Selling Your Chicago Home in 2012
The Chicago Tribune had a good article on Friday about options for that home that wouldn’t sell in 2011. There are a number of resources owners can tap for fresh selling approaches and ideas on how to make your property more attractive to buyers in the current market.
Home staging is still a key element to home sales. All the pros recommend staging your house or condo before putting it on the market—and especially before you get the photos taken. An investment of $500 or $1,000 can easily translate to $25,000 more on the selling price.
If you have already moved out of your place, rent furniture to give the space a lived-in, homey feel. Stick to popular furnishing styles, such as West Elm or Ikea—as opposed to a random selection of pieces handed down from relatives.
Window treatments deserve a second look when looking to update your Chicago home for sale. Take down mini-blinds and add a simple valance or curtain to frame the views, not shut them out. Replace old drapes because the fabric can hold odors. Same with old carpeting. Carpet not only retains smells, but allergens, too, such as cat dander and dog fur. For a potential buyer with animal allergies it could be a deal breaker. So pull up the worn-out stuff, particularly if there is wood flooring underneath because today’s buyers prefer hardwood.
Add a fresh coat of paint to the walls and wood trim. It is a simple, inexpensive (yet somewhat labor intensive) improvement that is well-received among buyers. Despite what you’ve heard, you don’t need to go totally neutral with colors. This can actually make your property too cookie-cutter, explains one interior designer consulted for the Tribune article. Instead try some color to give rooms depth, definition and character.
Aside from home staging, homeowners can take courses and read books best practices for selling in 2012. One helpful title to have on hand is “How to Sell Your Home in Any Market: 6 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling… And What You Can Do to Fix Them,” by Loren Keim. And next month Chicago-area homeowners can take a class at the College of DuPage: “Get It Sold” offered on February 18th. The Internet also provides an excellent resource for DIY home sales tactics. The Tribune suggests checking out thisoldhouse.com for video tutorials.
One of the best things homeowners can do to protect their interests is hire a real estate attorney to assist with the legal aspects of their home sale. The market is unlike any other we’ve seen and there are many complex circumstances to deal with on both the buyer and seller sides nowadays. Having an expert lawyer is an invaluable asset if a sticky situation arises.