Chicago Real Estate
things to consider before buying or selling
It may sound paradoxical, but one proven way to sell your Chicago home is to make it boring…or at least, a little bit more boring.
The principle here stems from buyer psychology—specifically, the difference between a house that would make a great tourist attraction and one whose first impression is more apt to lead to a sale. At first blush, the flashy version might seem to be not only memorable, but more valuable as well. But that’s not typically true.
A potential buyer can remember your house in two different ways. One memory might be of striking red walls and purple tile that call to mind images from an architectural magazine. That sort of memory will be vivid, but it doesn’t necessarily help to sell your home. A different type of memory could be of a living room that is just the right size for a couch, with a bare spot over the fireplace mantle that would be perfect for…whatever—the specifics will be personal for every potential buyer.
To sell your home, the odds are good that the second impression will sell your Chicago home to more prospects than will the first. The better result is to leave buyers with the mental image of a home they could see themselves living in—rather than one they might admire as a design exhibit.
The difference between these two types of memory is highlighted in an analysis published by Consumer Reports. Their research found that homes painted in neutral colors sell at a premium of up to $5,000 more than similar homes painted in brighter, more distinctive colors. Results came from an analysis of thousands of photographs of homes for sale. Today’s neutrals tend toward greys, taupes, and beiges—but even when fashions change, the underlying wisdom remains. The principal reason these colors help sell a home is that they form unobtrusive backgrounds to buyers' own imaginations—in other words, “boring” becomes “memorable” when it allows onlookers’ own imaginations to take over. Neutral colors accomplish that by creating a canvas onto which potential buyers can paint their own masterpieces.
First impressions are important for laying the groundwork, but it’s your Chicago real estate agent who makes all the difference when it comes to following through. That’s where I come in. Give me a call!
I am a Chicago Real Estate Broker that loves to show people around the Chicago neighborhoods.