Since the New Year, the Mississauga condo market has been heating up. Over the past two weeks, I have been featured in several news publications, including The Globe and Mail and YourMississaugaBizz. Based on those conversations, I have decided to release a blog post about some smart condo upgrades for anyone considering selling their condo. The “upgrades” that seem to sell condos faster. I would argue that as much as 80% off condo buyers in today’s market look for the following upgrades (please keep in mind that this again does not apply to every condo buyer, but has been made based upon my individual observations):
1. Most buyers prefer dark hardwood floors, especially young people. The trend seems to have shifted away from lighter floors and light kitchens to darker ones. I noticed recently, that those that have lighter floors and a light kitchen have a harder time selling their unit as compared to those sellers with dark floors and darker kitchens. Therefore, make sure to choose dark colours such as a nice espresso or cappuccino for your kitchen and floors. Keep in mind that darker colours look more prestigious and chic.
2. Kitchen stainless steel appliances are another important upgrade in the unit. We are shifting away from white and black appliances and ultimately it seems that stainless steel appliances are preferred. Even though they get fingerprints on them, which can be cleaned by wipes, many say it just looks better with a dark kitchen, that it never looks outdated and that they are very durable and resistant.
3. Colour excitement –Keep your paint colours neutral. A lot of times sellers like their paint creativity. Buyers, on the other hand, prefer to paint their condo themselves. Some colours are great. Sometimes you even find a buyer that likes one wall is a nice rich brown colour and if not, no problem, one wall is a quick fixer-upper they can look past. However, when your condo is a lime eco green, you have to keep in mind that not everyone has your taste. Sometimes it’s better to just take out those paint brushes and paint your unit white to get your unit sold quicker. Remember, that sometimes people cannot look past the walls and lose interest in your unit, even if it’s a great unit.
4. Upgraded bathrooms. Believe it or not, but you can make your bathrooms stand out in today’s market. A lot of buyers seem to like rain showers in their shower cabinets. Nice tiles, such as dark inside the shower and the floors with either white or dark cabinets seem to be fancy. Marble floors or sink areas seem to be very common. For those that don’t like dark tiles, cream tiles also seem to be “in trend” with darker cabinets and cream marble sink tops. You can also play around with the tile shapes. Some like long rectangular tiles, others prefer them squared and at an angle. Sinks can be round or a square. If they are under-mounted – that’s a huge visual bonus for a potential buyer. Bathrooms definitely leave a lot of room for creativity when you choose to upgrade them.
5. Everyone prefers it neat and tidy, especially inside a closet. Of course, women love the “Sex and the City” closet. However, those custom closets usually cost a lot of money or are just impossible to fit inside a condo. Furniture stores like IKEA have made it easy with closet organizers. These are just as good as Carrie’s big, shelved and spacious custom designed closet and also affordable. IKEA also gives the option of shelves, drawers, racks, or baskets to organize your closet and to allow you to design it so it fits into the closet space in your unit
Some things that sellers should really avoid when upgrading:
1. Window Coverings. Many seem to invest in drapes and all kinds of window coverings. Keep in mind that not every buyer likes those outdated drapes or silk curtains. Rather have nothing in your unit, or at least take them with you to your new place. If window coverings are an absolute necessity, invest in simple blinds. The vertical plastic ones are not great, they seem to tangle and twist. Sometimes fabric blinds are simple and great.
2. Too many colors. Condos look nice if they are in the same color sequence or consistent. If you upgrade tiles in bathrooms, try to use one color. Ex: if you opt for dark cabinetry, then choose cream tiles and keep them consistent in the shower and on the floor. Too many colors just make it seem like you didn’t know which color to go with because you liked more than one. Also, try keeping it consistent by choosing similar tones for your kitchen and hallway. To make it less boring, as mentioned above, choose different tile styles. Go for rectangular ones, wide, narrow, small, big, put them in at an angle, choose a glossy/shiny finish or a matt one.
3. What seems to be really outdated are carpets. The trend has shifted away from carpets as well as rugs. Once upon a time rugs seemed to illustrate wealth, but today they just seem dull and simply put, not nice looking. If a buyer wants to buy a small rug then it is personal preference. The other thing with carpets is that they always seem to look dirty. Even the best carpet has spots and they are so hard to take out. If you have carpets in your bedrooms, opt for hardwood flooring. An extra room of hardwood is inexpensive and takes an afternoon to install.
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