This comprehensive guide will show you how to sell your house for more money in less time in the Chicago Metro Area, which includes Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties.

This guide will cover topics on how to best prepare your home for showings, which fix-up that get you the best bang for the buck, and how to avoid at least 7 common mistakes that home sellers make that steal equity out of your pocket.

Use our INSTANT HOME VALUE calculator to get the value of your home today.

✅My Goal For You

SCORE the BullsEyeMy goal for you today is to become an educated Chicago Metro Area homeowner. You will know ‘exactly’ what you need to do to sell your home for top dollar and make the most amount on your asset today.

By the end of this Consumer Guide, you’re going to know ‘exactly’ what your next steps are to ‘prep your home’ for selling for top dollar and you’re gonna know ‘how to avoid some of the most costly mistakes’ that I see homeowners here, our neighbors, in the‘ South and Southwest Suburbs make.

😰Home Sellers Plight

As home sellers, you have many things to think about. You may not have had to make such an important, time consuming, and nerve-wracking decision for many years, if ever at all.

It is also one in which your emotions may come into play to the detriment of good judgment. Surely, as the home seller, you’re probably thinking

surely my home where I raised my children and made so many memories is worth more than the bricks and mortar it contains.

And you’re correct. However, where real estate transactions are involved, there are dozens of decision points and a substantial investment of a homeowners time, energy, and money and emotions that can almost always lead to problems in a sales price negotiation. That’s why you need clear direction. You need focus.

This guide is here to help.  Let’s get started.

👉Your Objective

Your objective is to use A Proven System to Sell Your Home before you decide to put your home on the market.  In addition, the ultimate objective is to find that perfect home shopper who falls in love at first sight and cannot resist buying your home at the highest price.

To do this, you need to offer that potential buyer an incredible sales presentation experience, one that outshines other homes on the market.  It requires making a fantastic first impression, creating in the buyers’ mind and heart an instant feeling that they are traveling up the front walkway of their new home for the first time, and not visiting someone else’s.

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give REBECCA HOWARD a call today at 708-703-0684 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.

❓Whats Different About This Guide?

You’ve probably read all types of books, website blogs, and guides before, and if you’re anything like me, one of the questions you’re asking yourself is, what’s different about this guide?

  • Should I stick it out?
  • Should I really put my time into this?

Well, I can tell you that what’s different about this guide is that everything you’re going to learn is distilled from ‘many, many years’ of market data that shows exactly what it takes to sell your home, likely your most valuable and most important asset, for top dollar.

With that being said, what’s also different about today is that it’s going to set ‘you’ up to know ‘exactly’ what ‘you’ need to do to have a great experience and sell quickly and for top dollar and to avoid some really bad mistakes. This information is based on ‘facts’ and the ‘real market numbers’ of what it takes to sell your home in the Chicago Metro area.

😎What Are the Facts?

Market statistics prove that in the Chicago Metro area, some homes get listed and sell quickly, and they sell for top dollar, and those homeowners have a great experience.  On the flip side, other homes get listed and it becomes a horrible, terrible, terrible experience where the home stays on the market; they languish for days and months and becomes what’s known as a ‘stale listing’, it receives insultingly low offers… and it’s just a nightmare for the home seller.

Download the latest Chicago Metro Area Market Report May 2018 here.

👩🏼‍💼Choosing the Right Agent to Sell Your Home

Now that you’ve decided to sell your home, you need to decide if you’re doing this on your own or enlist the services of a professional.

Prudent home sellers choose not to venture alone into selling their home. They find it better to have an experienced real estate professional with whom the owners are comfortable and who has the knowledge and experience to go beyond just listing the home for sale. They soon realize the massive amount of work involved, and it’s a full-time job, just like the one you might have. That’s where I come in.

I wrote this guide to provide comfort is making this difficult without having the direct-sales stressors that come with the belly button-to-belly button, person to person contact and the unbearable pressure this encounter often brings.

Recommended reading: 6 Steps to Selling a House.

🏎 Proven System to Sell Your Illinois Home

Winning is FUNMy sincere hope is that this home-seller guide will help you to make the most of your time and efforts to sell your home.  Here are some of the things you can expect to learn from this guide:

  1. the process and importance of preparing a home for sale is fully examined
  2. how to present your home in the best light possible to get to top offers
  3. learn something interesting about the ‘80 / 20’ rule
  4. better understand which upgrades will make the most difference in Return on Investments (ROI), and why

Then we get into marketing your home with a look at avoiding costly mistakes and finding qualified buyers. We will explore the critical topics of negotiations, what to expect, and how to conduct them effectively, and more importantly, HOW YOU CAN WIN!

