Preparing to sell your Naperville home can be daunting.
On top of the many challenges of preparing the home and the documents, you also have to think of your competition.
Other sellers are also taking measures to ensure that their houses look great and appealing to buyers.
How do you compete in such a tight market?
First, you have to make sure your home is the best, both in price and appeal.
The next steps? You’ll find it all here in this guide to sell your Naperville house successfully.
Step 1. Price it right!
One of the most difficult decisions you have to make as a seller is knowing how much to sell your house for.
Price, along with the condition of the home, are the two major factors that determine the success (or failure) of your home selling journey.
Price it too high and it may not sell. Price it too low and you’ll end up losing money.
How do you set the value of your home? Take advice from the Property Brothers on HGTV about pricing your house.
What are some takeaways from the video?
1. Don’t overprice. Buyers are smart, well-informed and have access to a lot of information, thanks to online listings.
They’ll know you’ve overpriced the house and it will end up ignored and get stale. Eventually, you’ll be forced to chase the market price down.
A familiar quote in real estate says:
“Price it right, it stays overnight. Price it wrong, it stays on too long.”
2. Do your research! Never price your home without understanding what’s going on in the local market. This is where your Realtor® can really help.
Your agent can prepare a Comparative Market Analysis so you can be properly informed before deciding on a listing price.
Using data from the comparables (a list of recently sold homes of similar size, structure and price as yours) can tell you exactly how much other buyers are willing to pay for the properties.
But don’t ignore active listings as well because they tell you what your competition is priced at.
Doing research will also tell you what type of market your house is in right now.
Is it a seller’s market or a buyer’s market? If it is a seller’s market, you’re in luck! You’ll likely receive multiple offers and sell your home fast.
3. Factor in your selling strategy. Are you planning to sell the house soon or are you willing to wait for the right offer?
If you intend to sell as soon as possible, dropping the price by 5% can get you multiple offers. These multiple offers will drum up the prices, so you can still sell the home for a good price.
Step 2. Get the best agent
If you’re torn between FSBO (For Sale by Owner) and getting the help of an agent, consider this: Statistics show your home can be sold for a higher price if you sell it with a Realtor®.
According to the National Association of Realtor®'s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average FSBO sales price was $185,000, while the average price for homes represented by an agent was $245,000.
That's a $60,000 difference!
Why hire a Realtor®? Because home selling is a time-consuming process!
Aside from preparing the home doing repairs and improvements, you also have to market it, get it ready for home inspections, do home showings and go over a mountain of legal documents!
If you have a job, it can be difficult to do all that.
That’s why you need a real estate agent, and the best one at that.
Since there are many real estate agents in Naperville it can be tempting to just choose the first one you met and use his or her services. Please don’t do that.
Instead, consider the value of the home you want to list.
Your home is probably your biggest financial investment, so you need to put some extra effort to find the right agent.
Check out my three-step process in looking for the best agent.
1. Create a shortlist of agents in your area. Get personal recommendations from family, friends, coworkers, etc. Search online for agents with a strong internet presence.
Did you know that nine out of ten home buyers use the internet as their first source of information?
Look for the agent with a solid internet presence to ensure that your listing will show up in the right places online.
2. Talk to them. Interview each of them and ask your prepared questions.
Learn about their marketing style. Check if they have a strong online presence.
3. Choose the best agent. Pick the one who has the experience, skills and delivers the answers you need.
You want an agent you can trust, someone who listens and who you’re comfortable with.
I can write down a long list of reasons why you should work with me, but I’d rather have my previous clients speak for me. Please visit http://www.DowntownNapervilleHomesForSale.com/reviews/ to see the kind of service I provide my clients.
Also, check out http://www.DowntownNapervilleHomesForSale.com/about/
to get to know me better.
Step 3. Make the necessary repairs
Buyers will pay top dollar for a move-in ready home.
If you want buyers to love your Naperville home for sale, it must be in the best condition possible.
Taking care of repairs and defects is the best way to get your place move-in ready.
While there is no limit to the number of repairs you can make, you also have to consider your budget.
Be smart and find out the most effective repairs that are good for both your pocket and the home’s ROI.
Here are some of the most common repairs to consider before putting your house for sale.
- Fix any leaks in the roof.
