You must do these four things if you want to sell your home!

You must do these four things if you want to sell your home!

You must do these four things if you want to sell your home!

As Chicago begins to thaw from winter, the ‘For Sale’ signs start popping up around the city.  The housing market in Chicago is gaining momentum in 2019. BinSwap A Valet Storage Company noticed an influx of new clients decluttering before listing their homes.  This is why we asked real estate agents, “Besides decluttering, what do clients need to do before listing their home?” The results are in! Do these four things before listing your home and soon your ‘For Sale’ sign will have a “SOLD” sticker on it.

1) Declutter!

Agents say it over and over again, and yet it’s the hardest thing for clients to do successfully.  People feel attached to their belongings. This is why professional organizers like Marie Kondo can stir up media frenzy with books and Netflix shows simply helping people let go of what no longer serves them. Decluttering involves “editing” the items in a space so it’s less cluttered and more functional.  

First, declutter to minimize or eliminate distractions that could otherwise take away buyer’s focus. Your home has to appeal to a wide range of prospective buyers. This means tucking away your kid’s soccer trophies or artwork on the fridge.  Personal photos or collections should also be stored. While these items might ‘spark joy’ to you, they might be a turnoff to the potential buyers. Potential buyers don’t want to picture your family living in the house; they want to picture their family living there.

Keep Calm and Declutter sign

Decluttering can be challenging. It’s important to selectively prune anything that distracts buyers from seeing what they are getting with your house.  Toss or sell anything you aren’t planning on taking with you. Clear out closets. Overstuffed closets send a signal to buyers that the house doesn’t have enough storage.

Real estate agents are recommending BinSwap Valet Storage Company to store the stuff that you don’t need while showing your place.  BinSwap makes storage convenient and affordable. They deliver free bins for you to pack. They pick up the bins and store them for $7.50 a month.  They deliver them back for free when you need them. BinSwap is able to deliver back to your new home if it’s in their Chicago service area. As a bonus, BinSwap donates 25% of proceeds back to local schools and charities.  They also are willing to take items you’d like to donate and drop them off for you. Using BinSwap you can generously declutter with ease and at little cost.

BinSwap A Valet Storage Company LogoBinSwap driver loading large red bins onto Binswap Truck


2) Clean! Clean! Clean!  And then Clean again!

There’s a difference between tidying up and real deep cleaning.  Deep cleaning dives deeper than surfaces. It involves dusting each blind and light fixture, polishing the hardware on the cabinets, and even the legs of the furniture.  Don’t forget scrubbing the grout between the tiles on the bathroom floor and making even a ceiling fan shine. Make sure windows are squeaky clean to allow as much light as possible to fill the space.

Cleaning Supplies splayed across the floor

Most importantly, do all you can to reduce odors.  People never forget smells when they walk in the door.  Try your best to remove odors caused by pets, smoking and cooking.  Nothing is worse than a smelly home. Try baking cookies or bread before an open house.

3) Freshen up your home

A little paint goes a long way for bringing a fresh clean look to your home.  Paint is the most inexpensive way to make a big difference in the appearance of  your home. Choose neutral colors. Walls and baseboards get nicked and scratched over time.  Create that ‘new’ feeling in your home with a fresh coat on the walls and baseboards.

If your kitchen cabinetry is dated you can consider painting that too.  Replacing a dated kitchen can cost a lot of money, but professional painters can paint the cabinets for fairly inexpensive and make a huge visual impact on  your home.

Before and After photos of a freshly painted kitchen

For a ‘fresh’ feeling in  your home, bring the outside in.  Adding flowers and plants to your space makes it a ‘livable’ space and is inviting and welcoming to guests.  Consider opening the windows before a showing to bring that fresh air inside.

4) Stage your home for your potential buyer.

Staging paints a picture for potential buyers so they can envision life in your home. Your goal is to show potential buyers how your home can be their home.  You want them to envision their life in your home.

Start with setting the table.  Nothing represents family life quite like the dinner table.  Bring out your best dishes, flatware and linens and showcase your dining table.   Buyers can then picture their family dining there. Add fresh flowers and keeps things simple by setting just two or four places depending on the size of your table.

A lovely set table apropos for an open house. 

If you’re selling a four-bedroom house in a family neighborhood, decorate to appeal to families. Whether you really have children or not, one of the bedrooms should be shown as a kid’s room and one possibly as a nursery.

Remove extra, unwanted furniture and arrange remaining pieces in a way that creates smooth traffic flow. Good furniture placement can help show off a room and makes a powerful impact as a buyer walks through.  If you want to make a room look bigger, pull the furniture off the wall. When people are allowed to see the perimeter of the room, it creates the illusion of a larger space.



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