Chicago's North Shore - North and Northwest Suburbs Real Estate Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 230

Sellers: Cut Your Exposure with A Pre-Listing Home Inspection

by Allyson Hoffman

If you are planning to sell your home now or in the future, one thing you should strongly consider is doing a pre-listing home inspection. Issues revealed during a buyer’s home inspection are among the most common reasons for buyers to cancel their purchase contract. By assessing the current condition of your home prior to listing it, you will have the option to remedy issues discovered in advance of showing your home or, alternately, share them with potential buyers upfront so they are fully aware.

Follow these suggested steps to use a pre-listing inspection to your advantage. First get references and hire an experienced professional home inspector. Following your home inspection, carefully review the report and associated photos to determine which issues should be managed. Then contract with qualified repair contractors to correct the problems. When this process is handled as a pre-listing preparation project, you won’t be “under the gun” to make decisions with little time and forethought unlike the common situation that occurs during a contract inspection contingency period. When buyers have access to detailed reports including the associated annotated measures taken to correct problems, many confidently move forward with less stress or trepidation in the path to a success closing.

Therefore, once any necessary repairs are completed, you’ll be able to confidently list your home knowing that unexpected items are unlikely to surface during any future home inspection.  Be sure to share with buyers that your home was pre-inspected and provide a copy of the home inspection to interested parties with documentation of any repairs made in response to the  report or, alternately, have your report updated after work has concluded. Moreover, don’t be surprised if your report and repair documents lead to a buyer waiving their home inspection entirely.

Should conditions surface that you choose not to repair, disclose these items to prospective buyers despite the possibility that this could deter them. Then use the realistic assessment of the property’s condition to your benefit by pricing your home appropriately to reflect its condition. Additionally, by providing this information to potential buyers, surprises will be minimized increasing the odds of a trouble-free contract phase without a buyer request for repair cost reimbursement or a price adjustment to compensate them for these issues.

Typically, home inspections are significant source of anxiety for many home sellers … but they don’t have to be. A pre-listing home inspection increases seller control of this aspect of the sale and neutralizes many issues that can cause contract failures. So consider a pre-listing home inspection to sell at top dollar with less stress and in a shorter period of time. For additional ideas regarding preparing your home for sale, the selling process or moving tips, please contact me today for a 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
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
YouTube


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 ArtisticOperations/pixabay.com

Pointers for Preparing Pets for a New Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Moving to a new home means there are many things to plan for as part of the moving process. With numerous check-list items to complete, don’t forget about your pets.  Moving presents challenges and can be stressful for them too. As you prepare for your move, here are some suggetions to ensure your pets make a healthy and happy transition to their new home.

1. Secure copies of your pet’s records to have on hand for your new veterinarian.

2. Pre-move, research veterinarians to be prepared for an unexpected emergency. If you are unfamiliar with the area, ask your real estate agent for good recommendations.

3. Pack your pet’s food, medicine, leash, favorite toys and/or crate where they can be easily reached.

4. If travelling long distance, plan time for stops to let pets to get out and move around. It will help them to remain comfortable.

5. If you aren’t travelling by car, plan well in advance for any necessary special requirements for your pet to travel by plane or train.

6. Upon arrival, check your new home to assure its safety for your pet.  This should include the yard and fence, if any.  Make sure there aren’t any openings where pets can escape.

7. Introduce yourself and your pet to your new neighbors. It will help to assure a safe return more quickly if your pet should escape.

8. To ease the stress of the move, unpack your pet’s things promptly with ready access to their food, water and bed.

9. Make sure your pets are wearing a collar with tags that are updated with your new information.

10.  Try to retain a pet schedule similar to your old location in the new location to minimize the adjustment required.

11.  Make sure to relax and play with your pet. Even short walks will benefit pets as well as family members and lower stress levels for all.

