Preparing Your NYC Condominium for Sale

Preparing Your NYC Condominium for Sale

Comprehensive Guide to Preparing Your NYC Condominium for Sale

Getting your New York City condominium ready for the market is a process that requires meticulous planning and execution. With the right strategies, you can attract potential buyers and secure a profitable sale.

In our 20 plus year career as NYC real estate brokers, Dina and I know firsthand the importance of properly preparing your condominium for sale such that it shines in the brightest light possible, and attracts the largest pool of qualified buyers. 

It is perhaps more interesting to know what NOT to do, and I will be sharing personal experiences Dina and I have had throughout this article. 

Getting Started: The Initial Assessment

We recommend that the first step in preparing your condo for sale is to conduct an initial assessments to objectively determine the current state of your condo.

This is particularly important in large buildings with many similar units on the market at any one time. Any edge you can have in “curb appeal” brings you one step closer to the best possible outcome. 

Conducting a Detailed Home Inspection

A home inspection allows you to understand what potential issues might deter buyers or negatively impact your listing price.

Look out for plumbing issues, electrical system malfunctions, HVAC problems, or structural concerns. How are the windows, doors, closet hardware, lighting fixtures and appliances?

Dealing with these in advance can significantly increase your condo’s market appeal.

Understanding Unique Characteristics of NYC Condos

Many New York City condos come with unique features, like pre-war architecture or specific building amenities. Recognize and highlight these differentiating features; it’s part of what makes your condo distinct.

Enhancing Your Condo’s Appeal: Repairs and Renovations

Next, turn your attention to enhancing the visual and functional appeal of your condo.

Identifying Necessary Repairs

Don’t overlook minor issues. Leaky faucets, chipped paint, or squeaky doors might seem insignificant but can make a considerable impact on a buyer’s first impression.

PRO TIP: Everything is important, no matter how small

We were working with a condo buyer a few years back.  We went into one unit in a beautiful building with stunning views of the Hudson River. 

As she checked the cabinets and closets, doors stuck, handles were loose, and one folding closet door actually came off the track and fell on the floor. 

Needless to say, she passed on this unit. 

Had the seller spent several hundred dollars to fix these little issues, he stood to make thousands more in selling price.  He didn’t understand that the message you send with little problems is:

“if something this small is broken, what else is wrong that may be a major problem?”

Effect of Modern Upgrades on Your Condo’s Value

Modern upgrades can significantly boost your condo’s value. Consider refreshing your bathroom fixtures or upgrading kitchen appliances. Smart home features like programmable thermostats and energy-efficient lighting are also desirable in the NYC market.

For some great ideas on turning a $1,000 investment into $10,000 or more of profit on your sale, you will want to read our article: How to Boost Your Condominium’s Value by $10,000 with Just a $1,000 Investment

Planning Beneficial Renovations for NYC Condos

Think about renovations that add value. Creating an open floor plan, updating bathrooms, and renovating kitchens are projects that typically yield a high return on investment.

Proceed carefully with any renovation.  You don’t want to over-renovate and not get your money back, nor do you want to make the place so much better that you regret leaving!

I recommend that you ask Dina or I to come by and take a look at your apartment and discuss your plans.  We have 20 plus years of experience, and the expertise to know what works and what doesn’t. 

Staging Your NYC Condo to Impress

Staging is a powerful tool in your sales strategy.

Case Study: The brown rooms


We had a client who was a retired television actor living in Brooklyn.  He lived alone, and had his own take on decorating an apartment. 

The Problem:

He painted every wall in every room a deep chocolate brown.  (And his place was a mess)  He was convinced that his apartment radiated warmth and comfort. 

The Turning Point

We agreed to conduct an initial open house with the apartment “as-is”.  Since he was a professional actor, we invited him to pretend he was a buyer and observe the open house in person. And if, after the open house, the reaction was poor he would do it our way and repaint the unit white, and declutter the apartment. 


We held the open house, and there were people who came to the front door and literally turned on their heels when they were face to face with chocolate brown everywhere.  Other buyers came in and mercilessly joked about how bad it was. 

15 minutes into the open house our seller exited.  A week later the apartment was painted antique white, and he got rid of all the junk in the apartment.  We had three offers that second open house and sold the apartment for $10,000 over the asking price. 

The Power of Decluttering and Depersonalizing

Decluttering creates a sense of spaciousness, and depersonalizing allows potential buyers to visualize themselves in the space. Pack away personal items like family photos and eclectic decor pieces. The idea is to provide a blank canvas that the buyer can project their belongings onto creating a sense that this is their home. 

Staging Tips to Maximize Space Perception

Choose furniture that fits the scale of your condo and arrange it to showcase each room’s functionality. Use mirrors to give an illusion of more space, and ensure there’s plenty of light to make your condo feel airy and welcoming.

PRO TIP: Less is more

In staging, less is a lot more.  Your home is now a sales center first, and your home second.  You don’t need all those chairs, cabinets, bookshelves, end tables, ottomans, recliners …etc.  The idea is that you want to present a canvas on which buyers can superimpose their furniture and decorations. 

Showcasing Your Condo: High-Quality Listing Assets

To attract buyers, you’ll need to showcase your condo in the best light possible.

We may be the greatest salespeople of all time, but if no one comes through the door, there won’t be any sale!

Importance of Professional Photography

Professional photographs make your online listing stand out. A professional knows how to highlight your condo’s best features and use lighting to your advantage.

Professional photos wont be a problem for you since, like all reputable brokers, we bring in a professional photographer as a service to you as our seller. 

Leveraging Virtual Tours and Floor Plans

Virtual tours and floor plans provide potential buyers with an immersive experience of your condo. In a competitive market like NYC, these assets can give you an edge.

I don’t necessarily recommend virtual tours for everyone.  The idea is to get real people through the door, not them watching on the Internet.  The time virtual tours are most effective is when your condo is in a building popular with foreign investors and pied-a-terre residents.  They’re overseas, and they regularly buy properties sight unseen. 

Conclusion: Preparing Your NYC Condo for a Successful Sale

Preparing your NYC condo for sale might seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning, attention to detail, and strategic staging, you’ll be well-equipped to attract buyers and achieve a successful sale.

Good luck!

Where to next?

Continue on to the next article in the Selling Your NYC Condominium – A Step-by-Step Guide section: How to Boost Your Condominium’s Value by $10,000 with Just a $1,000 Investment.  To return to the previous article in the series, click HERE.

You can jump directly to the main page for all our informative articles concerning condominiums HERE.

Do you have any questions?  Feel free to reach out to Michael and Dina to discuss your situation with you and address any questions you may have about real estate. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some specific staging tips for NYC condos?

Lighting is crucial for NYC condos. Increase the amount of light in your condo with additional fixtures, mirrors, and light curtains. Furniture should be proportional to the room size to avoid making spaces feel cramped.

How can I enhance the perceived space of my NYC condo?

Decluttering and smart furniture arrangement can significantly enhance perceived space. Mirrors can also give an illusion of depth, making your condo feel larger.

What type of renovations are most beneficial when selling a condo in NYC?

Kitchen and bathroom upgrades typically offerthe best return on investment. Also consider renovations that add perceived space or improve functionality, such as creating an open floor plan.

How important is professional photography for my condo listing?

Professional photography is essential for online listings. High-quality photos capture the attention of potential buyers and can make your condo stand out in a competitive market.

What legal considerations should I keep in mind when selling a condo in NYC?

In NYC, you must provide a property condition disclosure statement, or pay a credit at closing. You might also need to comply with specific building regulations. Working with an experienced real estate agent or attorney can help ensure you meet all legal requirements.

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