How do you think your condominium suite, or building for that matter, will stand up to an examination by every buyer’s senses… sight, smell, hearing, feel and taste? Well, maybe not taste so much but certainly by the other four.
Prospective purchasers will have all four of those senses turned on high when they enter your building, take the elevator to your floor and then enter into your suite. Because your home is new to them, they’re excited to experience what it would be like to live there full time.
When you are finalizing your preparations to put your home on the market, take two tours of your residence… one in the daytime and the other at night… and turn your 'sense meters' on high and pay attention to what you notice.
Sight is the big one of course… is the building lobby clean and immaculate? How does your unit show? Is it drab and boring to look at or are there some occasional bright colours to spice it up?
Check along baseboards and up on ceiling light fixtures and fans… are there cobwebs dangling or dust bunnies gathering in corners?
Before analyzing each room, make sure light bulbs are the appropriate wattage and work properly. I don’t recommend using compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s) when selling since the light they throw isn’t that attractive.
Then, look closely at the walls for scratches, marks, missing or broken light switch plates, and mold or mildew. Are hanging pictures dusted and the glass cleaned?
They will take note of what the temperature feels like. Is it cold in the winter or hot in the summer? Contrary to what we say generally, if your condo faces south or west and gets a lot of summer sun, you might need to close the blinds somewhat at least and turn the AC up to limit how hot it gets.
Assess if there are any odours lingering in the hallways adjacent to your suite. You might have to try applying a little Fabreze to see if that will correct the situation. Remember not to cook smelly foods inside your condo while it’s on the market. Some odours are not attractive to other ethnicities.
Often banishing odors takes little more than identifying the cause – cigarette smoke and butts, old tennis shoes, pets, dirty litter boxes – then cleaning and freshening the area. Smelling smoke inside a home is a big no-no for most buyers and we don’t want your home to put off any purchaser while it is on the market.
Similarly, some buyers are not comfortable with any kinds of pets but most commonly it’s dogs or cats that may cause discomfort. The best suggestion is to send pets to live elsewhere while showings are happening. Remove the litterbox and any pet toys that may be lying around.
Clean your window blinds and carpets, open windows and doors to allow fresh air to come in and replace odours with lightly scented candles or potpourri.
Are there minor or major noises occurring throughout your home? After you’ve lived in a home for just a few weeks, it’s fairly typical for most of us to just tune out background noises. Streetcars rumbling by, highway traffic and ambulance sirens are the big ones but we also need to tune in to the smaller ones… a rattle in the back of the fridge, a drip, drip from the kitchen tap, a running toilet in the bathroom, a squeaky door hinge etc.
You can’t do anything about those exterior noises other than by shutting any sliding glass doors and windows. At least you can demonstrate that if people do want quiet, they can have it with everything closed up. But you will have to try and deal with any interior noises you can detect.
Now that you’ve done your own ‘sensory tour’ and solved any problems you’ve found, ask a friend to do the same tour to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Paying attention to the small details before showings start will help make your condo stand out from the competition.