Sweat the Small Stuff When Selling Your Winnetka Home

Real Estate Agent with Baird & Warner Real Estate

Sweat the Small Stuff When Selling Your Winnetka Home

I know that not all sellers want to to do an all-out staging of their home - they feel their homes are in good shape, show well, and are updated.  So they go ahead and list their homes for sale but overlook the "small stuff."  Those things that take little time or money to fix but are glaringly obvious to the potential buyer.

Here's what I mean.  These photos were taken during a Tuesday morning broker's tour of homes in the area.  In otherwise nice homes, these flaws are out in the open yet cheap to fix - buyers will discount for them because they show a lack of attention to detail.  So they start wondering. "what else might be wrong with the house?"


Dirty stairs


Cracked bricks

Just a little paint, a little mortar and these issues can be cleared up in one weekend.  Don't put your Winnetka house on the market without attending to these small things.Call me when you're ready to put your house on the market - I'll advise you on all the stages involved in selling your home - and I'll even sweat the small stuff for you.


Posted by

Margaret Goss - Winnetka and North Shore Real Estate Broker
Specializing in homes for sale in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, and Evanston.

Looking for a knowledgeable Illinois Realtor?  Google me! 

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Peg Barcelo
Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369 - Summerland, BC
The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC

Can you say Mr. Clean magic eraser? Or maybe some nice new paint...

Mar 01, 2011 09:34 AM #3
Kevin Kueneke
Caliber Home Loans - Encinitas, CA
San Diego Mortgage Banker

one of my agents was having trouble selling one of her listings, but could not afford a full-blown staging.  instead, they re-painted the baseboards (to hide the vacuum scuffs) and replaced the outlet covers.  what a simple yet effective difference.

Mar 01, 2011 11:04 AM #4
Brian Doubleday
Brian Doubleday - IML RealEstate - Orange County, CA Broker - Ladera Ranch, CA
Ladera Ranch, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo
This is a great idea, good example how a little can go a Long way
Mar 01, 2011 11:06 AM #5
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Margaret - There are dollars in the details--and lack of attention to the small stuff will likely result in a smaller net to sellers.

Mar 01, 2011 11:45 AM #6
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Margaret -- So so true.  You can pay me now...or you can pay me later -- as the old saying goes.  Correcting deferred maintenance, staging, even cosmetic improvements and renovations when necessary can increase a seller's financial net versus burying your head in the sand and opting for a price reduction.

Mar 01, 2011 11:45 AM #7
Brian Sharkey
SharkeyRE LLC - Port St Lucie, FL
SharkeyRE - #SouthFloridaBroker

you get what you pay for and your worth every penny, great blog thanks for sharing.

Mar 01, 2011 12:03 PM #8
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Yes this is a good example of what can be done to enhance your property at a reasonable cost.  It's so worth it!


Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Mar 01, 2011 12:36 PM #9
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Margaret -- You're right. A little paint and a little mortar would have gone a long way here.  Buyers eyes are drawn to issues like these  In their minds the impression it gives is one of concern and thinking that well, if they can't fix this, imagine all the other things that are neglected in this house.

Mar 01, 2011 01:00 PM #10
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

How right you are! And most of those repairs aren't even very expensive. I totally get it that a lot of folks can't paint the whole house or buy new furniture, but anyone can do the "little" things.


Mar 01, 2011 01:52 PM #11
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Margaret~  It really is the little things that make a big difference!  Some sellers just won't listen and learn the hard way!

Mar 01, 2011 01:55 PM #12
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

These inexpensive fixes should not be overlooked.  It is easy and inexpensive to take care of these items ahead of time.

Mar 01, 2011 01:57 PM #13
Marian Goetzinger
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC

Oh, the impact those little things can make!  Great points. 

Mar 01, 2011 01:57 PM #14
Navona Hart
Real Living Cornerstone - Farmville, VA
Selling the Best Properties in CentralVirginia

small details, big results, exactly what I was thinking, EVERY day.  Way to make people think.

Mar 01, 2011 02:57 PM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad


I love the title, and the double meaning of this post. It is so true. And people really notice these little things AND they often become bigger issues. So much of this is easy to take care of, or to pay someone to do so.

Sellers need to take a strong hint.


Mar 01, 2011 03:29 PM #16
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Margaret, Seemingly small stuff that ends up costing sellers BIG dollars.

Mar 01, 2011 03:38 PM #17
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Sellers need to take a close look at their house with a magnifying glass.  The small stuff can have a huge impact for buyers who want a perfect, move in ready home.  They don't want scuffed paint or broken mortar.

Mar 01, 2011 04:54 PM #18
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Great advice in your to-the-point post. How could someone list with such marked up stair treads...soap is cheap and water is free!

Congrats on feature.

Mar 01, 2011 05:17 PM #19
Barb Van Stensel
Chicago, IL

Excellent points.  I use photos like these to illustrate in my listing presentations of a staged home (before and after) and ask the seller's which one would they prefer the most?  Same holds true with the "Honey, to do list".  Simple fixes will stop the potential buyer from being distracted from what would/could be an awesome home for them.

Congrats on the featured.  Well deserved.

Mar 02, 2011 12:35 AM #20
Steve Smither
People's Home Equity - Palatine, IL

So so true especially in a nicer neighborhood like Winnetka.

Mar 02, 2011 08:33 AM #21
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

To all who commented:

I just realized today (3/4) that my post had been featured or that I had received any comments!  So sorry for not responding sooner - I never received even one email notication.  Must be an AR glitch.

Mar 04, 2011 07:05 AM #22
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Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
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