When times get tough, Americans get tougher—not to mention, innovative. Many awesome ideas and inventions came out of the The Great Depression, such as the car radio, chocolate chip cookies, the laundromat, supermarkets, and everyone’s favorite game, Monopoly.
It’s no wonder that this most recent recession has sparked some new ideas, even in the troubled real estate market. If you’re having difficulties selling your Chicago condo or Chicago home, consider this new real estate trend that’s popping up all over the country, and was recently featured by Chicago Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.
Rather than show your vacant Chicago home, hire someone to temporarily live in your Chicago home. This person, known as a “home manager,” provides the furniture, decor, groceries, and that lived-in look sellers love. The managers keep the house tidy during certain hours, bring their own insurance, and maintain the garden or lawn. They must also be willing to move at a moment’s notice, but for their troubles, they are generally compensated with discounted rent and a bonus if the home sells within 90 days.
Companies like the one featured in both articles, can help you find and place your temporary guest, but so far the payoff seems worth it.
So how is this idea affecting Chicago real estate? According to Chicago Magazine:
about half of the 35 Chicago-area homeowners approached by the company about a year and a half ago signed up for the service; their homes have sold for an average of 93 percent of their asking prices. The homes belonging to the sellers who declined the service are all still on the market, and their asking prices have dropped on average by 15 percent.
The Wall Street Journal article also points out that homes “staged” with humans tend to sell faster than a completely vacant house. Additionally, this new form of staging has proven to work better than the traditional form, sans humans. “Unoccupied staged houses aren’t selling as well as those with people in them… ‘because people can still tell they’re vacant.'”
It seems odd to think that a few homemade touches can make all the difference in a seller’s mind. Here are the reasons why :
Some house managers even bake chocolate chip cookies (courtesy of The Great Depression) prior to a showing so the house is filled with the aroma. Talk about exciting the senses.
While this innovative technique has shown progress, it is generally recommended for high-end luxury Chicago homes or Chicago condos from $2 million and up.