- Replace any missing shingles.
- Patch cement cracks in sidewalks.
- Fix leaking faucets and dripping toilers.
- Re-apply the caulking around toilets and sinks.
- Replace chipped and broken tiles.
- Replace all hardware and fixtures like knobs and cabinet handles.
- Fix broken windows and damage screens.
- Patch and fill any holes or scruff marks on the walls.
- Touch up all the baseboards.
Don’t forget to paint!
Giving your interior and exterior a fresh coat of paint will do wonders for its look. The right paint color can make your interior bright and spacious. It can make your exterior look great and inviting.
This list is meant to be a general guide. Please remember that each house is different.
Always consult with your agent before doing repairs and updates.
A good Realtor® will walk through your home and give you a list of all the repairs and improvements your home needs.
Step 4. Improvements and Updates
Repairs will get the home in good condition, but when you want to sell fast, updates and improvements can make your house more enticing to buyers.
Not all updates are appealing to buyers, nor to your pocket.
Some improvements are not practical and have very little return. Before you go knocking down walls or adding storage spaces, consult with your agent.
Take a look at the five best updates that gives good returns.
Minor kitchen upgrade.
As the heart of the home, the kitchen is the most important room to update.
But you don’t have to spend thousands to update it.
Here’s a great video from HGTV that shows how to update your kitchen for less than $500.
Update the bathroom.
Another prime spot to renovate is the bathroom.
Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs Value 2017 report says that you only get a 64.8% ROI for a major beautification project, but a minor $100 update would give you a much higher ROI.
Here’s how you can update the bathroom on a budget.
Sometimes, homeowners focus too much on the inside, but you need to remember that buyers form their first impression within 20 seconds, and that’s while they are still outside the house.
So you better make sure that you clean the front yard, prune the shrubs, mow the lawn, and add some colorful plants to make your front yard look more welcoming.
Check out these budget-friendly landscaping ideas from Lowe’s Home Improvement.
This home update has been on top of the list of Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs Value for two years now, and it has an impressive ROI of 107.7%.
If you want to ensure you get back every penny you spend on an update, this is the one you should go for.
Entry door replacement
With a whopping 90.7% ROI, this update is both practical and adds value to the house. Who doesn’t want that?
Here’s a tip to remember when doing updates: It should be consistent with the quality and style of the home.
Top-of-the-line kitchen appliances won’t really appeal to the buyer if your kitchen floors are still in a leftover from the 70’s.
Step 5. Make the first impression count!
Buyers form their first impressions within seconds after seeing the house. As sellers, we must make sure that their first impression of your house is fantastic!
How do we achieve that? Wayfair.com shares some budget-friendly tips for great curb appeal.
You don’t need to spend a lot to make a good first impression. You just need to be a little creative and add some color to your front yard.
Check out this video which shows before and after photos of homes after improving their curb appeal.
Those after photos are impressive, enticing and really appealing to buyers!
Step 6. Clean, Declutter, and Depersonalize
Now that you’ve finished taking care of the curb appeal, it is time to work on the interior.
Your first step? Decluttering.
You’re probably thinking it should be cleaning, but it is much easier to clean when you’ve cleared your home of excess items.
Decluttering will help open up space, giving your interior a more open and brighter look, which buyers love.
It also helps the buyer envision the home better. Too much stuff in the house can be distracting.
Go ahead and start sorting your belongings.
Pack your books, shoe collection, toys and other items that you don’t use every day.
Donate items you will never use again and throw away items that are already broken.
Find out Melissa’s tips on decluttering from Clean My Space.
Once you’ve decluttered all the rooms in your house, you should have freed at least a good amount of space.
This is the perfect time to start cleaning.
Clean the walls, wash the windows, remove any cobwebs, wipe all the counters and cabinets, scrub any spots or stains on the kitchen appliances, make sure that everything is clean and shiny.
Better yet, get professional cleaners. They can help make your house look spotless and pristine, which is how buyers want it.
Another important step to do in preparing your Naperville real estate property to sell is to depersonalize.
This part can be emotionally challenging especially if you have many memories in the home.
Depersonalizing means letting go of the house and treating it as a product you have to sell instead of a home.
It means neutralizing the house so it can look favorable to any potential buyers.
