I once worked as the jobsite superintendent on a 22-building, 282-unit condominium project, having a sales model building of 12 units, with 5 of the units being furnished and decorated sales models, and the remaining 7 units being empty inventory units.
The 7 non-model units could not be occupied until the end of the project, when the entire sales models and sales office complex was converted into regular production units for sale.
The point here is to point out that the builder needs to budget for the amount of work that is required to bring the non-models, which may have sat empty for a few years while the project was in construction, up to the level of the quality that is standard for the other new units.
On this particular project, the 7 non-models sat empty for three years. The enamel paint on the interior doors and jambs turned yellow in many of the rooms, and the exterior doorknob hardware became badly corroded. The builder had not anticipated the expense of having to repaint large portions of the interiors of all of the 7 non-model units, along with many other minor repairs.
Each project is different. A 250-unit housing tract with 5 sales models will fence off the 5 models and complete the production units for occupancy.
A 100-unit, three-story condominium building that is one long connected structure with an open courtyard, for example, will have a sales office and sales models on the first floor, while the rest of the units in the complex will be occupied as they are sold.
At the completion of these projects no empty non-model units need repair at the time of the conversion of the sales models.
A 12-unit condominium building, for example, containing 5 furnished and decorated sales models and 7 empty non-models, cannot sell and occupy the 7 non-model units because of the conditions surrounding the sales models complex, including trap fencing, sales models signs, and landscaping potted plants in the streets as barriers to control automobile traffic.
The sales models complex for this type of project is thus different from the sales models for other projects in terms of how to handle the empty non-model units.