Don’t be Average! Sell your condo

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by Matt Baggett

So you’ve read the latest article in a national publication that gushes about how Nashville is “Red Hott!!!!” Everyone in your circle of friends are getting promotions at work and their relationships are just super. You are going to a new exciting restaurant or bar every weekend. The future is so bright you’ve gotta wear shades.

You made a smart condo buy five years ago but now the space is getting cramped and you want to move on to something bigger or maybe even a single family house. No problem! You just put it on the market and sell it immediately right? WRONG…

As a Realtor that sells many in-town condos, I can tell you what the market looks like to today’s buyer. You may hear realtors on Facebook say “man the market is so tight, there is nothing out there, call me today if you are thinking about selling.” This is only somewhat correct. What I hear in that translation as it pertains to condos is that there isn’t much that their buyers want to buy.

Most in town condos (The Gulch, Downtown corridor, East Nashville, round Vandy, 12South, etc…) were built during the first urban lifestyle boom from 2004-2009. Developers built them as fast as they could since they were being gobbled up just as fast as they were available. Originally most of the units were in the middle price point for Nashville, $200,000 to $400,000. At that price point, finishes typically were interesting for the times but now several years later they are starting to look dated. Most developers didn’t allow much customization and therefore today the floor plans and finish packages start to look the same.

Does that matter to today’s buyer? Put yourself in their shoes. They come in from out of town for a marathon showing session with their realtor of choice. Said realtor sets up 7 showings for a two and a half hour showing schedule. They are shuffled from development to development and unit to unit. Most of the sellers are people that bought their unit for top dollar back in the boom and let’s admit it….faced tough times from 2009 to 2012. Additionally, their unit was stylish and new at the time of purchase. However, things were tight for a few years and no one had money to dump into their “new” condo.

What is the takeaway for that buyer? They don’t really see anything that STANDS OUT. They see the same builder grade granite, same box cabinets, same tile with accent stripe, same hardwood product, and general stylistic obsolescence.

Is this person hypothetical? No, our team currently has an out of town buyer who is looking to purchase a condo for their son who is a recent graduate. They can pay cash and close quickly. However the scenario above is just what we experienced in a recent day of showings. They just have not seen anything they want to buy.

What is my advice for a condo seller right now? Make your unit stand out. Upgrade your light fixtures. Don’t just buy something snazzy at Home Depot–get and then take some professional advice. Look at your floor. Did you not choose to upgrade to hardwood throughout? Well, you need to think about that now. Choose sand and finish type hardwood if possible. Most condo cabinetry is builder grade and average. Change out your hardware to something cool. If you don’t have a tile backsplash and other units in your development don’t have that–you need to do that. Are your appliances not stainless? Well they need to be. You need to paint before listing your place. Trust me, you do. Do you have renters? If so, realize they don’t like making the sale of “their” pad easy. It just isn’t their priority. If possible, get them out and then freshen the place up. It will be easier to show and prospective buyers won’t have to step over their dirty laundry and look at the renter’s dirty dishes in the sink.

At the bare minimum, deep (really deep) clean  the place and hire a stager to do some light staging. Take the exact same finishes in two units and stage one and leave the other one vacant or “lived in” and the staged will sell first every time.

So don’t be a cocky condo seller right now. The market is spectacular in many ways–but that doesn’t mean “average” gets sold quickly. Average only makes “Spectacular” sell that much quicker (and for MORE MONEY). The Baggett Property Group could go on and on about how to best position your condo. Call us when you are serious about getting it sold. We have loads of ideas and strategies.



TN License #285908(Matt) 315322 (Marla) If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Equal Opportunity Housing Provider.