How to Prepare Your Home For Sale in Chicago


Remember the buyer’s first impression is critical

  • Is the exterior paint peeling?
  • Is the exterior siding in good condition?
  • Does the exterior color conform to the neighborhood?
  • Are the gutters and downspouts clear of debris?
  • Is the lawn green, neatly trimmed and edged?
  • Are the bushes trimmed, flowers planted and garden appealing?
  • Are the windows clean and unbroken?
  • Are the screens, missing, torn or sagging?
  • Do the doors squeak or stick?
  • Is there any unnecessary debris or toys in the yard?
  • Is the roof, porch, deck, or stoop structurally sound and in good condition?
  • Is the driveway and walkway free of ice and snow?
  • Is your pool and all of the pool equipment operable?


A neutral home sells more quickly

  • Are the walls off white or neutral in color?
  • Are the carpets beige or tan in color?

A home in move-in condition sells more quickly

  • Do the walls have scuffmarks or fingerprints?
  • Do the walls have a lot of pictures that will leave marks?
  • Are the carpets of an updated style?
  • Have the carpets experienced wear or developed traffic patterns?
  • Do the carpets need to be cleaned?
  • Are the vinyl/tile floors in good condition?
  • Do the hardwood floors need to be refinished?

A home should be ready for every showing

  • Do the closet doors open and close easily?
  • Are the closets neatly organized?
  • Are the kitchen appliances and bathrooms clean?
  • Has any unnecessary personal property been removed from the closets, basement, garage or any other areas of the house?
  • Are the carpets vacuumed?
  • Are the drapes or blinds open?
  • Do all the light bulbs work?
  • Are the pets put out of the way?
  • Have the personal touches, such as fresh flowers on the dining table, been completed?

A home with furnishings tends to sell more quickly

  • Personal belongings add to a home’s warmth and appeal. Therefore, try to sell your home when you are still living in it.

There is no guarantee of a 100% return

  • The money that is spent on improving a home’s marketability will not necessarily be matched dollar for dollar in what a buyer may be willing to pay.

There is an alternative for repairs

  • You can offer the potential buyer an allowance. This allows the buyer to make any changes or repairs to their preference.

The role of the listing agent is to:

  • Represent the seller.
  • Market your property in the most professional and efficient way.
  • Know the community (taxes, schools, shopping, etc.).
  • Know your home and be able to sell its assets.
  • Help you determine the value of your home and establish an appropriate list price.
  • Motivate the broker community thereby increasing showings.
  • Submit all feedback from showings.
  • Advertise and market the property on an ongoing, long-term basis.
  • Provide fix-up tips.
  • Submit all offers.
  • Help you negotiate.
  • Act as a buffer between other brokers and prospective buyers.
  • Follow through on contracts.

Follow through to closing on inspections, contingencies, and mortgage commitments.