I like to think of selling a Boston condo as more of an art than a science.
Downtown Boston Real Estate Story
I knew this elderly couple that owned a small Boston condo who wanted to sell their condo but it took a while to move their belongings out. My goal was to sell the condo as quickly as possible so that I would not have to be responsible for it and like all sellers I wanted to get the most money possible for it. Almost immediately a family member suggested pricing it higher so that we would have room to negotiate.
I told them that was a bad strategy because it almost guarantees the home will stay on the market longer, and it goes without saying the longer it is on the market the less likely it is that someone will pay the fair market value for it.
I have over 20 years of experience selling Boston condos for sale which really helped because I know what works and what doesn’t as a result I was confident that they were making a bad decision. Eventually, they agreed with my pricing strategy instead.
Once we worked on getting the place mostly cleaned out I replaced the thirty-year-old carpeting with new carpeting, replaced the flooring in the kitchen, and painted the bedrooms, living room, and dining room to a neutral color. I stored some of the furniture and boxes so that they were out of the way and could be dealt with while the condo was on the market.
There were a couple of repairs that were needed too and I had them done. The front door had peeling paint on it and was repainted before the for sale sign went up and I had the bathroom and kitchen inspected and some repairs were made, for example, I had a plumber fix a faucet in the bathroom. Buyers have a tendency to want to pay thousands less if there are hundreds of dollars of repairs needed.
The condo was “dated” but fairly neutral. I was concerned about the fact that the bathroom and kitchen both had wallpapered walls. I decided that if the wallpaper proved to be a problem in selling the unit I would have it removed. In general, I did not want to spend money unless I had to, and only if I could expect a reasonable return on the dollar.
We ended up spending about a thousand dollars but it was worth it because we got more money for the place than I had expected and it sold fairly quickly. I left a few pieces of furniture in it and some plants and chairs on the private patios. I used professional photography to market the place and did all of the marketing on the internet because that is where the buyers are, and because of the location of the condo I put up a flyer box and kept it as full as I could.
We received multiple offers in less than a month. A condo with the same floor plan and a lot of nice updates was sold earlier in the year for about 15K less than what ours sold for.
In most cases, I can look at a property and tell owners just what they need to do to sell it. Often the owners have ideas of their own. But when it comes right down to it: Selling a Boston condo isn’t a science. It really is an art.