Living in an Ash Street Cooperative Home in Park Forest, Illinois is a unique experience. Cooperative living creates a sense of community and old school neighborly friendship that tends to capture your heart for many years of residency. But there are times in life when our situation changes, requiring a move. Maybe your job got transferred out of state, maybe your family has expanded, requiring more room to spread out, and maybe you're just ready for change. Regardless of the reason why, Ash Street's goal is to support your selling efforts by providing simple ways you can prepare your coop for sale.
The simplest way to prepare your co-op for sale is to thoroughly clean up. Nothing will send a prospective buyer running faster than a dirty home. As soon as you place your co-op up for sale, clean your home thoroughly. Get the whole family involved so the clean-up lasts long term. Then, before scheduling a walk thru with a prospective buyer, tidy up even more. Clean the bathroom and kitchen (which tend to be the most impactful rooms of the house), vacuum, dust, take out the garbage, etc... Whatever you do to clean it, make sure you clean it well. Keep in mind that having a clean home could be the difference between landing the sale and not.
Remove Clutter and Organize
Another impactful step in preparing your coop for sale is to de-clutter and organize your space. Clutter can make a room feel smaller. It can prevent a prospective buyer from seeing the home in its entirety (think hidden floor space, counter space and wall space). In addition, because clutter is so personal to the home owner, it can be challenging for prospective buyers to picture their own lives inside the home after purchase.
Start by boxing up knick-knacks, gadgets, and other unessential household items that will likely not be needed until after you move into your new home elsewhere. Remove items from the walls, tackle any paperwork piles, discard trash, and sort through clothing (possibly donating clothes that you no longer need or want). Then, store these boxes of extras in your cooperative basement or rent a small storage unit. This not only helps prepare your home for buyer walk-thrus but it also helps reduce the amount of packing prior to moving day.
Stage Your Home
If possible, consider staging your home. Staging is the art of placing simple, clean furniture in a neat fashion that appeals to a general audience and simplifies the look of your space. Let's say your living room couch is hot pink and your lounge chair is lime green. Those very specific, bold colors may not appeal to a buyer who prefers neutral tones.
Try as they might, it's extremely hard for buyers to visualize themselves in the home if they don't resonate with the furniture, even though logically, they know the furniture will be gone. Contracting with a staging company can be helpful in bringing in neutral furniture that can help attract more buyers. Consider trying it.
Touch Up Paint
Most people are not interested in completely painting their old home before heading out. However, years of average wear and tear can do a number on a paint job. If possible, consider touching up the paint in areas of your wall or ceiling that have been bumped or bruised. If necessary, you may want to perform wall repairs first, then touch up the paint. If you don't have the original paint, or if the fresh paint color is too far off now because of so many years difference, you may want to bite the bullet and paint the entire room. If you do, make sure it is a neutral color. Best of all, consider white in a matte or egg shell sheen. White walls make a room look bigger and brighter and is likely to compliment every décor style.
Such a simple act can be so easily overlooked. Prospective buyers are likely stressed out and tired from looking at many possible home options. If those buyers are greeted at the door with a smile and friendly conversation, they are more likely to positively remember your home above all others simply because of the way you made them feel.
On the contrary, if they're presented with a bad attitude or impatience from the seller, their likely to leave with the impression that moving forward with the sale would be problematic, or at minimum, not fun at all. As Members of a housing cooperative (think cooperation...), we have the power to positively impact the potential buyers experience right from the start with a simple smile.
While this isn't an exhaustive list of tips on how to prepare your housing cooperative for sale, it certainly will make a huge difference when it comes time for selling. Give your prospective buyers a reason to call you back. Clean up the house, de-clutter, have a great attitude and watch how quickly your co-op sells!
If you're not a current Member of Ash Street Housing Cooperative and would like more information, please give the office a call. We'd be happy to share with you all the incredible benefits of co-op membership and schedule a walk thru of one of our for sale units.