Yes, the spring market is upon us, but it is not too late to jump in head first! In years past, the activity of the spring market in Chicago ran through May, with a peak around March. For buyers, it is important to be prepared for a competitive field, and to do your homework upfront. For sellers, first impressions are everything, especially if you are hoping your home sells quickly.
Here is my best advice for making the most of the spring market this year for both buyers and sellers--and remember, time is of the essence!
Pre-approval is crucial: Obtaining pre-approval is my number one tip for buyers. It is a fast and relatively painless process, the outcome of which is a pre-approval letter from your lender. Most sellers will ask to see a pre-approval letter with an offer.
Attend open houses: Open houses are a great way to educate yourself on the different neighborhoods of the city, and the value of property based on location. Setup your weekends so that you attend three or four open houses per neighborhood until you’ve covered your desired areas.
Research schools: If you have kids, your home search may be based on the boundaries of a particular school, so up-to-date information is crucial! The CPS School Locator page is a useful page to check boundaries based on address, as well as school rankings. I also have a great foundation of information on Chicago’s schools on my website.
Paint! There is nothing that makes a home feel fresher than a new coat of neutral paint. My favorite color combinations include:
Benjamin Moore Pale Oak in low lustre finish for the walls, and Decorator’s White in satin finish for the trim
Benjamin Moore Sea Pearl in low lustre finish for the walls. and Chantilly Lace in satin finish for the trim
Revive your landscape: Make sure that buyer’s first view of your home is clean and vibrant. Clear out any dead plants from the winter, and add a colorful variety of spring flowers. My favorite garden shop is Gethsemane Garden Center in Andersonville.
Spring clean: When selling a home, less really is more when it comes to decor. Go through every room in your home and donate whatever feels like “extra.” The Salvation Army on Clybourn just south of Ashland is a great place to drop off.
I am always here as a resource for support and advice. Please contact me directly with further questions, I know each buyer and each property is unique!