Parts of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are experiencing record sales since the start of the pandemic. The overall real estate market in Chicagoland is strong. When putting your home on the market, you’ll want to do everything possible to make it attractive to buyers so you can get a good price and sell quickly. This will require a combination of making needed repairs, pricing it correctly, decluttering, and staging so it looks terrific for showings.
Getting a home in ‘ready to sell’ condition is one of the most important steps to selling your home. No matter what market, there are key elements that should be addressed to position your home for success. These include:
How Should you Price your Chicago Home?
The first step in the selling process is figuring out how to price your home. Price it too high and you won’t get any bites. Price it too low and people will think something is wrong with the home and become suspicious.
Supply and demand always come into play. If there is a short supply of homes, then you are in a seller’s market. If there are many homes for sale, then you are in a buyer’s market. In either market, you want your home positioned for sale.
Your realtor will help you by looking at similar homes that have sold in your neighborhood recently and help you find a fair price. For instance, if a 3 bedroom down the block, or in the same condo association with similar amenities, sold for $500,000, that may be a reasonable starting price for your home.
There are a few emerging factors that may affect the price. Consider home trends in your market. For example, home offices are becoming highly desirable. If you have one in your home, you may be able to get a higher price than a neighbor’s that does not have a home office.
In general, pricing your home correctly is one of the most important decisions you make as you position your home for a successful sale.
Why Condition Is Important When You Sell Your Home
Before putting your home on the market, you will want to get it into the best condition possible. Buyers will be looking for signs of damage because they know they can use that as leverage to get better pricing. It is important to regularly perform proper maintenance and keep the home up to date.
Has routine maintenance left your home in good condition for the market? If not, you need to address those issues. The elements of the home to be maintained and kept up to date include the roof, windows, mechanicals (water heater, HVAC, etc.), lighting, and plumbing. Also, little things that you were able to tolerate, e.g., a door that squeaks, a window that sticks, or a toilet that doesn’t stop running until you jiggle the handle can affect the buyers. Be sure to check these anomalies and get them fixed.
Assuming the fundamentals are in good shape, there are typical small repairs you can make yourself to enhance the home. Here are some examples.
- Painting: A fresh coat of paint will make a big difference when it comes to livening up your interiors and exteriors.
- Grouting: Grouting tiles will make the kitchen and bathroom(s) look nice and bright.
- Flooring: You may even consider replacing worn-out flooring.
Why Staging Is Necessary and What Does It Involve
Staging is the final step in getting your home prepared for a sale. It involves taking small steps to make your home look more attractive and more ‘livable’. Staging does not mean you need to spend money. You can do a lot on your own. Here are some staging strategies that will do the trick.
- Decluttering and Cleaning: Start by decluttering. There is no cost in decluttering. You may be amazed to find out how far decluttering and cleaning can go in making your home look brighter and more spacious and attractive to buyers. Please refer to one of my previous articles for simple tips to declutter your home.
- Use Neutral Colors and Depersonalize: You may love those hot pink walls, but not everyone will. It’s best to make your home into a clean palette that buyers can decorate in the way they choose. Substitute bright colors with neutrals and get rid of any furnishings and décor that show too much of your own personality.
Rearrange Furniture: Rearrange furniture to make bright airy, living spaces. This can also help in making your home look more spacious.
Landscaping: You can do some landscaping to make the yard look nicer and give the home curb appeal.
You may want to review another one of my blogs where I offer a detailed staging checklist. Finally, you should also talk with your realtor about your staging strategy and determine if professional staging or virtual staging may be required to position your home for success. In general, realtors know that a home that has been professionally staged and properly photographed will stand out from the competition and result in better offers.
Work With the Best, Rely on Terri Buseman to Help You Sell Your Chicago Home
Selling your Chicago home can be challenging. As your realtor, I will make the process as pleasant as possible. I will market your home, help you find interested home buyers, and provide useful tips to get your home ready to sell. I will also be involved in the negotiations process to help you get the best sale price. Get in touch if you are looking for a Chicago real estate specialist and confidant for your next home move.
A version of this post was published on my website on August 17, 2021