Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo
By Clara Hardin
Competition for grabbing a tenant´s or buyer’s attention is at an all-time high. Our market has changed. Buyers want as much value as possible for the price they are willing to pay. With record levels of inventory in Casco Antiguo, the “price point” must feel right. To get your best price, how your property shows matters. In the perfect scenario, a buyer walks in and says, “Wow!!!” We call it the smile factor: if a buyer or a tenant walks in, relaxes and smiles, then we know it is “true”.
You have probably done it yourself as a buyer: calculate the cost to put a property in the shape you want then subtract from the asking price. In the USA, sellers are encouraged to put their properties in as like new condition as they can afford, as every fix or change the buyer will need to do, for sure will be reduced from the ideal price.
With more choices in all price ranges, buyers are looking for the best value which also means, in the best condition. If you are on a tight budget, fix the most glaring negatives. Paint is your best ally. If you can´t, then scrub and clean. Better no furniture to old furniture. Are there dark areas? Replace burnt out light bulbs, add light, and consider replacing dated light fixtures. How do the tile floors look? Make them shine. SARS has two products that work well at a reasonable cost. How do the kitchen and bathroom sinks look? Dated? Replace both the sink and fixtures. Regardless of budget, make sure the apartment is clean including all closets (get rid of old stuff you never use), drawers and cabinets. Drawer liners do a lot for older cabinetry. And the #1 “must do” is to fix leaks, termite damage along with other glaring situations that are readily visible. Make sure wooden doors and windows look alright, preventive fumigation helps save a lot of fixing afterwards.
As they say, “first impressions…” How does the façade of your building look? The halls and stairway to your apartment? An important thing you can do as an owner is to push the building Board or Administration to keep those areas clean and painted. Regardless of whether you are selling or renting, it is crucial that the building reflects the love of owners. If not, your price will be knocked down because the experience of a buyer starts from the moment they see and enter the building to the moment they leave it.
How does your front door look? Very important, is it easy to open the front door? If not, call a locksmith or replace the lock. Try to achieve the “Wow Factor.” If you can do this, it can shorten the time it takes to sell and improves your chances to compete even in a tough market.