Selling your Chicago home? Take these steps first

Ready to put your Chicago condo or single-family home on the market? Then you have some work to do.

You will, of course, have to work with your REALTOR® to set the right asking price for your Chicago home. But you also must prepare your home for buyers to make sure it looks its absolute best.

The RealtyTimes website recently ran a good primer on how to get your home ready to sell. The advice in the story isn’t new. But it is accurate, and it does provide a good checklist for any Chicago owner ready to list a home.

The first step? Paint. It’s always a smart move to go through your house to paint drab, dirty walls. You might be surprised at how much life fresh coats of paint can give your home. Even better? Painting is a relatively cheap fix. You’ll get plenty of bang for your buck when you bring out the paint cans and brushes.

Then? Make the repairs. Don’t list your home if parts of it are broken. If you have windows that won’t open? Fix them. If you there are divots or pock marks in the walls? Fill them in. And if your dishwasher doesn’t work or the bathroom sink leaks? You need to get all that fixed before buyers start touring your property.

You want your home to look large and airy, too. So clean the windows and remove any extra furniture or memorabilia. Doing this will make your rooms look larger. And by getting rid of personal photos, awards and other items, you’ll give potential buyers the chance to imaging themselves living in your home.

Focus on your home’s outside, too. Make sure the lawn is mowed and neatly trimmed. Pull those weeds. Add new mulch to garden beds. And make sure those flower gardens are tended. When buyers pull up to your home, they’re form their first impressions by looking at your landscaping. If your front yard is filled with weeds, these buyers might immediately get a negative feel for your home.