By Jennifer Ames
Q: We have a Lincoln Park single-family home we would like to sell in the spring. When should we list?
A: Historically, the “spring market” in Lincoln Park starts in January and lasts into April or sometimes May. During this peak season, more buyers are in the market, which means attractive, well-priced homes have a better chance of selling quickly and closer to their asking price. By summer, the fervor tends to slow down. Therefore, now is a good time to start preparing your home for sale. Ideally, you want your home to show its best when it goes on the market, and that takes time to prepare. This is also an ideal time to select a real estate broker to represent you so that they can advance prepare their marketing plan and materials. That way, you are ready to go when the market starts to heat up.
Q: I keep hearing people talk about staging their home before putting it on the market. What does that mean?
A: Staging means preparing your home for sale. The goal is to eliminate objections and make it appeal to a broad range of potential buyers. With more people starting their home search by looking at photos online, staging has become increasingly important. For a vacant home, staging often means bringing in furniture, artwork, and accessories to make the home feel warm and to show potential buyers how the space can be used. For an occupied home, staging usually means removing extra furniture and accessories, and organizing closets. Staging can also involve addressing deferred maintenance, neutralizing dated finishes, and updating paint and carpet. Smart staging can have a significant impact on how quickly a home will sell and the final selling price.
Jennifer Ames is an award-winning residential real estate agent specializing in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Her full-service team leads the city in sales with nearly $150 million sold so far in 2013. You can contact her at 312.440.7525 or firstname.lastname@example.org