Updating Your Chicago Luxury Home to Sell Faster and at a Higher Price

Since the real estate market has been especially favorable to sellers as of late, I’m seeing a lot of clients who are deciding to make a change and putting their long-lived-in homes on the market. Some of these homes have been lived in for quite a long time, which means there may be some important steps to take before it’s market-ready for a quick sale.

If you find yourself in this scenario, it might be time to bite the bullet and make some minor modifications to your home in order to maximize the price upon selling it. Even if you’re living in a unit or neighborhood that is netting high sale prices, if your property isn’t up to par with those that are being bought, you may not see the same results.

The Washington Post recently addressed this topic in “Don’t resist your real estate agent’s suggestion to upgrade that dated décor.” The article noted that buyers typically only get a single look at a potential home, and one of the main things they are evaluating is how much work is needed to bring it to their standards. For a home that hasn’t been updated or renovated, there are a few aesthetic-focused tricks that can go a long way, like paint or replacing fixtures.

It will cost a bit of money upfront, but making strategic changes before putting your home up for sale can help it sell faster, and you could get that money back in the improved sale price.

What to Consider Updating Before Putting Your Home on the Market

I have found that kitchens and bathrooms tend to be prime areas in a home for an update. These are the rooms with the most “parts” to them and can look outdated quicker than say, the blank canvas of a bedroom.

If you’re putting your home up for sale, it’s understandable to not want to make a huge investment in the space, but just enough to help buyers imaging themselves in the home. Here are a few suggestions that don’t require a hefty monetary investment:

Kitchen cabinets:

Dark wood cabinets can quickly make a kitchen feel dark and unwelcoming, and updating them with a fresh coat of white paint will transform the entire room. White is the color in these days, loved for its ability to lighten and brighten a space.

Kitchen countertops:

Speaking of white, a white backsplash that complements the cabinetry would be another great way to update the room; Pair it with a new countertop in gray, black granite or even a faux material that can provide a completely new look without a renovation.

Bathroom fixtures:

If you’re home is sporting a pastel toilet from the decades of yore, replace it with a white one. You’ll be surprised how much it helps the bath feel more up to date. Do the same for the sink, tub and tiles, swapping them out for white finishes. Tubs and tiles can be difficult to replace, so consider re-glazing as that will be much less expensive to make sure all of the pink/yellow/green is out of the bathroom.


It is not terribly expensive to have the floors re-sanded and stained in a nice mahogany finish. Doing this make a home feel luxurious and inviting to buyers.

Wall colors:

A colorful home might be your signature, but odds are it’s not going to appeal to prospective buyers. Stick to universally loved white, cream and taupe colors on every wall.

Consult with an Experienced Broker

If you’re considering selling your home, I am happy to provide some feedback on what would help your home get ready for the Chicago real estate market. I can bring in a professional expert at no cost to you to get specifics on what might detract buyers from your home and help you address them before going to market.

I’ve worked with interior’s expert Joseph Rice many times, who brings his talents to help seller’s homes look their best before going on the market. There was one client in particular who we worked with to stage their condo for a sale, which Joseph can do at no cost to the seller—working with existing furniture, editing knick-knacks, etc. That condo sold in just two weeks!

I am also running an offer for my clients right now to receive $2,500 at closing when they partner with me to sell their property. If you’re home could use some sprucing up before selling, that influx of cash could certainly help offset any unexpected costs when the sale has closed. Contact me for additional details at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.