Getting your house ready to sell can seem enormously intimidating – there just seems to be so much to do in the beginning. But selling your house in Chicago doesn’t have to be such a daunting undertaking. If you start early enough and do the things that matter the most first, it will be far more manageable. Also, keep in mind that if you have any equity in your house, it’s a job for which you’ll be handsomely paid at the end – the sale.
Determine a Listing Date and Work Backward
The very first step in preparing for selling your Chicago house is to set a planned listing date. You don’t need to get it on the market right away because you’ll need time to do everything that needs to be done. So once you’ve set a listing date, work backward from there to plan the work in stages that move forward toward the date set. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time, and let your agent know that there will be no showings before the future date of your choice.
Get Other Eyes on It
It’s always a good idea to get another set of eyes on your house. So ask someone you know and trust to do a walk-through with you to see what needs to be done. When you’ve been living in a home, you get accustomed to many things and are no longer aware that they need repairing or updating. You can be sure, however, that buyers will see everything – all those flooring flaws and sagging bits of ceiling trim – that no longer draw your attention owing to long familiarity. Make sure, then, that the friend you choose to help you out has a keen eye and will be brutally honest.
Get Rid of the Clutter
Another key preparation for selling your Chicago house is getting rid of all the clutter. You know that already. The trick is deciding just what can stay and what has to go.
Go check out some online listing photos of higher-end houses and pay attention to what you see – or, more specifically, what you don’t see. Basically, in those photos, you’ll see maybe a chair, a couch, a coffee table, a couple of end tables, and nothing more. And that’s the look you need to try to achieve. So get rid of or move to storage anything that will detract from that open, inviting look.
Attitude plays a big role here, so just look at it as pre-moving. You’ll already have a big part of that onerous job of moving already done. Everything you keep in your home should contribute to the overall feeling and effect that will entice buyers.
And, of course, you know that selling your Chicago house will involve a certain amount of painting. Filling, patching, and painting walls will make your house look markedly cleaner, fresher, and more inviting. And it doesn’t really cost all that much. But colors do matter – a lot.
At this stage, you should no longer view your house as your home, but, rather, as an asset. So when prospective buyers come through, you don’t want them seeing colors they will want to paint over. The consensus among real estate professionals is that you should use light, neutral colors – colors that will help buyers to see your house as their new home.
If you’re planning on selling your Chicago house this year, you do need to start preparing now. But if you follow our tips here, that apparently huge job will be far easier to manage.