How to Sell Your Condo – The Complete Guide to Selling your Vancouver Condo
Selling your Vancouver condo? If you are thinking of Selling your Vancouver Condo read on to find out what you need to know to sell your condo for top dollar in a timely manner.
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Vancouver Condo Seller Content:
Decide When To Sell Your Vancouver Condo
Prepare Your Vancouver Condo for Sale
Pricing Your Vancouver Condo for Sale
Step #1 – Decide When To Sell Your Vancouver Condo
Timing is different for a lot of people so there isn’t an easy answer to one of the most asked questions I get: When should I sell my condo? Important considerations include:
Best Time of the Year to Sell your Vancouver Condo? Real estate in Vancouver, in general, is seasonal like in many other cities, this said market trends and policies can also play a big role. December and January months are generally the slowest months. Of course, there’s something to be said for listing your Vancouver condo when the competition is low too, some of my best sales have happened in December, I once sold a condo on Christmas Day and with little to no competition the seller got a very good price.
Your current competition in your building and similar product – Because Vancouver condos are seen more as commodities than houses there are many similar units, the amount, quality and price of the current competition must be taken into account to better understand your position.
Current competition for similar condos in similar buildings is also important, while less important than what’s going on in your building if you have a Vancouver one bedroom + den or a two-bedroom and there are more on the market than usual, that will impact how long it takes your condo to sell, also condition and quality of those other products are important.
Market condition and the state of the Vancouver real estate market, Interest rates and consumer confidence affect prices, nowadays many government policies have also shifted trends in the market.
Your personal objectives, if you’re moving out of the city or have already bought a new property, then that timing will likely override everything else, job opportunities and other commitments can also be a big part of the decision making process.
Step #2: Prepare Your Vancouver Condo for Sale
When preparing your Vancouver condo for sale, keep these three objectives in mind.
#1- Space and layout are very important so declutter to make the space look as big as possible, one of the biggest challenges of condo living in Vancouver is space. Remove your personal items, extra big armoires and anything that could distract potential homebuyers. Smaller furniture will make the rooms look larger, so consider swapping out that huge bed that takes up the whole bedroom for a smaller one, and replacing the gifted massive PlayStation couch with a more compact version.
# 2- Try to make sure every room is shown to its optimal use, It’s OK if you’re using your second bedroom or large Den as a walk-in closet, but convert it back to being a bedroom during the listing and maybe a small office den. Buyers don’t often have great imaginations, so put a dining table in the dining room and a desk in the den and just keep it simple.
#3- Keep it clean, and then clean and clean again! The cleaner your condo is, the faster it will sell. Buyers won’t just look at surfaces – they’ll look inside your closets, your kitchen cupboards, and your bathroom vanity. Make sure everything sparkles and shows presentable.
Special Considerations for Vancouver Condos
Storage Space, the last thing you want to communicate to a potential Buyers is that the condo doesn’t have enough storage space. Store off-season clothes offsite if things are getting tight, get rid of all those kitchen appliances and the second set of dishes that minimize space. Make sure cupboards and closets aren’t overflowing (75 to 80% full is a good recommendation ).
Parking and Storage Lockers – Don’t use them as a dumping ground for all extra stuff. They’re a valuable part of what you’re selling, so keep them organized and clean of unwanted items.
Odors can linger in a condo, so make sure you don’t prepare foods with strong smells (cooked broccoli fish, curries, etc.) while your condo is for sale. If you have pets, clean the litter several times a day to avoid odors and make sure the dog does not leave unwanted smells. And don’t even think about smoking in your condo. If you have smoked anything in it in the past, consider getting a smoke bomb to take the smell away. A good carpet and window covering cleaning and a fresh coat of paint can go a long way to eliminating odors. Avoid the use of strong air fresheners as that can turn a Buyer off too, there have been many instances where buyers have just not even looked at condo for sale because as soon as they walked in they smelled something strong.
If you get along with your Neighbours It never hurts to let your immediate neighbours know you’ll be selling. Hopefully, they’ll be considerate during showing times and open houses – if you get a good price, that’ll help their value too! So it’s a win-win.
Step #3: Staging
Staging the condo properly for showings is important for almost every seller if your goal is to sell it for as much money as possible. It’s been proven that staged condos sell faster and for more money. We can help you determine what needs to be done and how we can help.
Step #4: Pricing Your Vancouver Condo for Sale
Establishing the value of a Vancouver condo is generally easier than valuing a house because there are likely similar or identical comparable sales in your building. In determining the value of a Vancouver condo, real estate agents and appraisers will determine the price per square foot of recent sales and use that as a basis to determine the value of your condo. For example, a 645 sqft condo may be worth $1050 psf (per square foot) or $677,250. However, It’s important to take note of the following:
As condos get bigger there is a diminishing price per Square feet, the bigger the condo, the lower the cost per square foot , as the condo gets bigger, each square foot becomes less valuable as there are more of them, so this makes correct pricing even more important and not just a simple math calculation.
The floor height of the Condo is important– the higher the floor, the higher the cost per square foot many buyers are willing to pay a premium for a condo on a higher floor.
Vancouver views in condos are also Important, the better the view, the higher the cost per square foot, views can be extremely valuable, especially if they are of beautiful mountains and water like the amazing views we get in Vancouver.