🔑Key Points You MUST Know

If you want to win, just like in any competition, you need to know the key things that the other players don’t know (or fail to apply effectively) to have a ‘good experience’ in selling your home quickly and for top dollar.

  1. First, we’re going to cover 7 costly selling mistakes that steal equity.
  2. Then I’m going to show you 2 pricing mistakes that ‘real estate agents’ often make and what you can do about it.
  3. Next, I’ll talk about what you need to know about uniquely selling your home in the Chicago South and Southwest Suburbs
  4. And then I’m going to give you some questions to ask any real estate agent before you ever invite them into your home.
  5. Finally, we’re going to wrap up with how to know which fix-ups will get the most bang for your buck and what costly fix-ups or remodeling projects to avoid and not waste your money on because they won’t help you sell for top dollar and you’ll never recoup that money.

1️⃣Mistake #1 – Relying Just On Comps To Sell

Look, buyers don’t buy on data or just comparables (or comps). They buy what they see… your competition.  So think about it: What do humans do before they buy when there are multiple options?  We compare, right? Exactly!

So to what is your prospective buyer comparing your home with? Well, if you guessed ‘other homes selling at the same time’, then you’re absolutely right.

So doesn’t it make sense that you have to know ‘what else is selling’ and ‘how your house compares’ with the competition?  Because when you know that, you will know what to focus on when fixing up, positioning and marketing your home.  This reasoning will help you avoid impulse spending or sloppy or quick-and-dirty work as well. And pictures don’t always tell the whole story. More on that later.

2️⃣Mistake #2 – Pricing The Home Too High

Remember, homes that sell fast (90 days or less), generally sell for top dollar.  A lot of homeowners don’t know this, but the longer you’re listing stays in the market, the worse it is for you.

In fact, if you’re in the market too long and have to make multiple price reduction, this invites a ‘frenzy of piranhas’ with insultingly low offers and bottom feeders because they sense ‘weakness’ or ‘desperation’ to sell.

So pricing the home too high can be an absolute disaster. But on the flip side, you want to know you are able to sell for top dollar, right?

3️⃣Mistake #3 – Waiting Too Long To Prep For Selling

Mistake number three, waiting too long to prep for selling is important for a few reasons.

If you’re selling the next six, 12 months, what you do right now could mean a difference of thousands of dollars, especially if you’re buying another home and you kind of on a schedule, right?

So what you do the month before you put your house on the market, it will determine how long your hospital takes to sell, how much money you will get for your house, and how easy or difficult you’re selling experience will be.

Things can very easily end up taking a lot longer than you expect. You don’t want to be selling from a MUST SELL desperation position, Okay?

So remember if you’re planning to sell in the next six to 12 months, what you do now, is going to make a big difference and how much you sell your home for.

4️⃣Mistake #4 – Losing Money On Costly Remodeling

Look, when you’re selling your home, focusing on lipstick, as we call it in the industry, will often do more for the sale-ability factor of your home, the expensive remodeling projects.

Also, think about this: the last thing that you need to do is sink money into expensive remodel or start a building project that doesn’t raise your home selling value, and I see this happen all the time.

You want to know what the competition is providing for their homes and focus on where you can win. So, besides lipstick, what you’re really wanting to focus on is curb appeal.

I can’t tell you how many buyers simply ask me to keep driving while we’re still on the street, right? They never get a chance to walk into the house and see your house for what it is.

5️⃣Mistake #5 – Not Removing Personal Items

Your home is a place of warmth, comfort, and memories… BUT, that’s YOUR memories.

Buyers don’t want to feel like they’re “invading” someone’s private space.

They need to easily “see themselves living there”.

You don’t want it too hot (personal) nor too cold (empty), but just right (“Goldilocks Effect”)

This article might be helpful: How To Get Your Home Ready For Sale

6️⃣Mistake #6 – Using Lousy Photos

Hey, before a buyer can ever compare your home in person, guess where they’re going to compare? Well, if he goes online, you’re absolutely right.

See, look, I’ve seen so many homes that have lousy looking pictures, but when I ended up visiting, they were incredible homes.

Here’s the thing though, this one little detail will make a massive difference in how many buyers decide to visit your home, right?

We use the latest 3D photo technology for most of our listings and marketing. Our clients love it!

So you want to get them to the house. In order to do that, one of the key things that you don’t want to do is lose them during the picture shopping phase the buyers are doing online.

Check out this recent 3D Tour that was done for one of our clients. BTW: their home got an offer for full price in 2 days! It is currently in escrow.

So make sure you have really, really good professional pictures because buyers are online, they’re looking at pictures of pictures, look lousy, they’re just going to move past your home and they’ll never give it a second chance.

