Home Selling Tips | Home Seller's Checklist | Chicago For Sale By Owner

The Best Tips For Selling A Home In Chicago

Tip #1 Advertise Online

Nearly 85% of today’s home buyers begin by surfing the web for listings. In order to reach the largest number of house hunters, you should market your property online through a real estate site or (if you’re tech savvy) by creating your own website.

Tip #2 De-Personalize Your Home

Potential home buyers like to picture themselves in the house they’re thinking about purchasing. So make it easy for them to dream away by removing your own knick-knacks and family photos, which can subconsciously get in the way of their visualization.

Tip #3 Get Rid of Stuff

Since you’re already planning to move you’ll probably ditch the excess junk and old things you don’t want to bring with you to the next home. But don’t wait until packing day to throw that stuff out, purge before putting the place on the market. Have yard sales in advance to downsize the clutter and free-up the living/storage spaces so buyers will appreciate your home’s true value.

Tip #4 Rent Storage Space

Spend a few extra bucks to rent a locker or storage space while your property is on the market. It can hold surplus household items (including nonessential furniture), which will open up the available space and make the home seem larger. Empty out your shelves and bookcases and store those, too. Remember the rule of thumb Less is More? Take it to heart and clean house!

Tip #5 Make Repairs

Any broken, cracked, burnt-out, worn-out or missing things in your home should be fixed before trying to sell it. You may not even notice these little blemishes anymore because you’re so used to them, but buyers are scrupulous and will hone in on any problem areas. So channel your inner handyman and make a trip to Home Depot. Leaky faucets, chipped tiles, stained carpet, busted bulbs, jammed drawers, lopsided shelving, etc. should be a thing of the past.

Tip #6 Freshen the Air

No one wants to buy a home that smells funny. Invest in a few air fresheners (but don’t go overboard – nice scents can be overpowering, too). If the weather permits, open the windows and get a fresh breeze through the house before buyers stop by. Getting carpets cleaned can also help with stubborn musty odors that no amount of potpourri will cover up.

Tip #7 Hire a Professional

Going the For Sale By Owner route is an upward battle in a decidedly buyers’ market. Having the insight and connections of a real estate agent can be invaluable to your home selling venture. Their knack for negotiation and understanding of local trends can help you get the most for your home. Plus, agents take care of promoting and showing your place, so you don’t have worry about scheduling viewings around work or other commitments. Professionals are also up on all the paperwork and legal documents needed to transfer property and prepare everything for you.

Tip #8 Curb Appeal Matters

It’s no new concept, but it matters. Curb appeal impacts buyers and if your home doesn’t look inviting, clean, and in good condition from the outside, you can bet house hunters won’t be as inclined to see the inside. Weed the garden, mow the lawn, trim the hedges, rake the yard, sweep off the porch and driveway, power wash the exterior or repaint, and add little touches like solar-power landscape lights and full planters or flower boxes, which can really make an impression.

Tip #9 Disclose Any Problems

You may not want to point out your home’s problems to buyers for fear they’ll be turned off, but Illinois law requires all sellers to complete a residential property disclosure report. You must reveal any known issues and material defects or be subject to liability. If you do not fill out the report accurately a buyer has the right to walk out on your contract, so be honest and thorough.

Tip #10 Set a Realistic Price

No matter how fabulous your home is, if it’s not priced right it won’t sell. Price is mostly determined by the market, so you should research what similar properties in your area are selling for and adjust for any upgrades or extras your home has. A licensed appraiser can also tell you the current value of your home. Hiring a real estate listing agent is beneficial, plus they’ll deal with negotiations once a seller makes an offer.

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