For additional information or downloadable e-books on moving with pets, moving with children or moving in general, please feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying or selling process, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
YouTube

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 rogerio/pixabay.com

Home Warranty Highlights

by Allyson Hoffman

More sellers are now including home warranties with the sale of their homes to comfort buyer concerns. Ideally a home warranty provides some assurance to the buyer regarding systems, appliances or other failures within the first year of ownership by arranging for repair or replacement with only a minimal service call fee. Keep in mind that homeowners, themselves, can also purchase a home warranty at any time. Prior to purchasing a home warranty, homeowners should understand what they are and when they are most needed.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty generally covers the major components of a home, such as heating and cooling systems, appliances and water heaters. Typically, minor repairs such as plumbing leaks are not included in coverage. It can be purchased for any age home, though the cost may increase with older properties with additional expense for larger homes or slightly lower costs for condominiums.

With some warranties, owners pay only a set amount regardless of the cost of the repair or replacement. With other programs, payment of a portion or percentage of the cost may be required. So it’s important to read the fine print before selecting a warranty. Know what is included and what can be added for an extra price.

The Benefits

For the buyer, a home warranty provides peace of mind by eliminating the possibility for hundreds of dollars in repairs or exhausting emergency funds for major issues during the first year of ownership. Even one repair can exceed the entire annual cost for the home warranty.

For the seller, a home warranty may attract additional buyers, especially if the home being sold is older with older systems and appliances. Because many first-time buyers may have limited funds to invest into the property, and a warranty can be an attractive asset.

The Downside

Paying for a warranty for years and never needing to use it for repairs may make the proposition appear as a useless cash drain with no rewards. This case is often seen with newer homes when a special home warranty may be unnecessary if the home is still covered under the builder’s warranty. For example, most appliances come with a two- or five-year manufacturer’s warranties, so you wouldn’t need a separate home warranty during that time.

In the end, the decision to buy or not to buy boils down to you and how prepared you are to pay for unexpected expenses. It also clearly depends on the age of the home you’re buying or selling. For additional information regarding home warranty options, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to help you determine the value of your home, or find your next dream home.

 


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
YouTube


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 Valerie Everett/Flickr.com

Update to Sell Without Breaking the Bank

by Allyson Hoffman

If you’re considering putting your home on the market this spring or summer, you’ll undoubtedly want to ensure that it sells quickly and for top dollar. While you can’t control the market, you can influence what buyers see when they walk into your space. Here are a few suggestions to make your home look fabulous in the eyes of the buyers.

1. Paint is a Cheap Fix

Paint provides the biggest bang for the buck.  It can cover a lot of imperfections and it doesn’t break the budget. So strongly consider painting to provide a fresh, new look to your home.  From walls to cabinetry that would be costly to replace, paint can do wonders. To create an unforgettable first impression, repaint your front door in a distinct and attractive color to capture buyers’ instant attention.

2. Install New Lighting

Outdated light fixtures, a potential eyesore to buyers looking for an updated space, can typically be replaced economically with something brand new. By adding new lighting and possibly more fixtures, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, the space will generally appear both larger and brighter. Consider under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen workspace or sconces around the bathroom mirrors to enhance visual appeal.

3. Replace Faucets

Another inexpensive upgrade to make your kitchen and bathrooms feel fresh and new is to replace the faucets. Consider popular low-flow showerheads with spa settings and a kitchen faucet with a pull-out sprayer to entice buyers. By updating faucets with a new contemporary style, the entire sink or vanity will appear newer without the cost of replacement.

4. Re-glaze the Tub

If your tub is older or its color is not in vogue, rather than enduring the mess and costly expense of replacement, an inexpensive fix is to have it re-glazed. This process removes chips and cracks and provides a shiny new finish. Your bathroom will appear well-maintained and problem-free when you re-glaze the tub and re-caulk and re-grout the surrounding tile.

5. Declutter

One of the easiest and cost-effective ways to make your home look fabulous involves removing all excess clutter. So store those extra family photos and eliminate the majority of unneeded decorative items. Clear off counter tops, vanity tops and dresser tops as well as eliminating extra furniture. If needed, identify a section of your basement or garage where things can be stashed or even rent a storage unit which often can be obtained for minimal cost. A clutter-free space that looks larger and more inviting to buyers will go a long way toward improving your chances of a fast sell.

