If you’re planning to list your home in Chicago, you may or may not know that time of year is a huge factor in the success of your sale. A property that doesn’t sell after listing around Thanksgiving may get multiple offers if it’s a beautiful week at the end of March.
Additionally, the price you can get for a place is also heavily dependent on the time of year you list. With my clients, if they aren’t in a rush to sell, I will advise they wait until the spring in order to command top dollar.
With that time, there are a number of things you can do during the fall/winter to prep your house to be ready to go in the spring.
- Get exterior photos taken now – Fall is one of the most beautiful times in Chicago, but while you may not be wanting to list in the fall, you should definitely get your exterior photos done with your agent before the bad weather hits. Even if you don’t plan to list until March, you may not get a good opportunity for clear exterior shots. Moreso, the leaves are still on the trees here and depending on the type of home you have, that could be the icing on the cake for someone and be a huge selling point.
- Declutter – 99% of homeowners have too much stuff lying around their house that wouldn’t be ideal for showings. A stager will recommend decluttering as much as you can so you may as well start now. Get used to having less stuff around and keeping it that way so you’re ready for when there are showings daily.
- Fix all the little things you’ve put off – A broken outlet, loose faucet, scratched trim: there are dozens of little things you can repair now to make your home look flawless come showing time. The details matter and those small deficiencies add up when buyers are walking through a place. Plus, the less items to address in the inspection report, the better, especially when you’re trying to move to a new home.
- Paint/stain decks and doors – You won’t be able to stain a deck in the winter so you should do it now and seal it before the weather hits. A fresh coat of paint on the front door goes a long way as well.
- Updates – Is your kitchen or bath outdated? Do you have that project you’ve been putting off for months or years? Now is the time to do it. You can use the cold winter months to tackle those indoor projects since you’re likely not spending as much time outside.
It’s understandable that most homeowners are busy with their day-to-day lives and may not have the time set aside or keep putting these items off. But from my experience, it makes a huge difference because the alternative is rushing to get these items done the week or two before listing or settling for a lower sales price in the end. Neither is ideal. A little planning goes a long way.
Contact me today if you plan to list and want some more advice on the steps you should take.
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