Although the Chicago weather is still a bit chilly, the spring real estate market is heating up quickly. It is important to get a head start to sell your home in when the spring market hits. Here are 10 steps that will have you ready to sell:
1. Find a Realtor!
This is likely one of the most important transactions in your life. Find a Realtor® that you know and trust. In order to make the process of selling your home stress free, engage an expert. There are many Coldwell Banker Real Estate Agents that are ready to walk with you every step of the way.
You’re moving. There’s no sense in delaying the inevitable. It’s not too soon to start organizing and packing. This is also a great time to get rid of items that will not be traveling with you to your next home. Sort through and remove extra clutter and knick-knacks. Shred and toss unneeded paperwork. Weed through your closets and cabinets. Remove anything unnecessary from counter tops or shelves. Put away unneeded appliances. Donate unneeded items or think about storing some of your belongings away. Creating an appearance of more space can be very valuable when it comes time for showings.
3. Remove Personal Items
Many times, buyers will spend more time looking at personal photos than paying attention to the house. Allow them to picture themselves in your house – not you and your family. Tuck away family photos. Take down your grandmothers chandelier. Put away anything of sentimental value.
4. Clean Like You’ve Never Cleaned Before!
Make everything shine: floors, counter tops, appliances, and even hardware. Clean your windows, dust door frames, light fixtures and baseboards. Clean bathroom tiles and grout, and even re-caulk if necessary. Clean inside your refrigerator and cabinets. Make your place spotless.
5. Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint
Choose a light, neutral color and create a clean fresh look. You might like your crimson painted bedroom, but buyers like to see a blank canvas to imagine what your home could look like for them. Lighter colors will also give an appearance of more space.
6. Set Up a Pre-Inspection Appointment
A home inspection is part of the process anyway – so try to avoid any unforeseen issues in selling. Avoid working around any potential problems later by proactively insuring your home is in tip-top shape. Use a pre-inspection appointment as a home selling punch list. Fix any problems that are found and avoid headaches later in the process.
7. Do Your Research
Google your own address. Check your walk-score. See what else is on the market that is comparable to your home. Look at what similar neighboring properties are listed at and what properties have recently sold for. Set a reasonable expectation of your home’s value based on your research.
8. Create a Welcoming Entrance
Springtime can be sunny and warm – but it can also be rainy. Set out a shoe mat and umbrella holder outside your front door to welcome potential buyers. This can act as a welcome and also prevent buyers from tracking in water drops on your freshly polished floors.
9. Stage Your Home
Remove ALL unnecessary clutter from your home for photographs and showings. Make sure your furniture is placed in the best way to allow for a natural flow from room to room. Pull out your best bathroom towels for display. Clean your curtains. Make your beds and fluff your pillows. Keep any décor simple and clean. The more space showing on your furniture and counter tops – the better!
10. Fresh Touch of Home
A bowl of fresh fruit or fresh flower arrangement can put the perfect finishing touch on the look of your home. A vase of fresh flowers can also provide a fresh aroma without being too overpowering. Add a centerpiece on your dining room table, a plant on a side table in your living room, or even a colorful vase to your nightstand.