Remove any personal decor, paintings, religious artifacts, photos, and any other furniture that reflects your taste.
Paint your interior with a neutral tone.
This makes it easier for buyers to visualize how their belongings will fit, and how their decor will look on the walls.
Step 7. Stage it!
The best way to make buyers want your home is to stage it.
Staging is the act of preparing a home so it creates the right mood for the buyer.
It helps the buyers have ideas on how he or she can decorate the home to make it his or her own.
Did you know that staged homes sell faster and for a higher price than unstaged homes?
In NAR 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 77% of buyers find a staged home easier to visualize as their future home.
The living room is the most common room to be staged, followed by the kitchen, master bedroom, dining room, bathroom, outdoor space and the rest of the bedrooms.
Don’t know how to do home staging?
Watch this video to find out great ideas you can use for your house.
Better yet, seek professional help. Ask your Realtor® for a recommendation.
Getting your home staged is of the best decisions you’ll do in your home selling journey.
Step 8. Take professional photos.
In real estate, a single photo of your home can do so much.
Buyers love beautiful homes, and when they check online, their attention gravitates towards homes with spectacular photos.
If you want your house to attract the attention of buyers right away, get it professionally photographed!
A stunning picture tells a story. It highlights the best parts of your home.
A professional who works in real estate photography know the right angle, direction, and light to get the most desirable result for the property.
The photos will be used to market your Downtown Naperville home, populating various online listings as well as in preparing brochures for the open house.
Step 9. Maintain it for showing.
If you are still living in the house you are selling. then one of the challenges you’ll face when your home has been staged is to keep it clean and clutter-free for showings.
This is especially difficult if you have small children or pets.
It is important that you have a schedule of daily tasks that will help maintain the cleanliness of the home.
Take a look at this checklist to help you maintain your home for showings:
✔ Put trash cans away.
✔ All toys (bikes, balls, dolls, etc) are hidden.
✔ Personal items like bills, letters, and magazines are put away in a box (or car trunk).
✔ Kitchen and bathroom counters are clean.
✔ Make sure all the dishes are washed, and the sink is clean.
✔ Wipe the stove and refrigerator door.
✔ Empty all garbage bins in the kitchen and toilet.
✔ Straighten the living room.
✔ Sweep the floor.
✔ Take care of the laundry.
✔ Open windows to let in fresh air and blinds and curtains to let the light in.
✔ Turn on all the interior lights, including the under cabinet lighting.
✔ Check home temperature. Make sure it is comfortable.
✔ Make sure the beds are made.
✔ Take pets out of the house.
✔ Do a sniff test. Make sure the house does not smell.
✔ Secure all important items, including documents and jewelry.
If you really cannot keep up with the maintenance, hire a cleaner. It’s going to cost a little more, but you’ll be sure that the house is impeccably clean.
And while we are on the subject of how showing, another tip to ensure your house will sell fast is to keep it accessible for showings.
Give your Realtor® a duplicate key so and stay away from the house during showings.
This will make the buyer feel more comfortable asking all his or her questions to the agent, which he or she cannot do otherwise if you’re present.
Step 10. Negotiate the right deal.
If you’ve done steps one to nine conscientiously, you will receive several offers. With the help of your agent, go over the offers.
Then it’s time for the next step - deciding which offer to accept.
Once you’ve chosen a particular offer, you need to reject the other offers. Then with your Realtor®, decide if you want to do a counteroffer, or accept the offer as is.
In negotiating, you need to be flexible, open-minded and unemotional, which is why it is best to let your Realtor® handle the negotiations.
When the buyer agrees to your counteroffer, then it’s time for the house to go into escrow, and then the closing. Very soon, you’ll hand over the right and all documents of the property to the buyer.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully sold your home.
Putting your home in Naperville for sale can be challenging but with this 10-step formula, you’re on your way to a much smoother home selling journey.
Thinking of selling your home? Call me, Teresa Ryan, at 630-253-7660. With my team and I, you get the service you deserve. Our track record speaks for itself. Trust us to make your real estate journey easy and stress-free.
In case you cannot view this video here, please click the link below to view 10 Steps to Successfully Sell Your Naperville Home on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACz9VYISu8I&feature=youtu.be