If you live in Montreal, you have certainly noticed, over the last year, the multiple condo projects being developed. You are probably dazzled and confused and asking yourself: “Who on earth is going to buy all these condos?” Now, if you live in Montreal and are also trying to sell your own condo, you have certainly noticed the transformation of various parking lots around the city into playgrounds for cranes, and are unquestionably panicked and asking yourself: “Who on earth is going to buy my condo?”
Ladies and gents, proud condo owners and overly ambitious sellers, Montreal’s condo market is now a buyer’s market. Leave your pride aside, eat a piece of humble pie and let’s get real. This is no longer 2010. This is no longer a seller’s market. This is no longer a time where supply was low and buyers paid top dollars to get their hands on that one perfect condo. There are now thousands of that one perfect condo and, guess what, your 2007 pad is way passé compared to that ultra-modern 2015 one. Not only has it never been lived in, not only can you pick the colour of its hardwood floor or of its bathroom tiles, but its asking price matches today’s market price. In other words, the guy buying a condo at that fancy sales office is paying a 2013 price for a 2015 product! What’s not appealing about that?
For the purpose of this article, the question to be asked is: “What can you do as a seller to ensure you will sell your condo?” Let’s explore!
1. Plan Ahead
It might take longer than you imagined to sell your property, so give yourself and your realtor a reasonable amount of time to do so – I would recommend about 6 months. Be patient… it will sell eventually. Why work under pressure if you can avoid it? Remember way back when you had to cram for an exam? Trust me, if you don’t plan ahead for the sale of your condo, you will deal with the consequences of such procrastination; but this time around, it will affect your wallet, not your report card.
2. Hire the Right Realtor
What do I mean by right? Hire a real estate broker that is familiar with your building or with the area in which it is located. Ideally, they might even live in the building or once lived in it, meaning that not only can he or she wisely inform the potential buyer, they can also give that buyer some inside scoop like: “Your future hot neighbour is a personal trainer. She works out between 6 and 7am Monday to Friday, and at noon sharp on Saturdays, and she is single.”
Or… “The guy on the 8th floor owns the local bar and, if you become his friend, it will be Happy Hour for you all the time!”
Or… “The cooler residents of the building gather on the rooftop every Sunday afternoon of the summer for a tasty potluck dinner party you won’t want to miss.”
Isn’t this information you’d like to know?
3. Establish a Competitive Price
By competitive, I mean “cheaper than your competition.” If your neighbour’s unit is for sale, identical to yours, and is listed at $349,000 (assuming this is a fair asking price relative to the active and sold comparable condos), then price your property lower, at, say, $345,000.
4. Hire a Home Stager or Do it Yourself
As you all know, pictures are worth a thousand words, so when the photographer comes over to snap shots of your condo (indeed your real estate broker should ALWAYS hire a pro), you need to make sure your condo looks perfect! Hire a home stager to make it look like it’s right out of Architectural & Digest Magazine. If you cannot afford to hire a home stager, then go ahead and do it yourself.
Shelf it. Now that your condo is on the market, it is no longer your home, but a property for sale… so have a seller’s attitude.
Showcase it. When buyers walk through the door, you want them to picture what their life would be like there. Make it turn-key. Painting the walls in a neutral colour can go a very long way. Also, remove family photos and religious or cultural pieces.
Optimize it. Remove excess furniture and accessories. Let the buyer imagine how he would work with the space or, better yet, have the space laid out optimally so he can visualize how his living room couch would look if it were to replace yours.
Neutralize it. Make your condo look and feel like suite 505 at the W. Think about it; the second you walk into your hotel room, you throw yourself on the bed, test the shower, open the mini bar and unpack. Wouldn’t it be awesome if your buyer felt the urge to do the same?
Spic and Span it. No excuse here. Your condo needs to be perfectly clean for showings. Clean up the mess – clear kitchen and bathroom counters and put your personal belongings where they really belong. (No need for a buyer to know you use Rogaine).
5. Sell Smart
Be open to the purchase offer you receive, even if it is very low. That one particular buyer chose your condo out of a thousand others. He was smart when he picked yours, so be smart, be open to negotiation, and let him have it. If you don’t make an effort to collaborate and establish a middle ground for settlement, he will walk and take his dollars next door. So take the money and run!
Good Luck and Happy Selling!
For more information or to list your property, contact Karine Doche at email@example.com.