Chicago Real Estate
things to consider before buying or selling
The first impression is a very lasting impression. When a buyer pulls up to look at a house and finds weeds, overgrown grass, bushes that need trimming, paint chipping off the siding, and dirty windows; the buyer's eyes all of a sudden get cloudy and makes it harder to see the value or potential of living somewhere that needs a ton of maintenance and a make-over. Make your curb appeal pop! Not just the front, but make sure the back is fully groomed as well. Things that a potential buyer always spots out first is landscaping, exterior paint, drive and walkway to the door, clean and exposed windows, and the condition of the front door.
Be a Neat Freak
I can't stress this one enough, but clean, clean, and clean some more. You will be amazed how far a house that is free from dust and smells fresh can win a potential buyer. Lets face it, would you stand in a house that smells like a dog just went on the carpet and you can see dust particles floating in the air? Try to remove scuff marks from heels on the floors, clean the windows, vacuum, dust, mop, and deodorize to keep the potential buyers senses happy and fresh.
Fix it Now
Stop putting aside your "honey do list" and get it done! Things that potential buyers notice are loose cabinet door handles/hinges, loose floor boards, stains in carpet, broken window cranks, broken screens, and holes/marks on walls. Yes, this means you might have to get off the couch on a Sunday and do some work, but, put some sweat equity in now to make your house look move in ready to potential buyers.
Play Both Sides
Get rid of the neon green wall in the bathroom and the Cubbie blue walls in the living room and go neutral. A light and neutral paint color will brighten up the room and give potential buyers a cleaner canvas to paint in their head their design of how the room would look like if they purchased. Bold and unique colors are very distracting to the mind.
You just got home from a long day at work and you are having guests over for dinner. What do you do? You round up all the crap in your house and stuff it in a closet. The funny thing is, how many times does this get repeated? A cluttered closet, an unorganized desk top, and an overflowing bookcase is a mega distraction to the buyers eyes and an instant turnoff because it shows that the space has NO storage. Before you list, a good thing to do is SPRING CLEAN. Items that you haven't used in months and/or years, bring to goodwill. Things that you use seasonally, bring to a storage facility. When you want to showoff your house, you want to show everything off, including your closets, kitchen cabinets, attics, basements, and even crawl spaces. Declutter and be organized are key. A cluttered and stuffed closet means no storage space in this house while a clean and organized closet means that this house has a lot of storage...so much storage that the current homeowner doesn't know how to fill it. : )
Don't Be So Personal
Everyone is unique and different in many good ways. However, while selling a house, you want to be as neutral as possible to get more potential buyers interested. With that said, everyone has cute family photos and everyone wants to show them off to everyone. Well, when showing off your house, you want to limit the amount of family photos, unique art, and your porcelain unicorn collection. Keep distractions limited to keep the buyer's eyes on the prize. What's more important showing potential buyers that you collected every single Pez dispenser since you were born or selling your house so you can move your Pez collection to your brand new man cave?
Staging the house before you list is super important. Staging makes photographs pop and stand out on the MLS which has just under 100,000 houses for sale in Illinois per month (an estimate). So staging will help you get noticed out of the 100,000 (give or take) houses and will help give your home a fresh and up to date look to buyers. Haha, not going to lie, when my wife and I hired a professional interior designer to stage our condo, I did not want to leave. She made the space so inviting that I had second thoughts of listing. So my advice, hire a professional interior designer to stage your property to make it pop.
Have it Inspected
I always tell people to get their house inspected beforehand to make sure everything is up to code. Making sure everything is sound and ready to sell makes the later steps a heck of a lot easier. When you get someone interested in purchasing your house, they will most likely hire an inspector (which they should). If they come back with some unknown issues that late in the game, it's guaranteed that the buyer will start haggling the price. So my opinion, get an inspection, fix any issues, and then you will have more potential at getting the price you want.
Find an Awesome Real Estate Agent
If I haven't won you over in this blog post, then I am not awesome : ). Truthfully, search, there are so many real estate brokers in Illinois and they come from all levels of strengths, niches, and personalty. You need to find someone that you feel is honest and amazing at their job to get your house sold for the price you like quickly.
If you have any questions about listing your house, feel free to contact me and I can walk through the steps with you. Heck, if we get that far, I will even list it and do amazing for you.
Hope you enjoyed this post!
Until Next Time!
Mike Padua, Jr.
Real Estate Broker
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I am a Chicago Real Estate Broker that loves to show people around the Chicago neighborhoods.