Although still technically a home for sale, the nuances of selling an apartment rather than a single-family home can somewhat differ.
As you’ll see below, while there is some overlap between selling strategies for apartments and houses, there are a few unique selling opportunities in marketing apartments or condos, too.
Here are five things to keep in mind when working an apartment listing.
1. List the apartment at a competitive price
One of the essential pieces of information for selling any property is knowing the market value of similar options in the area. If the apartment is part of a complex, agents should check to see whether there are other apartments for sale in it, and determine the asking prices for those.
Moreover, ask clients if they’re willing to go lower than the listed price, and if so, by how much. Knowing such details before offers come in reduces back-and-forth communications.
2. Be aware of how to best stage the property
Staging an apartment before putting it up for sale allows potential buyers to more easily visualize future uses for the property. Also, a survey released in 2017 from the National Association of Realtors found 39 percent of sellers’ agents said staging greatly reduced time on the market.
It’s crucial to perform a careful assessment of the factors that show an apartment most favorably to potential buyers.
For example, some owners might need to declutter their most-used spaces, clean the carpets or make sure pets stay corralled in designated areas during showings. If showing an entire complex, removing cigarette butts and other trash is essential, as well as trimming the landscaping.
3. Consider marketing the apartment as a second home or place to vacation
The advice for selling a condo is similar to selling an apartment. That’s because the main difference between the two is people usually own condos instead of renting them. It’s common to see condos near beaches, theme parks or in metropolitan areas with many diversions to pursue.
If an apartment is in a place that has excellent seasonal weather, a diverse and active cultural scene, or even a successful college sports team, it could be useful to position an apartment as a buyer’s second home or vacation residence.
People often balk at buying another house because of the upkeep involved. However, apartments often have property managers to take care of necessary maintenance.
Plus, an apartment owner could rent out the property during most of the year with short-term leases, then live in it themselves during periods with the best weather or the most exciting events.
4. Play up the most-wanted amenities
All prospective renters have lists of the most desirable amenities that urge them to settle on certain apartments over others. Real estate agents should get details about any applicable perks — most likely available when an apartment is part of a complex instead of a standalone unit.
Renters might get access to well-maintained pools, clubhouses complete with game tables and Wi-Fi, fitness centers or even dog parks. After learning about those advantages, agents should research demographics in an area and determine the ideal language to use to make those perks stand out.
For example, an apartment marketed to people looking to buy a unit to lease to college students might have an ad discussing how “after hitting the books hard, students love relaxing on the apartment complex’s inviting sun-filled patio and catching up with friends or making new ones.”
Student apartments can be very lucrative for those who buy such properties, mainly when people invest in entire buildings.
However, it’s important to remember some seemingly attractive characteristics might not draw students. Being within driving distance of camping could be a downside if most community members don’t have cars or prefer walking or taking public transportation.
It’s smart for people aiming to sell condos to obtain official documentation about the available amenities, preferably in a PDF format. That approach caters to apartment-selling efforts, too. Then, before prospective buyers make appointments for viewings, real estate agents could send them files showing the expansiveness of the on-site gym, the light-filled kitchens equipped with modern appliances and more.
5. Maximize the available space
Often, agents face the challenge of selling a small studio apartment. The goal of making it look bigger could be achieved with the addition of mirrors to give the optical illusion of depth, particularly in spaces such as the living room.
When staging the apartment, keep aspects that show creative organizational opportunities, such as behind-the-door shelving, furniture with concealed compartments or wall-mounted shelves.
It’s wise to utilize such tips regardless of the size of the unit. People universally want to live in places offering enough space for their possessions and favorite activities.
If a prospective buyer visits and immediately sees an apartment that appears cramped, they could conclude the property isn’t a wise investment because it’d be too hard to make it look appealing to the tenants that eventually occupy it.
Real estate agents must be aware there are specific things to keep in mind when selling apartments versus houses. These suggestions should help them succeed and speedily meet client expectations.
Kayla Matthews covers smart technology and future trends for websites like VentureBeat, Curbed and Motherboard. You can read more posts by Kayla on her personal tech blog: Productivity Bytes.