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Re al Estat e
BY TARA KELLEHER
Sellers: It Pays to Be Prepared!
pring is a great time to take stock of the state of your real estate and start preparing your home for sale. Considering the current climate, which includes a pent-up demand for housing, a market correction, and record-low interest rates, now more than ever it pays sellers to be prepared. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the NAR (National Association of Realtors) reported earlier this year that he does not “…see any major existing-home sales declines from this point onward; however, it is difﬁcult to say when we will see a notable pickup in home sales, but it will happen in 2008.” As a seller today, focusing on proper preparation and pricing at market value will make your home “stand out” in today’s market. According to the MLSNI (Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois), more single-family detached homes have been listed for sale in the Barrington area in April, May, and June than any other time of year. The largest percentage of homes have also sold during this same time period. Even amid the national market correction, homes here are selling every day. According to the MLSNI, ten percent of all single-family detached homes in the Barrington area sold in ten days or less in 2007. In the two years prior, 15 percent of all homes sold in the same time frame. One contributing factor to these statistics is likely the fact that the seller had been prepared and maintained a great home, which encouraged the buyer to see value in the price the seller was asking for it. If you currently have a home listed for sale or are looking to place your home for sale sometime in the future, there are several things you can do to help increase the value of your home and prepare it to sell more quickly.
PHOTO: THOMAS BALSAMO
sion to see the rest of your home. There are easy ways to increase your curb appeal. With an objective eye, look carefully at your home and decide what needs to be done. Start by asking yourself some questions. Is the landscaping well maintained? Are there seasonal ﬂowers for a touch of color? How does the roof look, and the gutters? Has the house been painted recently with updated colors? Is the driveway in good shape? How about the mailbox? Are the windows and light ﬁxtures clean, with the light bulbs working? Walk the perimeter of your home, take notes, make a list, and get to work.
Tara Kelleher is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 330 E. Main Street, Suite 101, in Barrington. She is a member of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce and a resident of the Village of Barrington. She may be reached on her direct line at 847-277-2255 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her web site at www.tarakelleher.com.
Make your home sparkle
These steps will help you get a potential buyer in the front door. If you’ve taken the time, energy, and effort to give appropriate attention to the exterior of your home, the buyer will be expecting to see the same care taken inside as well. Remember, when your home hits the market, it is no longer your home – rather, it is your future buyer’s home. Make it sparkle! Buyers will see value if they can picture moving in to a clean, updated, and well-kept home. Less is more, and minimize to maximize when preparing your home for sale: Clear spaces, organize closets, and ﬁnd a home for everything you own, even if it means storing some things while your home is on the market! Make your home inviting with fresh paint on the walls and trim, in updated neutral colors. Arrange furniture and accessories in your rooms to create air and space in which to move around freely. These rules apply to all types of homes. Make it your goal to have your home “show like a model.” If your kitchen and bathrooms need updating, do it! Money spent on keeping your home up now will usually come back to you in your future sale. If you feel as though you need help, you can hire an interior re-designer to prepare your home for sale (your Realtor can recommend one). This person will show you how to use the things in
your home to create inviting spaces and make your home ready for showing to today’s discerning buyer. With proper preparation, accurate pricing, and attention to detail, your home will sell! The spring market is here, and buyers are looking for the best homes at the best prices. Be prepared. Stay on top of the hard work you’ve done in setting the stage to sell your home. When the opportunity presents itself, you can be the lucky one to sell your home in today’s changing market!
Create a good ﬁrst impression
Let’s begin outside. When your home is listed for sale, photographs of your home will be on the Internet, in the newspaper, and on ﬂyers and postcards. The exterior of your home is the buyer’s ﬁrst impression, and it can make or break a deci-
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