Selling an apartment is never easy. You see, people know that they’ll live in an apartment building and that their peace will depend on how lucky they are with their neighbors. They won’t know whom they’re sharing a building with until months in the future, and if the news is bad, the person selling them the place will surely not disclose this in advance.
Also, you have limited customization options. Moreover, you must request a special permit for any major (read structural or external) work.
So, how does one make a sellable apartment against such odds? Well, here are a few tips on how to increase the value of an apartment or condo to help you out.
Fix the lighting
You’ll usually get a varied level of natural light in an apartment. This leaves you to get by using other means. For instance, you can amplify natural light with the strategic use of mirrors. If your mirrors are not big enough or your apartment isn’t oriented ideally (to receive more sunlight), this is a fun interior design trick that you can use.
Other than this, apartments are usually more compact, which means you’ll be able to do more with less powerful fixtures. However, it’s better not to skimp on the light. If need be, take the most potent fixtures you can find but make sure that they have the option to dim down the lights.
The customizability of illumination will be one of the strongest selling points of your apartment and the easiest way to change the tone. With the right light, everything can look better and vice-versa.
Also, by replacing all your fixtures with LED alternatives, you’re making the place greener. This boosts value on its own but also promises future savings on one’s utility bill. Moreover, it supports self-sustainability and ethical homeownership.
Invest in soundproofing
One of the biggest downsides of apartment spaces is the lack of privacy. Simply put, you can hear your upstairs neighbors, the neighbors with whom you share the walls, and sometimes, even the neighbors below you. So, by just soundproofing your apartment, you’ll increase the appeal of your property and make the space far more valuable.
The real challenge is how to make your apartment soundproof on a budget.
The first step should be to seal all the gaps and cracks. As mentioned, most sound travels through solid surfaces, but gaps can always worsen matters. So, weatherstrip the doors and gaps around windows.
Another thing you could do, if you have neighbors that you share a wall with, is to move the furniture to that wall. A stacked shelf can be quite absorbent and provide great soundproofing qualities.
If you want to invest more, you could install acoustic panels on your walls. While this is a bit more expensive, it’s also immediately noticeable. This means that you get an immediate value boost.
The floor can be insulated with the right underlayment made out of rubber. At the same time, you could go for a thicker rug (or just a rug if you don’t have any). As for the ceiling, you want to add more mass to it. A drywall ceiling, like MLV (mass-loaded vinyl), is just one of the ideas.
Improve kitchen and bathroom
In a house, size is a massive value factor. In an apartment, it’s all about functionality. You see, when buying a house, many people are looking at potential. They know what they want the place to become and probably aren’t afraid to spend thousands of dollars to get there.
With apartments, the current condition is far more important than its future potential. When assessing the value of the place, the first two areas that realtors, inspectors, and buyers will visit are the kitchen and the bathroom. No matter how good you are at home staging, you won’t be able to sell if you fail here.
You should replace the countertops to make a big impression in the kitchen. Countertops are the focal point of any kitchen, meaning they’ll grab the attention of anyone visiting. Keep in mind that most quality countertops don’t come cheap. So, if you’re looking to boost value to sell, you must look for a great ROI. Also, working on a backsplash is always a good and cost-effective idea.
If you plan to completely remodel a bathroom, installing new tiles is the quickest way to get about your business. Working on new storage and improving your vanity is far more cost-effective. Once again, you’re working on the focal point and ensuring all your home improvement work is noticed.
Install new windows
Installing new windows will drastically affect the value of your apartment. First, in an apartment building, you may need to look for a special permit to insulate your walls. Even then, your options may be limited. The entry door will not be exterior, while your floor and ceiling will have other (heated) apartment units on the other end.
In other words, investing in new windows is the only way to drastically improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce energy loss.
This is also a massive design improvement. You must align your furniture with your floor, doors, and window frames. This way, you’re creating a homogenous unit within your home. Ideally, you want to plan for this ahead of time, so if you have already furnished the entire place, look for a frame that will fit.
Lastly, remember that while this is an expensive project, you don’t have nearly as many windows as if you were to live in a house. Not even all your rooms might be outward facing.
The key thing to remember is that there’s a difference between fixing to sell and fixing for quality of life. So, you must first figure out which of the two is your objective. Second, you need to make a budget. Once you have these two, you can proceed to replace fixtures, improve your kitchen, and soundproof the apartment. Just make sure you always stay on track.