Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh boy.
It is such a big decision and so nerve-wracking! Am I making the right choice? Is it the right time in the market? Will I get an offer I am happy with? EEEEEEE!! I have no need to sell, I just feel it is a good time in my life to move into a larger place and explore living in a new area of the city. Not to mention my 5 year locked-in mortgage just ended so I can exit my mortgage for a very low fee, which gives me lots of flexibility that I didn't have before.
The condo buying process will hopefully be fun, but also nerve-wracking for a lot of other reasons. However I am not even dealing with that until I sell. There is a pretty big debate over whether to buy or sell first, but I am unsure of the market in my area for studio condos so I am much more comfortable selling and then looking into buying. I may end up homeless for a bit but my Dad lives on the GO train line and I have friends with couches for the odd night in the city. So I have options!
So yes, selling zee condo. I promised to share the process on here and the first step of the process is staging! My condo is really tight at only 9.5' wide, so it is critical to make it feel more open and spacious. This meant paring down on things on the wall, decor items, and other "cluttery" items. I love my clutter, but it doesn't help show off how big this place can feel!
I convinced my friend Veronica (through offers of sushi) to lend me some boxes and help me declutter the condo. I love my condo the way it was so I needed some outside eyes to help me choose what items to move to storage. I think we did a great job! It was a LOT more work than I bargained for, though. I was shocked how much stuff ended up in the locker- it is stuffed to the brim!
One of the things that sure adds up is all the little repairs. I spent last night filling a bunch of tiny nail holes and painting over them. The worst thing was realizing my leftover paint was at the BACK of the locker, after tetrising all that stuff in!! I also continue to bring more and more to the locker (I know...) because I assume buyers will open the closet and cupboards and I need the insides to look spacious too.
Here are my tips for staging a tiny condo:
- Remove everything "personal", like pictures of your friends and family
- Replace any worn out items. I got myself a new rug for the front hall from Linen Chest!
- Clear clutter off table tops and counters
- Remove any unnecessary furniture. I folded down my table and just left out my new Luxe chair from Structube because it has very little visual weight. I think this shows people that there is an option for a table/desk without taking up space. I also moved my turquoise Ikea rolling rack and the table from my front hall to the locker
- Go through closets, cupboards and drawers to clean things up and give the illusion of lots of storage
- Clean the windows! Let the light in!
- Clean, clean, clean everything else
- Patch up any damage to walls. I had a few nail holes and some scrapes and smudges on the walls so I fixed it all up and repainted. When you have a small space those little things make a big difference in the overall appearance of the place.
- Create a visual flow. When I stored a bunch of my stuff I ended up with a new turquoise items. I think that one subtle accent colour repeated throughout an other wise white and grey condo helps the space feel spacious and simple.
- Create a welcoming entry way. I don't have much call in my condo's "curb appeal", so I kept the front hall nice, open and clean. I pared down the furniture and added a new rug. In the hallway I highlighted the chalkboard wall with a graphic of my address.
- Take bright photos and beware the wide angle lens. I did have to use my wide angle for the full condo shot and the hallway, but otherwise I did my best to avoid it. I hate listings with wide angle photos because you can totally tell. I don't think I am going to fool anyone into thinking I live in a mansion; I just want to highlight that you can live very comfortably here
I think I got everything on that list done, so now all I have left to do is sell the condo!
And yes, you might be able to make out where I live now, but I figure the listing will be public so you guys could have figured it out anyway! Plus you all know that I have nice taste, but own nothing of value (please don't rob me).