Following these tips will help to showcase your home in its best light and leave potential buyers with a distinctly better impression. For additional ideas regarding preparing your home for sale, feel free to contact me today for a 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
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
YouTube


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 kaboompics/Pixabay.com

Understanding the Importance of Real Estate Contract Contingency Clauses

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it’s important to understand each contingency clause in the contract. Buying a home is a big commitment, and it is important that you do everything possible to protect yourself when making this investment.

Contingency clauses are one way that buyers can build additional protections into the sales contract. They allow a buyer to cancel a sales contract with no penalty or loss of earnest money if certain conditions are not met prior to closing.

Contingencies clauses can alter the terms of a contract significantly, so don’t forget to read each contingency carefully. Here are the five common contingency clauses you may find in a real estate sales contract.

Attorney View Contingency

In the Chicago metro area, contracts are typically subject to a five-day period where attorneys for both the buyer and the seller can review and suggest modifications to the legal aspects of the contract.  Modifications to critical components of the agreed terms, such as the price to be paid, are not included in the scope of the attorney view.

Appraisal Contingency

If a home does not appraise at or above the sale price, the prospective lender will generally not proceed with the loan unless the buyer raises their down payment to make the numbers comply with lender expectations. An appraisal contingency often permits the buyer to back out of the contract with no penalty if the house does not appraise at or above the sale price. Alternately, the appraisal contingency can state that if the appraisal is below the sale price, the seller has the option to lower the sale price of the home to the appraised price. Terms of the appraisal contingency and what is acceptable to the parties is typically negotiated to arrive at mutually acceptable result.

Mortgage Contingency

The mortgage or financing contingency specifies that the buyer has the right to back out of the contract with no penalty if he or she is unable to obtain financing as specified in the contract.  These terms often include the date the buyer must secure financing, the amount of the loan, and the type and the interest rate of the loan.

Home Sale or Home Close Contingency

This contingency allows a buyer to back out of a contract with no penalty if he or she cannot sell and/or close on their current home before a set date. This prevents buyers from potentially owning two homes at the same time with the obligation to pay two mortgages simultaneously.  Sellers are much less likely to accept these conditions unless there is an abundance of inventory with longer market times when this highly competitive environment is characterized as a buyers’ markets rather than sellers’.

Inspection Contingency

The inspection contingency allows the buyer to perform many inspections as deemed necessary during a set period of time.  In the Chicago metro area, this is typically five business days. If the property does not pass inspection and major issues are revealed, the buyer has several options which include cancelling the contract without penalty.  More frequently, sellers and buyers resolve the concerns revealed in an inspection by sellers performing repairs or crediting buyers for the defects to allow them to address those post-closing.

Contingency clauses in a contract should not be glossed over amidst the legalese and boilerplate language. Doing so could be a costly mistake.  For additional information, please feel free to contact me today for a consultation.  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about selling your home or finding your next home..

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
YouTube


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. 
 

Photo courtesy Flickr.com/mmoz 

Leave Your Emotions at the Curb When Selling Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

When getting ready to sell your home, one of the first, and most important, steps you can take is to disconnect your emotions. Unfortunately, this is often difficult for many sellers and particularly problematic when you have lived in your home for a number of years. Regardless, it is crucial to the success of selling your home.

Not surprisingly, for many sellers, the value of their home frequently ties to their emotional attachment to the home. That said, however, it is nonetheless important to recognize that buyers will not have the same emotional attachment. Prospective buyers typically search for a house they can make into their own.  Resultantly, it is imperative that sellers set emotions aside when preparing to list their home.

Preparing your home for sale presents a prime opportunity to de-clutter your home, a step that simply cannot be avoided when moving to a new location. Inherently, moving can be a tremendous undertaking. But by decluttering upfront before your home is even listed, sellers gain two benefits from that single effort. Those include both dramatically improving the way your home shows and additionally reducing the end work needed as the actual move approaches. If you have lived in your home for many years, the process of packing may seem even more overwhelming. A great place to start is packing mementos and other personal belongings. Although they may present a strong emotional tie for you and your family, they can be distracting for many prospective buyers. When showing your home to buyers, the goal is to create a vision that helps buyers to imagine living in your home. Removing as many personal possessions as possible can help to accomplish that result.

