick.
5. Add mouldings. Charm per linear foot, cove (ceiling) mouldings create desire, and elevate the space above much of what else is on the market.
6. Last, if buyers just can’t ‘see’ what the space could be, I have had success with providing scale drawings of the rooms as a take-away for the agents…
and also, sellers buying furniture they wouldn’t mind owning.
GOOD LUCK!!! Hope this has been helpful and inspiring. And please, take B&A pics, write me back and share YOUR success story!!