With the market as tight as it is for selling homes, this is one of the most difficult markets to move inventory in at least the past 5 years. Everything you can do to make your house more appealing to a potential buyer is important. Generally, there are four actions that you can take to increase the value of your home in this kind of market:
- Lighten and brighten – Returns about $3 in increased value for every $1 spent
- Clean and unclutter – Returns about $4 in increased value for every $1 spent
- Landscape – Returns about $4 in increased value for every $1 spent
- Stage home – Returns about $5 in increased value for every $1 spent
Some properties will not have a whole lot of work to do, others will take weeks of work to get to the point where they are ready for the market. It is not always necessary to hire a professional, but it is a good idea to bring in someone unfamiliar with your home who will tell you the truth about how it looks. For starters, get rid of the clutter. You have to be ruthless about removing any items that could cause potential buyers to get distracted or make them uncomfortable.
If you think that you might need some help going the extra mile, here are some web sites in Chicago that can help:
Staging has become so important that one firm even specializes in not only making sure that the furniture and fixtures are in place and looking spotless, but that people are provided to live in the homes if the current owners have already relocated. The Nashville firm Showhomes will move in an “account manager” to live in the home so it does not appear empty and soulless.