Elmhurst real estate blog archive


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Show Off Curb Appeal In Your Elmhurst Listing Photos

by Thomas Makinney

If you're trying to sell your Elmhurst home sooner rather than later, take a look at your curb appeal. If it's right, you'll have interested buyers the minute they park in front of your house.

However, today's buyers often look at online photos before they get to the actual property, so your curb appeal must also come shining through in your listing photos.

Start with the following easy, no-cost options and then do more if needed.

  • Remove Window Screens – Screens make windows look dark in photos, and you want people to see your Elmhurst property as bright. Removing window screens will give your photos dimension, but remember to keep and reinstall all screens after the home sells. While your buyers likely won’t miss the screens during a showing, they will once they live there.
  • Water Bark Mulch – New mulch looks great and creates a nice clean appearance outside your home, while old mulch is not quite so attractive. Watering older mulch gives it a darker tone that will contrast with your greenery and make it pop. So pull out the hose and wet down your mulch both before taking the picture and before any showing.
  • Create A Stand-Out Walkway – Turn your front walkway into a path to a sale.  Clean, remove clutter and then jazz it up with potted plants or some colorful paint on the cement. Your photos will look better if you stand on a small ladder and take the picture looking down on the property or if you shoot from an angle rather than straight on.

As a seller, you want to make sure your Elmhurst real estate jumps out at potential buyers, and a great photo will make the buyer want to see more. Along with these tips, look for anything else that will get your home to stand out in the current crowded market and make your buyers fall in love at first sight.

If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate or properties in the surrounding area, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

Keep Your Elmhurst Open House Safe and Secure

by Thomas Makinney

When potential buyers come to view your Elmhurst home at an open house, you want them to be safe. You also need to ensure, however, that your personal things are protected as well. Here are some tips for each situation.

To start, these three actions can help you avoid liability from someone getting hurt while viewing your Elmhurst property.

  • Check your outside areas. Fix loose or cracked steps leading to the house; if they’re at all slippery, put down rubber mats. Block off any potentially dangerous yard areas and be sure you have childproofed decks and pools.
  • Inside, cover any exposed wires and replace any fixture or wiring that’s unsafe. Move long electrical cords or phone cords out of walking areas, take up slippery throw rugs, and fix or replace any wall-to-wall carpet that’s loose. Handrails should be in place for those visitors who need to use them, and, of course pick up clutter for safety as well as looks.
  • Children often come to an open house, so be sure to lock up medicines, cleaning supplies, and household chemicals. Pets should be contained or removed so they can’t jump up on visitors.

The flip side is ensuring that you and your possessions are also safe during the open house. Sadly, there are unscrupulous people who will come to your Elmhurst open house to steal things. Or they will scope out the house so they can break in and steal from you later. Here's how to reduce your risk.

  • Keep valuables out of sight, preferably in a locked box.
  • Lock up credit cards, checkbooks and money.
  • Keep all expensive medications locked in a cabinet.
  • Remove high-priced clothing from closets.
  • Asking all your guests to sign a register might make a thief think twice about robbing you.
  • Never discuss your personal habits or schedule with visitors.
  • Walk the potential buyers around or at least keep them in sight at all times.
  • Have friends or relatives be on site during the open house, or consider hiring a private security service.

Following these suggestions will make your property safe for prospective buyers as well as for you and your belongings while you're in the process of selling.

If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate or properties in the surrounding area, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

Avoid These Slip-Ups to Sell Your Elmhurst Home

by Thomas Makinney

While the housing market is definitely improving, buyers still hold the upper hand.  This means that your Elmhurst, IL home must be kept in the best possible condition to attract a buyer.  Below are five mistakes that can prevent you from getting that longed-for offer. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced seller, these are worth your attention.

Removing Your Furniture – If you need to move out quickly, whether for a new job or some other reason, try to leave your furniture behind until the house sells. It’s been proven that an empty house takes longer to sell, and owners get less than their asking price. Empty houses look bigger, but often they can seem gloomy.

Rejecting a Home Stager – Professional home stagers are trained to make your Elmhurst property look its very best—and worth a lot more than you’re asking.  Studies show that about 95 percent of professionally staged homes sold within 33 days, while on average non-staged homes took 196 days.  Non-staged homes also stay on the market 83 percent longer.  If you can’t leave your furniture in the house, definitely consider using a home stager.

Pets and Pet Smells – Cat, dog, or bunny, your pets—and their smells—should be out of the house for a showing.  Remember that many people have pet allergies, and a potential buyer won’t see much while sneezing.  Removing the pets is the easy part; the smells can be more challenging. Steam clean your carpets, furniture, and any pet bedding.  Ask your agent for additional advice on how other clients have handled this.

Clutter and Dirt – If all of your stuff is lying around—even somewhat organized—buyers can’t picture their stuff in the house, and this can be the key to a sale. Dirty kitchens and bathrooms will also send buyers out the door. You must clean and de-clutter for every showing.

Overly-High Asking Price – Work with your agent to properly price your Elmhurst real estate. This should be an amount that makes sense in the current market, not what you think the home is worth or what you’ve decided you need.  Priced too high, the home won’t sell no matter how beautiful and fresh-smelling you’ve made it.

While not a complete list, these are some of the critical things that can help secure an offer sooner rather than later.  And in today’s market, sooner is definitely better.

We know how to spot and correct any issue that affects your real estate transaction.  If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate or properties in the surrounding area, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

Easier Downsizing of Your Elmhurst Home

by Thomas Makinney

There comes a time when every Elmhurst homeowner needs to consider downsizing to a smaller place, and it can be difficult in many ways. First, selling a home in today’s market can be challenging; there’s the cleaning and de-cluttering needed to make it appealing to buyers, and of course, there’s the idea of leaving a place that holds so many memories. 

The good news is that there are ways to update your older home and also make the downsizing a little less traumatic.

After 20 or 30 years, your home might be showing its age. The kitchen is probably out of date, closets are cluttered, and walls need repainting. Check into everything that might keep the home from selling and fix or update as needed.  This could be as easy as new neutral paint on the walls or something more extensive such as adding a new roof or modern appliances.

Allow yourself lots of time to make updates—and to begin to let go of your emotional attachments to the home. Some Elmhurst home sellers have found that cleaning out and updating makes the home look so different that it’s easier to picture it belonging to someone else. While it helps you, de-cluttering and removing personal effects also allows potential buyers to see themselves living in the home, and this often helps make the sale.

If you feel you’re just not up to all the work, consider using a professional stager. These folks know the demographics of current buyers and can recommend updates or fix-ups in line with what today’s buyers look for in a home. With all the competition out there, you want your home to look and feel fresh, even if it’s an older home. Then you can play up both the charm and the modern conveniences of your well-aged Elmhurst property.

While it’s exciting to enter a new phase of life, it can sometimes be difficult to sell the place you’ve called home for most of your life.  We can offer all the experience and support you need to downsize and move on. If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4