And that’s really, really frustrating to see what I know that homes are really really beautiful, but just has lousy pictures.

7️⃣Mistake #7 – Being Present During Showings

Mark Twain QuoteSome home sellers are so happy to get showings that they want to do all they can to move the sale process along. When the agent shows up with their clients, they follow them from room to room, talking about everything in the house. While well-meaning, this is one thing that can crush a potential sale. I can tell you from experience:


When potential buyers are previewing the home with their agent, they want to be open to speak their minds about the homes features and frank and honest with a real estate agent when asked for feedback.

If you follow them around or are even present, most times they clam up.  They feel uncomfortable about expressing themselves and while the homeowner has a personal stake in the showing experience,  because it’s your house, and buyers will be hesitant and hurried, and this can squash and interest very quickly. They just want to leave and may not get to see all of the wonderful features of your home.

Perfect time to take the dog for a long walk, or take the kiddies to the local ice cream parlor, or better still, weather permitting, to the local waterpark.

🏷2 Pricing Mistakes Agents Can Make

Now look, I’m a real estate agent myself, right? So I’m not here to say that real estate agents don’t do a good job, but you know, there’s all kinds of people in this world, right?

There are good real estate agents, and there are lazy agents, just like there’s lazy people and hardworking people. There are lazy agents and there are hard working agents who take care of their folks, right? Take care of their clients. So this is just, you know, unfortunately, some mistakes that I see agents making often time here in the market here in the Chicago Metro area and I want to make sure that you don’t, you don’t fall victim to that. Okay? Don’t fall trap to them.

► Pricing Mistake #1: Using Just Comps and Data

Look, many agents look at recently sold comps as ‘comparable’ homes and Internet pricing data (AVM) to pick what they consider a good selling price.

But think about this: What’s just as important to pricing your home besides recently SOLD comparable homes is the QUALITY, AMENITIES, and FEATURES of the houses that are selling within 3 to 5 miles of your home when YOU list on the market.

Because remember: buyers are comparing your house to COMPETITION, not to some DATA, right? And we’re selling TO buyers, right? The person that’s going to buy your house is a PERSON, right? Somebody who falls in love with your home the way YOU did when YOU saw it and decided to buy it.

► Pricing Mistake #2 – Only Looking Backwards

Looking what a home sold for in the past is important to know for sure, but that’s just part of the picture, right? And yeah, it will factor into the offer a buyer is going to make for your home when they sit down to write an offer. I get that. Of course, it’s important though, but again, like I said, that’s only part of the picture.

See, looking at sold homes is only looking at the rearview mirror and neglect a’ very important factor’ for getting top dollar for your home, which is this how MANY homes are selling WHEN you put your home on the market, because competing against 3 homes versus 15 homes in a 3 to 5 mile radius makes a BIG difference in your pricing strategy and your promotion strategy.

❓Questions To Ask An Agent Before Inviting Them Into Your Home

  • In which neighborhoods, towns, cities do you specialize?”
  • Can you provide references from satisfied clients?
  • Do you have a network of trusted professionals who can help me sell my home?
  • When clients are unhappy with your service, what has gone wrong?
  • What type of communication should I expect from you?

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics.

If you have any questions give REBECCA HOWARD a call today at 708-703-0684 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.

⚖️The 80 / 20 Rule

Oh, here’s the information I promised about the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule is an exaggeration of the Pareto Principle, named after the 19th-century Italian economist and sociologist Vilfredo Pareto.

This gentleman, Pareto, studied the economies of several nations and noted in 1897 that approximately 80 percent of each country’s wealth was consistently being managed by more or less 20 percent of its population. Pareto called this happening “predictable imbalance.”

Some people use that opinion today, the 80/20 rule, and apply it to real estate. Just for the record, it’s not a real estate statistic at all. It’s just a phrase people use to describe what seems to be a truism in many aspects of life, such as:

  • being used to evaluate problems and solutions, risks and rewards, efforts and results, etc.
  • 80 percent of problems can be solved with 20 percent solution effort.
  • 80 percent of the money belongs to 20 percent of the population.

Perhaps, if you think about it hard enough, you can apply this principle to help sell your home FAST ( 20 days or less) and for TOP (80% more than you expected) dollar. We wish, right?

👟Next Steps

Home Values: Use this form to get an INSTANT ESTIMATE (within 15 seconds) for your property.  This house value calculator is an estimate only using the Internet to gather local real estate listings and sales in the area.

The best way to get a comprehensive valuation is to let us make an in-person visit.

Once you receive your estimate, please give us a call at 708-703-0684.

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