84% of Americans believe that buying a home is a good financial decision. But if you’re buying into a condo or a co-op, your unit alone doesn’t determine how well your home will appreciate or sell in the future. How well maintained your building is and the amenities provided all have an impact—positive or negative—on your potential ability to sell and grow value on your home.
If your building is thinking about investing in upgrades or new amenities, it doesn’t always take a big overhaul to add value to the property. Take these tips and examples from Mallory Brown Bogard, a New York real estate broker whose team advised and transacted on over $100M in deals in 2021.
Refresh the lobby and hallways
First impressions are important. Every prospective buyer will enter through a building’s lobby and hallways. If they look drab or dated, it can affect a buyer’s perspective on the building. Brown Bogard shared a story about a recent prime-location co-op that should have flown—but didn’t. After over 70 showings in the first month, her team kept hearing “I just wish the building felt better kept.” She adds that “the same apartment in a better kept building would have sold for at least $100,000 more, so what I tried to tell the neighbors/board is: while you may think it doesn't affect you, when you want to sell and this is your building's most recent comp, it will affect you.”
Get a dedicated maintenance team
Brown Bogard advises to get a porter who visits the building regularly, cleans, and takes care of upkeep including taking out the trash and recycling. Regardless of whether a building is self-managed or using a management company, prospective buyers have come to expect these basic amenities. “The old school co-op ‘chore’ list where everyone takes turns taking out trash on trash days is of days past,” says Brown Bogard. “Most of my clients won’t consider a building set up like this.”
Fob or cell phone access can be a big selling point. Updating the building’s entry system so that residents and staff don’t need physical keys is not only convenient, it can improve building security by allowing access to be granted or revoked electronically. Make a plan for packages
In the age of Amazon Prime, buyers care about how packages are handled and stored. Frequently, packages are just placed inside the front door of a building, making them vulnerable to theft. Brown Bogard recently sold a condo that had turned a small closet into a package room with fob access, so even if a thief followed someone into the building they still couldn’t access the closet. “This is an excellent option when there’s no doorman,” she advises.
Create an inviting outdoor space
In cities like New York, outdoor space is a huge value add. But even if you have common outdoor space, it doesn’t stop there. Invest in meeting the space’s full potential with lighting, a grill, furniture, and landscaping. “Even if the owners feel they don’t use it often, having it as an option is desired,” says Brown Bogard.
Many of these amenities are not major endeavors. You don’t necessarily need to build out a brand new rooftop or an entertainment center to add meaningful value to your building. But, smart updates can matter, now and into the future. Brown Bogard advises owners to think about these investments as appreciation for the future, even if they aren’t planning on selling soon. “ Any sale in a building will be built on with appreciation, even for theirs in the future.”
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