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Are you considering listing your Chicago home? Part of the process of putting your house on the market is making sure that your home is ready and inviting when you host an open house. There are a lot of potential buyers in the current market, but you still want your house to stand out from the competition. Here are a few of the things that prospective buyers will be paying attention to at your open house:
Buyers are going to be looking everywhere — from kitchen cabinets, to closets, to even under the beds. Keeping everything as clean as possible is crucial. Windows, mirrors, light switches, and doors should all be free of fingerprint smudges. Dust the furniture and shelves, clean the refrigerator and oven, clear the gutters… clean everything. No area will be off limits for potential buyers. Clear the clutter and do the ‘white glove test’ to make sure your home is ready to show.
Storage is at the top of a buyer’s wish list, so it’s important that the storage space in your home seems ample. The best way to accomplish this is to organize. If your kitchen cabinets are bursting at the seams with all of your kitchen gear, it may be a good idea to clear some of the items out, pack them up, and put them in storage. If a buyer looks into your pantry or your refrigerator and the shelves are completely full, they may assume that there isn’t enough space. Organize your pantry and refrigerator items, add organizational racks or baskets, or stack items to create more space. Closet space is another hot spot for storage, so make sure your closets are organized, everything is hung and folded neatly, and that it’s not too crowded.
Keep It Bright and Airy
Buyers are looking for good natural light as well as bright open spaces, so let the light in – both natural and artificial. Open the curtains and the blinds, remove any window treatments that are heavy and dark, and make sure every light bulb in the house is in good working order. If you have rooms that are painted in darker tones, they’ll appear smaller than they actually are, so it may be wise to repaint those rooms with a lighter shade to enhance the space that you have.
Enhance Your Curb Appeal
First impressions go a long way, so why not make improvements to your curb appeal? Keep your lawn and walkways maintained and trimmed, clear the cobwebs from the eaves, and add a pop of color such as potted flowers or a new brightly colored mailbox. Don’t go overboard with pink flamingos and garden gnomes – you want it to be understated but charming, and you want your buyers to walk away thinking that this home was quite welcoming.
Keep Everything Up to Date
Possibly the largest concern among home buyers is whether or not the house and its maintenance has been neglected. If you host an open house and the buyers notice that you haven’t changed your air filters or you haven’t addressed a water stain, they may just turn and run. Be sure that you have done your due diligence to guarantee that the home you’re selling won’t become a money pit. Address any issues that can be a deal killer such as mold, water damage, a leaky pipe or faucet, damaged ducts, or a cracked foundation. If a buyer walks through the home and feels it has been well cared for, they’ll be much more confident in making an offer.
If you’d like a recommendation for an experienced, local Realtor, or if we can assist in getting you preapproved for a mortgage, please get in touch. We’re always happy to help.