It’s best to consult with your real estate agent for suggestions on de-cluttering and preparing your home in advance for its future sale. You’ll also want to pay careful attention to his or her market analysis of your home’s value. The suggested listing price provided to you will be based on real comparable sales prices of similar homes in your area.  By disconnecting your emotions from the equation, you should be able to fairly price your home and increase the chances of an expedient sale at top dollar.

Making the decision to sell your home can be challenging. Mastering how to put the brake on your emotions will help to streamline the process and provide a more successful outcome.

If you have any questions about the buying or selling process, please contact me.  I would be happy to answer any questions about the real estate market and how to make it work best for you.

 

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
YouTube


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 Michelle Meiklejohn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Half-A-Dozen Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Most folks who want to sell their homes know that cleaning and sprucing up prior to listing is advised.  However, several common mistakes that many sellers make can potentially have a greater impact on success than a dirty floor or soap scum on the shower door.

Here are six mistakes sellers can make with potentially negative impact on the final sale price of your home. It’s prudent to do your best to avoid them:

Failing to Get a Home Inspection

This applies to older homes and newer homes as well. If you think your home could have problems that might require repair, get a home inspection prior to listing. This will allow you to identify and correct any problem areas in your home, on your own timeline and budget, before negotiating with a buyer.

Not Properly Preparing Your Home for Sale

In a competitive market, the first impression is essential. Take full advantage of that initial rush of agents with potential buyers that occurs in those first few weeks after listing. To help your home show well, consider repainting, fixing any minor problems and thoroughly cleaning it inside and out. Some sellers will hire professionals to do this for them.

Trying to Hide Issues with the Home

Hanging a painting over a hole in the wall or a throwing a rug over that huge water spot in the middle of the floor might seem like a good idea at the time, but it isn’t. Today’s buyers and their agents are remarkably adept at finding these hidden problems. If you cannot afford to fix them, be honest about the problems to avoid a potentially contentious negotiating process, a deal falling through at the last minute or even a lawsuit.

Allowing Your Pets the Run of the House

Animals can be wonderful companions, and many people love them. But not all people love animals and some visitors may be allergic.  So in order to sell your home, make sure to appeal to the non-animal lovers as well. Many experts suggest boarding animals with friends and family while your home is on the market.  If this isn’t an option, make sure any evidence of your furry friends (fur, litter boxes, etc.) is removed daily to avoid discouraging potential buyers.

Not Choosing the Right Realtor

When you decide to sell your home you will likely have several friends who know a real estate agent, and while the experiences of your friends and family are often a good place to start, make sure to choose a Realtor who knows your area and is an experienced listing agent with the skills and connections to sell your home quickly.

Overpricing Your Home

Sellers frequently overinflate the value of their home. That’s understandable, but pricing your home above market value could cost you money in the long run. If your home lingers on the market becoming a “stale listing” and you are forced to reduce the price, you could end up selling it for less than you would have if you had priced it correctly in the first place. Be willing to listen to your agent when it comes time to set the asking price for your home.

Selling a home does not have to be a difficult process. In fact, with an experienced listing agent acting as your advocate and guide, the process can progress smoothly through closing and beyond. Contact me today if you are ready to sell your home. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have, and help get the process started.



Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES

RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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.

Photo courtesy of Images of Money at Flickr.com.

 

Enhancing Winter Curb Appeal

by Allyson Hoffman

Having your house on the market in the winter means you'll face some special challenges. Without the benefit of landscape in full bloom, a home can appear drab. To avoid losing potential buyers, here are three tips to garner buyers’ hearts through better winter curb appeal.

1. Turn drab into fab by adding a few winter-flowering shrubs and perennials to your landscaping. Some attractive options could include Pieris Japonica, the Hellebore, Christmas rose and winter jasmine.

2. Spruce up your intrigue. If you've got visible mulch around your trees and shrubs instead of a crisp white layer of snow, make sure it's fresh. The longer mulch sits in the sun, the grayer it becomes.  At some point it’s hard to even tell it is mulch anymore. So add that subtle punch of color to the otherwise dormant landscaping.