Although not talked about that much, the condo exposure matters, whether the unit faces south, north, east or west can impact value. An experienced agent will be able to advise accordingly on value and how to best sell exposure.
The layout is king, good layouts bring value, many buyers will pay more for layouts with more usable space rather than lots of hallways, big foyer or lost space due to pillars or awkward unusable corners.
How well your Vancouver condo shows will also impact the price, including how it is staged, how clean and clutter-free the unit is and whether it smells like the litter box or what you had for dinner.
Similar unit sales in your building are the most important consideration in valuing your condo, your real estate agent will also look at the units in your building currently for sale (i.e., the competition), as well as recent sales and competition in nearby similar buildings.
When it comes to determining a condo pricing strategy you can price for a bidding war, price at market value or price above market value and negotiate. Keep in mind:
Quantity and Supply and Demand – Because there are generally multiple units that are identical or near-identical in a building, Buyers may not feel the desperation that they often feel with a house – if they miss out on buying this condo, there’ll likely be another similar one come on the market soon.
Condos have less Emotional Connection – We often see House Buyers fall in love, for example, with the original turn of the century stained glass windows, professionally landscaped backyard or prime location of a particular house. With more similarities than differences, traditional condos don’t tend to create the same emotional reactions in Buyers. That doesn’t mean people don’t fall in love with condos – they do – but because Buyers know how much the same unit one floor above sold for, they tent to be more conscious of value.
Additional factors that will affect the price of your Vancouver condo:
Improvements from the original condo builder – while they won’t add as much value as you paid for them, they will help differentiate you from the other condos available for sale in the building.
Condo Renovations – don’t generally add much value to newer condos, but can add a lot of value in older condos that look updated.
Ceiling height – taller is better it makes a place look much bigger
Maintenance cost and fees – if maintenance fees are significantly higher than average, prices will generally be lower as this detracts from the overall value.
Parking in Vancouver is getting more expensive every day – Having a parking spot generally adds $35,000 $60,000 to the price of a Vancouver downtown condo.
Storage -Locker or en-suite storage – has high demand.
Outdoor space – balconies and terraces bring additional space and value.
Building Amenities in a Vancouver Condo– while some home Buyers don’t want the amenities because of the higher maintenance fees, others want the convenience of the concierge, pool, theatre room, guest parking, bike room and more.
Location is still king - location, location, location!
Number of Renters to Owners in a building – Home Buyers prefer condo buildings where the majority of the people living there are owners, however, having the ability to rent your unit is also an important consideration for many home buyers.
Step #5: Marketing Vancouver Condo
One of your agent's most important jobs will be making sure potential Home Buyers see your condo. With hundreds and thousands of condos for sale in Vancouver, standing out from your competition is critical. A comprehensive marketing campaign for a condo is different from one of a house in the following ways:
Most Vancouver condos are smaller than houses, so photography and videography can be a challenge. Veteran professionals with wide-angle lenses should be able to capture a room without making it seem smaller or bigger than it truly is. If your agent suggests taking the pictures themselves, walk away and just call me now, you need a solid proven marketing plan with professional expertise all the way.
Your condo Buyer is out there, they may move up or down buyers, be first time buyers, the parents of first-time buyers, an international investor, a recent divorcee, a newly married couple, seniors who’ve just sold their family home or a young couple with a baby on the way. Smart real estate agents will go to great lengths to profile your target Buyer and create a marketing campaign that works.
Step #6: Showings
When homebuyers make an appointment to see your condo, keep the following in mind:
Please leave the condo! There’s nothing more awkward and distracting for a home Buyer than having to walk around the owner as he watches over his shoulder.
Please be flexible with showing times – There’s always competition out there, so make it convenient for Buyers to see your condo.
Residential Tenancy Law in BC: If you have a tenant in your condo you’ll need to provide them with 24 hours notice for showings. The sale will be less intrusive to them if it’s quick, so their cooperation in de-cluttering, and keeping it clean – will go a long way, I work closely with tenants and make the process easy and pain-free, making the experience a win-win for everyone.
Make it easy for Buyers to see the building amenities and lockers. Make sure the agents have easy access to a FOB so they can show your building’s facilities and any other important entrance keys.
Step #7: Offers
Not everyone gets a subject free offer, and generally, when selling a Vancouver condo, you can expect to see offers with three important conditions among others:
#1-A financing condition, which allows the Buyer to confirm their mortgage qualifications with a lender during the due diligence process.
#2-Condition to Review strata documentation, which allows the Buyer’s time to review the condo building strata documents to ensure that the building is sound and legally and financially in good condition.
#3- An inspection condition – allowing the buyer to hire an independent professional inspector to inspect the unit and building.
Your real estate agent will lead the negotiations of any offers you receive, but the final decision of what to accept, price, conditions, closing date are yours to make, having the right experience and advice will help you make the right choice.
Step #8: Closing Day
As the closing day approaches (When the buyer takes possession of the property) approaches, you’ll need to make sure to:
Reserve the elevator for your move out. There are usually time and day restrictions, so try to do this as soon as possible once you have a firm sold commitment.
Advise your property manager that you are moving and cancel your monthly maintenance fees, your notary or lawyer will also pro-rate any difference for you.
Inform the utility companies of your future move, and cancel and reconnect services to your new home if you have found one.
Cancel your home insurance (to take effect after you have confirmation that the sale has closed) make sure you cancel 1 day after your possession to make sure you are 100% until the last day.