Preparing Your Manhattan Townhouse for Sale: Essential Tips

Preparing your townhouse for sale. Essential tips to maximize value - The Sussilleaux Team


In the competitive Manhattan real estate market, preparing your townhouse for sale is crucial to stand out among the competition and maximize its value. This comprehensive guide provides essential tips to enhance your townhouse’s appeal, price it correctly, and market it effectively.

Dina and I have been licensed associate real estate brokers in New York City for over 20 years. We have experienced hundreds of sales, rentals, and investor operations. All this knowledge has given us the expertise to sort through factors involved in townhouse sales, and provide you with the nuggets you need to get you started on your journey.

In my experience I find that unless I’m working with investors who plan on gut renovating a property, clients are extremely influenced on an emotional level by a townhouses’ condition and appearance. While this is generally true in real estate, it is magnified with Manhattan townhouses because so much of the historical appeal and charm stems from its’ appearance.

Enhancing Curb Appeal

The first impression matters when it comes to selling your Manhattan townhouse. By boosting curb appeal, you can create a lasting and positive impact on potential buyers.

As a veteran real estate broker for over 20 years, I find that classic brownstone style building evokes the most reaction from buyers, but no matter what style your home is, there is almost always something you can do to increase curb appeal.

Exterior Maintenance

Maintaining the exterior of your townhouse is vital to improve its appearance. Consider power washing the exterior to remove dirt and grime. Repair or replace any damaged elements, such as shutters, gutters, or roofing. Enhance your property’s landscaping by trimming overgrown plants, adding colorful flowers, and installing outdoor lighting to illuminate walkways.  Be sure that your facing material, brickwork, and stoop is in good condition with no cracks or missing material.

Creating an Inviting Entrance

An attractive entrance can make your townhouse more welcoming to potential buyers. Update your front door with a fresh coat of paint or a modern design. Replace worn house numbers with stylish ones that complement your townhouse’s architecture. Decorate your entryway with potted plants, outdoor furniture, (if applicable), or a welcoming doormat.

Maximizing Interior Appeal

The interior of your Manhattan townhouse plays a significant role in attracting buyers. Follow these steps to create an appealing atmosphere that showcases your townhouse’s full potential.

Declutter and Depersonalize

A clutter-free and neutral environment allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in your townhouse. Remove personal items, such as family photos, collectibles, and excessive decorations. Utilize a temporary storage solution to create a more spacious and organized atmosphere. The goal is to strike a balance between a clean, welcoming space and a blank canvas for buyers to project their own style.

Deep Cleaning and Repairs

A spotless townhouse can make a lasting impression on potential buyers. Hire professional cleaning services to ensure a thorough deep cleaning, including carpets, windows, and hard-to-reach areas. Address minor issues and cosmetic damages, such as peeling paint, squeaky doors, or leaky faucets. Make sure all systems and appliances are in working order to avoid any surprises during inspections.

Staging for Success

Staging can highlight your townhouse’s best features and help potential buyers visualize their future home. Choose furniture and layouts that emphasize spaciousness and functionality. Incorporate appealing colors and accessories to create a cohesive and stylish atmosphere. Consult with a professional stager to maximize the impact of your efforts.

PRO TIP: Staging an empty building

We took over a townhouse listing that hadn’t sold in over a year. The owner was desperate, and although he wasn’t thrilled about the expense of professionally staging key rooms in his empty home, he agreed. Once it was staged we took new photos, and launched an aggressive marketing effort. We had multiple bids on the property, and ultimately it sold for $35,000 over asking price.

Pricing Your Manhattan Townhouse

Setting the right price for your townhouse is crucial to attract buyers and minimize the time it spends on the market.  Dina and I can help you here, providing superior market data and analysis skills. 

Briefly, to effective price a townhouse we look at the neighborhood, the current market, your block, the direction your garden faces, the size of your building in usable square feet, the air rights you have, the condition of your building, the width of your building, the legal configuration of your building, amenities such as roof decks or elevators, the condition of the garden, curb appeal, and many more factors.

For a deeper dive into pricing your townhouse, check out our article: Determining the Market Value of Your Manhattan Townhouse.

Conducting a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

A comparative market analysis (CMA) helps determine your townhouse’s value by analyzing similar properties and recent sales in your area. Evaluate current market trends and adjust your pricing strategy based on your townhouse’s unique features and location. Remember, overpricing may deter potential buyers, while underpricing can lead to a lower return on your investment.

PRO TIP: Townhouse comps vs apartment comps

Comps are always useful, but unlike apartments, every townhouse building is unique. In a 400 unit high rise building, you can bet that 25A, 17A, and 27A, all with the exact same floor plan, will comp out similarly – the primary variables being condition and the height in the building. On the other hand, even townhouses that look alike on the outside differ widely in layout, condition and quality.

Working with a Real Estate Agent

A knowledgeable real estate broker, like Michael or Dina, is an essential resource in pricing and marketing your Manhattan townhouse. We can leverage our experience, expertise, local market knowledge, and network of real estate professionals to develop an effective pricing strategy.

Moreover, our expertise in marketing, sales, and negotiating offers ensure a smooth selling process.

