Seller Tips

Take a little time and money to get things off on the right foot.

1. Curb Appeal

Trim those bushes back and rent a power washer.  So you’ve got a ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ thing going on?  Let’s take on that vegetation with a vengeance.  It’s the first and last thing people see when viewing your home.  Let’s give it our best.  Fill those empty flower pots, clean the windows, and wash the siding.  It could be the reason someone picks your house over another.

2. Keep it Clean!

Break out the duster and have the carpet cleaners over.  Dirt feels dirty and that’s never a good thing.  Remember, we’re putting our best foot forward.  Let’s make sure it’s not covered in mud.

3. Reduce the Clutter

Come on, you’ve got a stack of magazines from 2002 sitting there.  It’s time to find them a new home in the recycling bin. Spring Cleaning isn’t only for the spring!  Don’t forget you have to pack it all before you go, so let’s get an early start.

4. Stage for Photos

What’s the first thing people usually see when looking for a home?  Photos, photos, photos.  That plastic has done a good job keeping your couch looking new, but in photos maybe it is time for something a little more modern.  There are teams that can come in with new furniture and take photos in a matter of hours.  Imagine a team of movers with a change of heart because your house will look exactly the same when they leave.  It’s also really great for empty houses, because we get asked, “Do you think a bed would fit here?”

5. Understand the Value

You really love the 70’s cabinetry with matching green appliances, right?  Or maybe you just rehabbed your bathroom so that when the door opens Yellow Submarine plays?  Those things can be very unique to you and to others….not so much.  Understand that things you find valuable may not be to others.  Don’t take it personal.

6. Get an Appraisal

Isn’t the buyer supposed to do this? Usually when a buyer has given you a signed contract this is one of the very first steps in order to get a loan. Well, if you’re lucky enough to have a number of buyers who bid up your house over its appraised value then don’t be surprised if the bank comes back lower (appraisals are to be inline with neighborhood comps).  What usually happens next is either a cancelled contract or a lower selling price.  Either way, they both draw out the process.

7. Get a Home Inspection

Hey, wait a minute, doesn’t the buyer do this too?  Absolutely, but you don’t want to be caught off guard when there is an electric wire leading seemingly to nowhere.  We can’t tell you how many times items like this has drawn out negotiations, cancelled contracts, and reduced money in your pocket (surprise!).

8. Fix What You Can.

Imagine you are buying a used car and the handle falls off when you open the door.  Adjust the mirror and it falls in your lap.  Turn on the radio and it’s only AM!  How does that make you feel? Probably not like buying the car.  We want to give potential buyers the best experience possible and lingering items will cause more problems for you when you get to #11 on the list.

9. Have Documentation Handy

Those windows are 100% noise canceling, self cleaning, indestructible objects built directly from the space shuttle?  Show me!  Having documentation will help move negotiations faster and also prove out the value of upgrades to the home.

10. Be Flexible with Showings

Yes, it is your home and you still live there, but you are trying to sell it, aren’t you?  We can’t tell you how many times a buyer has been turned off and just moved on to the next because the owner was difficult to schedule with.  Or didn’t leave (that’s awkward for everyone).  Once again first impressions are key.

11. Be Negotiable

We want you to get as much for your property as possible, but it’s important that you remain fluid in the negotiations.  Try not to take things personal and look at it as a business transaction.  Is it really a big deal to give away your microwave if it stalls what you are trying to do, which is sell your house?  Big picture.  Most buyers expect to get a few bucks off the asking price.

Doing these things will payoff in the long run.  There’s a reason the sellers we represent have their homes on the market for less time than average!

Ready to Sell? Get a Free Home Valuation Report!

Megan helped us find a rental downtown Chicago. She was knowledgable, professional, understood exactly what we were looking for and took time out of her Saturday and Sunday to show us the long list of places we liked. When we’re ready to buy, I know who I’m going to call!

Happy Renter

Full disclosure – I do not like real estate brokers…they are usually pushy and annoying. Not Megan. She is a professional and she’s there when you need her. We worked together to find the perfect condo for me and my wife, and her attention to detail was amazing. We are very specific people, and she was able to find our dream home. HIGHLY RECOMMEND using Ashbrook Realty for your next home.


I have LOVED working with Ashbrook Realty. I have yet to find my dream home (or more like I can’t yet afford my dream home) but condo shopping with Megan has been easy fun and refreshingly low pressure. She will find the right home for me at the right time. Of this, I am sure.

Happy Homeowner