When you’re preparing to sell your Chicago home, you may feel overwhelmed by the to-do list. But there is a very simple way to look at the process: you are preparing to move, too! The decisions about what to keep, what to give away, and what to discard, are a necessary step. When you tackle clutter and packing before the home is listed, you’ll be less pressured when you’re under contract. 

As a rule of thumb, when your home hits the market, it should offer a blank canvas to prospective buyers. Buyers need to picture themselves living there. This begins at the curb, and continues as they walk through the door for the first time. Buyers will sum up a home’s desirability in a minute flat! 

With this in mind, here are steps to preparing your Chicago home for the market, to help attract a top-dollar offer. Please note that these are broad suggestions – we can give you advice tailored to your home! You can also attend one of our free home selling seminars in the Chicago area!

1. Curb appeal. Your home should look inviting and well-cared for. The lawn should be kept neatly trimmed, weeds should be removed. The deck, patio, walkway and driveway should be tidy. Outdoor lighting should be in good working order. Power-wash your home, and wash the windows. 

2. Declutter. Get a storage unit, or borrow space in a friend’s garage. Remove excess furniture and belongings. Think “open space!” Kitchen countertops should show plenty of open surface. Closets, cabinets and drawers should be less than half full. Tackle clutter in every area – garage, basement, attic. 

3. Remove the personal items. This is hard, but it’s part of the moving process! Pack away the treasures and keepsakes. Take down the family photos. Important paperwork, jewelry and medicines should be gathered up and put in a safe location. 

4. Repair things that need fixing. Such as rips in window screens, missing downspouts, dripping faucets, etc. If your home needs repairs that are not feasible for you, talk to your agent about the best way to address the situation. 

5. Deep clean. Grime and odors discourage buyers, especially in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Let a friend give your house the sniff test, and be open to their feedback. We all get used to our own space, and become desensitized to things that visitors notice right away. 

6. Paint interior rooms in neutral colors. Shampoo carpets, polish hardwood floors, or install new flooring surfaces as needed. 

7. Do some basic staging. Hang new towels in the bathroom. Get new bedcovers in neutral colors. Install brighter bulbs in the light fixtures. (Within fixture safety guidelines.) Install new blinds or curtains if needed. Put out a new welcome mat and colorful potted flowers by the front door. 

This is a general guideline. For the best advice, give us a call and ask for a pre-sale consultation! We’ll identify your home value as-is, and explain what you can expect in today’s market. There is no charge, and no pressure to sell your home! 

StartingPoint Realty – serving Chicagoland since 2004!

StartingPoint Realty proudly serves home buyers and sellers throughout the entire Chicago area. We offer free, first-time home buyer seminars every month! We offer free home selling seminars too! Contact us for your free home buying or home selling consultation!

Ryan Gable Broker/CEO Starting Point Realty
Phone: 847.348.1154

Email: RyanGable@startingpointrealty.com
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