Marketing Your Townhouse Effectively

An effective marketing strategy can increase your townhouse’s visibility and attract more potential buyers.

Take a deep dive into marketing with our article: Effective Marketing Strategies for Manhattan Townhouses.

High-Quality Photography and Virtual Tours

Your real estate agent should invest in professional photography to showcase your townhouse’s best features and make it stand out online. High-quality images can emphasize your townhouse’s unique selling points and create an emotional connection with potential buyers. In addition, consider creating immersive virtual tours to offer a convenient and interactive experience for online viewers.

In my experience there is no stronger marketing tool than great visuals to entice buyers to view your property.

Compelling Property Descriptions

Great property descriptions tell a story and pique the interest of potential buyers. We craft property descriptions that highlight your townhouse’s unique selling points, such as architectural details, recent upgrades, or luxurious amenities. Our property descriptions include neighborhood attractions and conveniences, such as parks, shopping, cultural destinations, and public transportation. We emphasize the benefits of Manhattan townhouse living, such as privacy, outdoor space, and the charm of a historic property.

Leveraging Digital and Traditional Marketing Channels

The Sussilleaux Team tilizes online listing platforms, social media, and search engine optimization to increase your townhouse’s visibility among potential buyers. We network with local real estate colleagues and potential buyers to spread the word about your property.

Taking into consideration of what is appropriate for your situation, we host open houses and private showings to provide a firsthand experience of your townhouse’s unique features and atmosphere.


Thorough preparation is key to a successful and smooth selling process in Manhattan’s competitive real estate market. By enhancing curb appeal, maximizing interior appeal, pricing your townhouse correctly, and marketing it effectively, you can increase the chances of attracting the right buyers and securing the best possible offer.

Further Reading

You can return to The Complete Guide to Manhattan Townhouses, go to the preceding article from the Buying Manhattan Townhouse series; The Role of Your Real Estate Agent in Buying Manhattan Townhouses,, or read the next article in the Selling your townhouse series: Determining the Market Value of Your Manhattan Townhouse

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the key factors to consider when preparing a Manhattan townhouse for sale?

When preparing a Manhattan townhouse for sale, it’s important to consider several key factors. First, ensure that the property is in good condition, addressing any necessary repairs and maintenance. This may include fixing leaky faucets, repairing damaged flooring, or addressing any structural issues. Second, focus on decluttering and depersonalizing the space to make it more appealing to potential buyers. Removing personal items and organizing storage areas can make the townhouse look more spacious and inviting. Lastly, consider working with a professional stager and real estate agent to showcase the property’s best features and market it effectively to the right audience.

How can I increase the curb appeal of my Manhattan townhouse?

Increasing the curb appeal of your Manhattan townhouse can significantly impact a potential buyer’s first impression. Start by cleaning the exterior, including windows, doors, and any outdoor spaces. Invest in fresh paint, if needed, and ensure that the property’s facade is well-maintained. Additionally, enhance the entryway with potted plants or attractive lighting, and keep the sidewalk clean and well-kept. If you have outdoor spaces, such as a patio or garden, make sure they are well-maintained and inviting.

What are some effective staging tips for showcasing the best features of a Manhattan townhouse?

Effective staging can highlight the best features of your Manhattan townhouse and create a welcoming atmosphere for potential buyers. Start by decluttering and depersonalizing the space, which allows buyers to envision themselves living in the home. Arrange furniture to optimize flow and create a sense of openness, making sure not to overcrowd rooms. Use neutral colors and accents to appeal to a wide range of tastes and styles. Incorporate adequate lighting to showcase the property’s best features and make the space feel warm and inviting. Don’t forget to highlight unique elements, such as fireplaces, built-in shelving, or architectural details, which can help your townhouse stand out in the competitive Manhattan market.

How can a real estate agent help me price and market my Manhattan townhouse for sale?

A real estate agent can provide invaluable assistance in pricing and marketing your Manhattan townhouse. They have extensive knowledge of the local market and can help you set a competitive price based on comparable sales and current market trends. An experienced agent can also create a customized marketing plan to target the right buyers, utilizing professional photography, virtual tours, and targeted advertising. Additionally, they can leverage their network of contacts and utilize various listing platforms to maximize your property’s exposure to potential buyers.

What are some of the challenges in selling a townhouse in Manhattan?

Selling a townhouse in Manhattan can present several challenges due to the competitive and high-paced nature of the real estate market. Some of the challenges include pricing the property appropriately, differentiating your townhouse from other properties on the market, and navigating the complexities of New York City’s real estate regulations and procedures. Additionally, preparing the property for sale, including addressing any necessary repairs and staging the space effectively, can be time-consuming and costly. Market fluctuations and buyer preferences can also impact the sale process, potentially leading to longer-than-expected time on the market or necessitating price adjustments. Working with an experienced real estate agent can help you navigate these challenges and position your townhouse for a successful sale in the competitive Manhattan market.

Michael Sussilleaux

Michael Sussilleaux

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

M: 917.647.1464

Dina Sussilleaux

Dina Sussilleaux

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

M 917.324.6158