3. “Crisp and Clear” should be your motto during the winter months. So check all areas where winter storms can deposit problematic ice and snow. While you might not have issues with it, the young, old and those with disabilities likely will. Minimize your liabilities, both visual and actual, by shoveling snow and spreading salt or melting agents to alleviate the problems as they occur.  Keep in mind that an ounce of prevention can produce a pound of cure, so for more permanent solutions to recurring buildups of snow and ice, check for good drainage away from your driveway and house. Additionally, clean your gutters and downspouts to help to eliminate ice dams or the formation of massive (potentially dangerous) icicles and ice puddles as those begin to melt.

Selling a home in winter may not be the most ideal time to show off your home's beauty, but these tips can mitigate seasonal challenges. For additional information regarding the selling process, feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to offer suggestions for preparing to sell and regarding the best way to increase appeal or help you to determine the value of your current home.

 


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
YouTube


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 ColinBroug/Stock.xchng.com

Think Warm and Fuzzy to Evoke a Welcoming Aura

by Allyson Hoffman

Less than ideal weather often inspires us to spend a greater amount of time indoors this time of year. Few things compare to the coziness that awaits inside a warm and inviting home after being out in the weather. As a home seller, you’ll want to give buyers that same sense of warmth and welcome when they visit. Here are a few tips to make your home feel cozy and inviting during cold winter months.

Create Conversation Areas

Instead of setting your furniture apart in a large living area, create multiple seating zones in separate spaces. A small coffee table between two chairs, a sofa with an ottoman that doubles as extra seating and a small bistro table with two stools allows you to build a sense of cozy conversation in an otherwise open floor plan.

Decorate with Throws

Place a decorative throw, afghan or blanket over the end of the couch or across the back of a chair. This encourages potential buyers to imagine wrapping-up in the blanket while watching a movie or reading a book on a cold evening, and inspires buyers think of home when they see your property.

Add Candles

Overhead lighting and table lamps provide enough light to see by, but they often lack the warmth that comes with candles. The flickering flame makes a room feel warmer even if the candle uses LED lights. Set them up throughout the room to enhance that feeling wherever people look.

Use Warm Tones and Earth Shades

As you decorate a room, consider colors that inspire feelings of warmth. Use reds, yellows and warm earth tones like brown for accent pieces. Remember that blues are cool, so stay away from them if you want to add warmth to a room.

Paint the Ceiling

Large rooms can be made to feel cozier by painting the ceiling a color other than white. By choosing a darker shade, your space can seem a little more intimate. For rooms with high ceilings and a sense of sterility, painting the walls only two-thirds of the way up will make the room feel shorter without sacrificing the openness.

Add Plants

If you have more space than furniture to fill it, add plants to bring in life and soften empty corners. Tall plants are ideal for rooms with extra height while shorter plants like ferns work perfectly in average spaces.

Add Sensory Appeal

To add a boost of hominess for visitors, the smell of freshly-baked cookies can work wonders.  Alternately, try brewing a kettle of spiced apple cider and leave its enchanting simmering scent to provide one more inviting subliminal message to your guests.

To make your home feel cozy and to inspire buyers to fall in love with it, try one or all of these ideas. For additional information regarding the sale of purchase of a home, please contact me today for a 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
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300

allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
YouTube


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 JamesDeMers/Pixabay.com

Make Your Home the Perfect Sales Pitch

by Allyson Hoffman

Model homes are pristine, perfectly-staged examples of how homes that are unfurnished or incomplete in a new development or condominium complex can potentially look.

They’re the perfect sales tool.

When you sell your home, this is your competition. You are competing with new homes as well as resales, and you want to outclass the competition.

There are three areas to address for your home to compete with new, model homes:  (1) the exterior, (2) the interior and (3) staging.  If you consider a home showing as one long sales pitch, these areas would be considered as: (1) the opening, (2) the pitch and (3) the close.

The Exterior (The Opening)

First impressions are critical. If would-be buyers don’t like how your home appears from the outside, they very likely won’t bother exploring the inside. This is the opening of your sales pitch. It sets the tone.

