When it comes to selling your Houston condo for your Realtor it’s very different to selling a single family home. That American dream, white-picket-fence emotional connection in buyers is not what is being sold here, as your living space lacks the space, privacy, and individual curb appeal single-family homes offer. What is being sold -or should be – is excitement, convenience, luxury and style.
This means that not only does a Realtor need to take a different selling approach, so does your home staging. However, it’s still a must, especially in a condo development where there may be several similar properties on the market at the same time.
Home staging a condo calls for a focus on two key areas: space and lighting. Follow these techniques, and watch your condo bring in the same wide appeal as the storybook homes you see on the HGTV channel.
1. Clear out all clutter
The size of the average condo is 1,200 to 1,400 square feet—which is about 1,000 square feet less than a single-family home. The more stuff you have in it, the less spacious it looks.
Follow these steps to stage your condo to look bigger:
Declutter to create the illusion of more space
Go room by room to remove knickknacks, junk, and miscellaneous items from your surfaces and countertops. If you’re one of those people who stores their bike in the living room, time to get a storage unit for the duration that your condo is on the market.
Grab a caddy of cleaning supplies and go through the condo to vacuum, dust, and wipe down each area in the unit. If you don’t have the time to do this properly, hire a home organization professional who does, as this is a step in condo home staging that can’t be skipped or only half done.
2. Depersonalize for mass appeal
Take down the macaroni art project from the fridge and reduce the scattering of family photos around your condo. After you remove everything but the furniture, you’ll need to bring back in a few key decorative items so the place doesn’t look blank and sterile.
Use statement pieces to change the vibe of small spaces
Shift the focus away from the size of any small rooms using statement pieces that play up the lifestyle that a condo offers, as in reality when you are selling a condo you’re marketing a lifestyle of convenience and low maintenance.
Suggest the freedom to travel with a stack of vintage suitcases. Hint at hours spent savoring select vintages with a decorative wine rack. Go for a Zen vibe with a stack of natural river rock.
Whether you go for themed statement pieces or a simple, beautifully potted plant, just make sure you keep things your décor clean and uncluttered.
3. Simplify your window treatments
Space isn’t the only thing that’s limited in a condo—most are short on windows, too.
A condo or condominium is basically an apartment you own instead of rent, which means you’ll have shared walls on one or two sides, rather than windows in all four walls like a freestanding house.
To maximize your limited natural light during daylight hours showings, get rid of any window treatments that block your outdoor light source. Heavy draperies have got to go. Don’t go completely curtainless, though, or your rooms will wind up looking naked and abandoned. Soft, whispery sheers that swag away from the windows, never over them are ideal.
4. Buy more lamps and get brighter bulbs
Speaking of lighting, you can’t rely solely on natural light in a condo, even for daytime showings. You need plenty of electrical light sources, too.
Just like your furniture needs to be slimmed down, your light fixtures should be mini so they don’t overwhelm or opt for track lighting that offers lots of illumination without drawing the eye. Amp up the brightness with clear glass table lamps and slender, polished metal floor lamps that add shine without bringing in bulk.
Then turn your focus to the bulbs. The best idea? Replace all the light bulbs with really bright LEDs that turn on instantly. The last thing you want are bulbs that take five minutes to heat up to full brightness in a condo, or the space will look dark and dingy no matter what you do.
5. Create a blank canvas with neutral paint on your walls
Statement pieces only stand out and draw the eye when they’re up against a blank canvas. In order to create that kind of impact, you’ll need a neutral color on your walls.
While there are a lot of hues that masquerade as neutrals these days, when you paint the interior of a condo, stick within the white or beige color palette. However, that does not have to mean stark or boring. Some of my favorites for condo homestaging include a cool, blue-tinted hue like Glidden’s Silver Birch, a toasty cream like Sherwin-Williams’ Alabaster, or the popular off-white hue White Dove by Benjamin Moore.
6. Replace bulky furniture with sleeker pieces
Your wall color can only do so much to make your condo feel light and bright if you’ve got heavy, bulky furniture weighing your rooms down. An overstuffed, rolled arm couch may be cozy, but a sleek track arm sofa takes up less space visually and physically.
Flank your sleek sofa with a pair of armless accent chairs and buyers will love that your small condo living room appears spacious while offering plenty of seating.
Trim down your furniture’s footprint for your master bedroom, too. Huge California kings may be great to sleep in, but they can overwhelm a small condo bedroom. So think about bringing in a queen or a double bed instead to maximize the amount of visible floor space—while still providing a bed for two.
You need correctly-proportioned furniture to show off your condo’s open flow, but what do you do if you only own bulky furnishings?
Either sell or store your overstuffed stuff and rent a few pieces of furniture. It may cost you, but you’ll reap the benefits by selling your condo faster and for more money.
7. Remove all the rugs
Furniture isn’t the only thing making your condo look smaller. With a condo, you need to maximize visible floor space. Rugs in a condo define the space too much and in the wrong way.
Rugs may add warmth to hard flooring surfaces, but the rugs in your condo also create lines that divide up your rooms into smaller chunks. Take them all out. This includes the ones by the sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms. If you must have a rug or bath mat anywhere for everyday use, remember to tuck it away before any buyers come by to check out your condo.
8. Stage exterior spaces for outdoor living
Don’t forget to stage your outside spaces as well, even if all you’ve got is a little outdoor patio or a tiny balcony. Opt for smaller-proportioned furniture, like this small bistro table and chairs. Then just place a couple of wine glasses or nice coffee mugs out on the table to set the scene.
Despite their drawbacks, condos have a lot going for them. For one, they’re cheaper. When first-time buyers make up 35% of the buyer pool, an affordable condo makes for a hot commodity. In addition, condo associations handle a lot of the common maintenance tasks associated with owning a home, and that’s a huge selling point.
Condos can be a tough sell, though, and home staging may be your only lifeline to help yours sell fast and for the most money. And your very best bet is likely to be investing in professional home staging, as not only will this mean that someone else does all the work – which is always a plus – but also that an expert, one who’s done this all before, is in charge and not you, the condo owner who just wants to sell their place quickly and move on with their busy life in their new space.
Ready to discuss your Houston condo home staging needs? Call or contact us today, the Just Organized by Taya team is ready to help.