Typically, the winter is a notoriously slow time for home sales in the Chicago area. So, if you are considering a move anytime soon, try capitalizing on your indoor period to get your house ready for the market. This is a great opportunity to convert cabin fever into a time of productivity and get ahead of the competition. Tackling this project, room by room, is the best way to proceed and these ideas provide a great starting point for preparing to list your home for sale.
Begin in each room with cleaning, decluttering and depersonalizing. While areas that are not in immediate view such as the interior of closets, basements, and garages are less important, in the overall picture they should receive some attention once visible areas have been addressed.
Start the process by inspecting each room and making a list including what to improve and what can remain untouched.
• Kitchen – this space should be ultra clean, counters cleared, and the refrigerator devoid of pictures, papers etc. Appliances should sparkle and all of them should be in good, working order if possible. Show that the kitchen has an eating space which can be highlighted in any way that works given the available size.
• Bathrooms – clear the vanity top and make sure the entire area is spotless. Toilets should be closed and no clothing left lying around. Hanging fresh/new towels and adding a pretty, new bar of soap can help to make the room feel more attractive.
• Living and Dining Rooms – depending on the size of the space, keep furnishings to a minimum and arranged to enhance the easy flow of traffic through the room. If there is a fireplace or picture window, be sure it is showcased. Pay special attention to the floors. Hardwoods should be clean and shiny, and carpeting should be vacuumed or deep-cleaned, if necessary.
• Master Bedroom - beds should always be made, preferably with new, clean linens if possible. This area should be serene, inviting and depersonalized.
• Additional Bedrooms – clothing, toys, wall decorations and electronics, along with other personal items, should be stored away.
• Basement – clean and dry is critical. If there are leaks, have them addressed before showing to eliminate odors, mold and/or dampness. Have furnaces, other mechanical systems, and the electrical box easy to access.
• Garage – clean the garage and either discard or donate items you don’t intend to keep. Organize and store belongings so that the space appears ample for more than just a car, if possible.
If you’re motivated to make additional improvements, there are plenty of projects that will make a big impact, such as fresh, neutral paint throughout the house and/or new flooring. So quell those wintertime blues and boredom and productively tackle the task of preparing your home for showing to potential buyers in its best light – this time, well spent, will likely shorten your time on the market and increase your profits in the process! For additional information on preparing to sell your home, feel free to contact me today for an onsite consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.
Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.
Image courtesy of Nancy Hugo, CKD/Flickr.com