Tips for Selling Your Chicago Home

Tips for Selling Your Chicago Home

Getting Ready To Sell Your Chicago Home

One of the first steps in selling your Chicago home is to detach yourself from the property. You might notice that real estate agents talk about buying a “home” with buyers but selling a “house” with sellers.

The difference is that buyers need to connect with a property and see it as their future home. Sellers need to see their house not as their home but as a marketable commodity.

That being said, getting your home ready to sell means de-personalizing each and every room. Here’s how to get your home ready to be put on the market:

Remove clutter

Having your things nearby may be near and dear to you, but a buyer might be distracted by it, and I can affect the way they see the home. Shelves, countertops, closets, garages, etc. are all spaces that will need to be cleaned out.

You’ll want to create a lot of open space, even in the nooks you think no one can see. Clearing the clutter means tackling:

Kitchen: Get rid of the “junk drawer,” clean under the sink and clear the pantry.

Closet: Figure out what items you can do without for a few months and put them in a box. Even if everything fits, you don’t want a closet to look tidy and spacious, not like everything is crammed inside.

Extra furniture: You want to create the illusion of space, and that could require taking out some of the furniture to create more room in your home.

Storage spaces: Even thought they are serving their purpose, areas like the basement, garage, attic or shed need to be cleared as well. Buyers should be able to envision what they would do with the space, and hoarding all of your extra things probably isn’t part of that vision.

Fix up the interior

This shouldn’t include any major repairs, but you will want to address potentially noticeable issues, including:

Plumbing and fixtures: Clean or replace fixtures so they are shiny and new-looking; ensure that knobs turn and do not leak; check water pressure; remove water stains

Ceiling, walls and painting: Check for water stains; repair any leaks; consider painting (a shade of white), which can be one of the best investments when selling your home

Carpet and flooring: Unless your carpet is in dire shape, springing for a good carpet cleaning should do the trick. For hard floors, repair or replace broken floor tiles, but remember that the goal is to make the place look presentable, not to spend a ton of money on a space you will no longer live in.

Windows and doors: Ensure windows and doors open easily; replace cracks or broken windowpanes; polish doorknobs

Odor control: If you’re a smoker, you will want to limit smoking indoors while your home is on the market. Pet smells should also be minimized by cleaning litter boxes, keeping dogs outside and using carpet freshener.


Take out personal items

That means family photos, sports trophies, collectible items or anything else that puts your brand on the home and keeps it from looking like a clean slate to potential buyers. Store everything out of the house or consider renting a storage unit for a few months to keep your belongings out of the way.

Fixing up the exterior

Once you’ve tackled the (relatively easier) interior fixes, move on to the outside of the house, which is most important. This is going to be a potential buyer’s first impression, after all. To get a good look, take a stroll across the street and try to take an objective look at the house. See how it compares to the neighbors and the rest of the block. Then get to work on:

Landscaping: Make sure your foliage is on par with the rest of your neighborhood. If it’s not, invest in a few bushes but not trees. Cut the lawn and eliminate any dry or brown spots.

Rake up loose leaves and grass cuttings as needed. In certain times of the year, this could be daily.

Could your house use a paint job? This could be a worthwhile investment on the exterior as well to spruce up the appearance of a house and market it as freshly painted. Make sure you choose a neutral color that fits in with the ones around it.

Focus on the front door. Polish the fixture, refinish or repaint it as needed, spring for a new doormat and make sure the lock works without any trouble.

Want to learn more about selling your Chicago home? For more information contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at