So you’ll want to make sure the exterior of your home is as perfect as you can make it. Here are some enhancements designed to assure that you’ll capture buyer interest from the outset:

- Clean the yard and flowerbeds removing any debris and trim all hedges and shrubs.
- Pressure wash the exterior of your house and/or repaint if necessary. New homes have fresh exteriors.
- Clean, repair, repaint (or replace) your mailbox.
- Make your front door shine – don’t just clean it, but consider repainting the front door and polish any tarnished brass.
- Mow and edge the front lawn. Eliminate weeds – even if that means doing it by hand.
- Pressure wash the walkways and driveway.
- Replant flowerbeds, window boxes and flowerpots with bright, colorful flowers and ornamentals (weather-permitting, of course).

Improving the curb appeal of your can home can be time-consuming, so if you don’t have the time, energy or the skill to do the job right, consider hiring someone to help.

The Interior (The Pitch)

In most sales, there’s a point when the customer sees all the details. That’s the pitch. When showing a home, the inside of your home becomes its “pitch”. Therefore, do everything you can to show your home in the best possible light.

- Clean your home from top to bottom – literally. Then, clean it again. Leave no piece of furniture unmoved. Eliminate every cobweb and dust bunny. Make sure your floors shine. Shampoo and steam clean the carpets or considering replacing them if they are old, tired and worn. The interior should be spotless. Again, you can do this yourself, or you can hire a professional cleaning crew.
- If you have indoor pets, eradicate odors and evidence of their presence. Some sellers consider boarding their pets with friends or relatives while their home is on the market.
- Remove or store extraneous furniture -- rooms will appear larger.
- Clear clutter and organize drawers and closets – don’t forget the junk drawer and linen closet.
- Refresh your bathroom -- invest in new hand towels, curtains, potpourri bowls and/or ornamental soaps.
- Paint walls a neutral, inviting color such as varying shades of gray or beige.  These tones are warm, make rooms seem larger and work well with multiple décor preferences – this helps your home’s interior to appeal to the largest group of prospective buyers.
- Perform minor maintenance. Replace broken outlets and light switches, oil door hinges, polish tarnished fixtures and fix any items like leaky faucets, cracked windows, toilets that won’t flush properly and clogged drains.
- To show well, meticulously organize and clean out the closets to be no more than 25-50 percent full.
- Clean, organize and air out the basement and garage if you have one.

Staging (The Close)

Most people don’t buy homes based on logic unless they are purely investors; they buy homes based on emotion. Staging a home allows you to use emotion to close the deal.

Staging uses furniture, artwork and careful accents to create a mood and highlights the positive aspects of a home while diminishing the negative.

It’s possible to stage your home yourself. There are several tutorials online that go into great detail about staging a home for sale, but in most cases, experts can do a better job.

Professional stagers have arrangements with local furniture stores and art galleries to use their wares for a nominal fee. New furniture and accents create the impression of a brand new home.

Professional stagers' fees vary, but when you consider that professionally-staged homes often sell faster and for up to 20-percent more than unstaged homes, the fee may be well worth it.

While those perfectly-presented model homes raise the bar during home showings, keep these ideas top of mind to create your own impressive “pitch” when presenting your home to visiting buyers and maximize its potential value.

If you are getting ready to sell your home, and would like an opinion that will help you to plan and proceed with less stress, please feel free to contact me to set up an appointment to preview your home.  I’d be happy to offer you suggestions designed to help you enhance the value of your home,  help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.


 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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.

Photo courtesy of boulderite at Flickr.com.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 230

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Contact Information

Photo of Allyson Hoffman Real Estate
Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
847-310-5300
Fax: 847-400-0881

Listing Alerts

Be the first to know what's coming up for sale in the Chicago Illinois real estate market with our New Property Listing Alerts!

Just tell us what you're looking for and we'll email a daily update of all homes listed for sale since your last update. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Get Notifications

Quick Search

Contact Us

There are several ways to reach me. Call me at the number below for the quickest response or click the Contact us Online button. Thank you.

Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

(847) 310-5300
Allyson@Allyson.com

Contact Us Online