The COVID-19 crisis has had far-reaching impacts here in Chicagoland and around the world. As we all do our part to practice proper social distancing, it’s important not to lose sight of your real estate dreams. Despite everything going on, the market is still strong, and there are still plenty of ways to keep your real estate plans on track — including moving forward with the sale of your home.
In fact, spending more time at home can be a perfect opportunity to get busy with small projects that can help get your property ready to sell, whenever the time is right. This way, you can stay busy and active while staying safe at home — and keep working toward your goals, at the pace that’s right for you.
Looking for easy, at-home projects that you can safely tackle right now? We’re here for you. Here are seven projects that can get your home ready to sell:
1.) Get Rid of Clutter
Has spending more time around the house caused you to start noticing the little things you would normally overlook? Whether you have a closet full of clothes you no longer need or piles of toys filling up the hallway, now is a great time to get rid of some unwanted clutter.
Getting rid of clutter can help you really show off your home in the best light to prospective buyers. It’s also a great first step in breaking away from your old space and getting ready for a change — while making moving easier and more streamlined, down the road.
Make a checklist, then work room by room or category by category to sort through the things you have, separating items based on what you want to keep, what you should throw away, and what you can sell or donate while following health and safety guidelines in your community.
2.) Start Getting Organized
If you have a little bit of downtime right now, this can be a great opportunity to start getting organized. After you lead your decluttering spree, look at all of your storage spaces with fresh eyes. There may be ways to maximize your space and put in a new system so that your household messes never get out of hand again. This can be great practice for moving into a new home and setting up your space. At the same time, buyers may be excited by those little improvements you make, from adding new storage options in the bathroom to bolstering the space in your bedroom closet.
Meanwhile, you can also take some time to check in with your real estate agent and focus on moving forward. Selling a home and moving can be a big undertaking. Your agent can help you get organized and approach each step with confidence and peace of mind. The more you organize your plans now, the easier it may be to get the ball rolling when the time is right.
3.) Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal With Easy Outdoor Projects
Curb appeal is one of the most important factors for prospective buyers when they see a property. Whether viewing your home through photographs or in person, a buyer’s opinion can be sealed based solely on the power of that first impression.
That’s one reason why, in a National Association of REALTORS® report, 94 percent of real estate professionals said that they have suggested that sellers improve their home’s curb appeal before listing it for sale.
Fortunately, there are many safe, simple steps you can take to make the exterior of your property stand out for all the right reasons — and many projects may have already been high on your spring and summer to-do list. Simple maintenance projects like mowing the lawn and keeping trees, shrubs, and flower beds clean and tidy can help showcase your home in the best possible light. Now may also be a great time to make some cosmetic changes, like painting your front door, adding new landscaping features, replacing your mailbox or house numbers, or even simply cleaning off or replacing the furniture on your deck or patio.
4.) Deep Clean
If there are messes around the house that you’ve been neglecting, now is a great time to clean them up. Making your home sparkle is a great way to make the most of your time while staying in, and it can help buyers feel instantly at home and comfortable in the space — even if they’re touring the property through digital photos or a virtual home tour.
So, what projects should you add to your deep cleaning to-do list? You can start by wiping down your counters and surfaces, cleaning the floors, and washing the windows. These basic cleaning chores can really make a dramatic difference. Once you’ve taken on all the usual suspects, you can turn your attention to those hard-to-reach or out-of-the-way spots that might catch a buyer’s eye — like dusting off your crown molding, polishing your door knobs and cabinet hardware, cleaning above your cabinets and ceiling fan blades, and removing the dust bunnies that may be hiding underneath your sofa or bed.
5.) Explore Virtual Resources With Your Baird & Warner Agent
Interested in learning more about how you can keep moving your home sale forward right now? Your Baird & Warner agent can help you understand all of the tools and resources available to you.
Right now, the most important thing is keeping yourself and your family healthy. Baird & Warner agents can help you focus on this important goal, while also making your real estate dreams a reality with innovative tools like virtual open houses and walkthroughs. These virtual house tours can be scheduled at your convenience, meaning that you can stay safe while your agent gets to work.
Now is also a great time to learn more about our virtual homeselling program, which can help you navigate the entire process from the comfort and safety of home. And with remote services and tools available from Baird & Warner Title and Key Mortgage Services, our one-stop shop can give you a seamless, safe experience at every step of the way.
6.) Tackle Your To-Do List, and Make Minor Fixes and Repairs
Feeling crafty? Looking to flex your DIY muscles? If you’re looking for a project to take on while staying at home, don’t be afraid to reach out to your real estate agent to discuss the small fixes and upgrades that you can make right now.
This might include tackling maintenance jobs like patching a hole in the wall, getting rid of scuff marks on the floor, or resealing that drafty window. Depending on your comfort and skill level, you might also consider making a few minor edits or improvements — like taking down wallpaper, repainting the bathroom, or swapping out the hardware on your cabinets. If you have any questions or ideas, your agent is always there to help out. Baird & Warner brokers are hyperlocal experts who can help make sure you focus on the upgrades, repairs, and projects that will have the biggest impact on your sale, without the stress.
Interested in taking on bigger renovation projects? When you sell with Baird & Warner, your agent can help you connect with professionals that provide expert presale renovation services, making it easier to get a home updated quickly and affordably before it’s listed. We partner with Curbio, whose experts make turnkey renovations to your property based on what buyers are looking and paying for in your market. That means when the home goes on the market, it can sell faster and for a higher price, and all at no upfront cost to you.
7.) Look Into Staging Options
Staging a home is all about setting up the space to make it more appealing to buyers. Little things like the position of a piece of furniture or the artwork hanging on a wall can make an enormous difference in whether or not a buyer is able to visualize themselves living in the space. When done properly, research suggests that staging a home may help speed up a sale, increase the likelihood of buyers visiting a listing, and even help bring in higher offers in some cases.
With everything going on, now is a great time to discuss staging with your Baird & Warner agent. Your broker can help you find a strategy that works, including making the most of the furnishings you already have. You may also want to explore using virtual staging, which can help sellers artfully arrange their space with digital elements that help it stand out in photographs or videos.
Chicagoland, We’re By Your Side — No Matter What
Even with everything going on, we know how important it is to be able to move forward with your important real estate decisions — and we’re here to make that easier and safer.
Please rest assured that while we are instituting the CDC’s health safety and prevention protocols across all our businesses and office locations, we are still operational and ready to continue serving you. We are adapting and innovating to meet your needs — including using virtual tools to market and show listings and help you connect with buyers looking for a home like yours.
At Baird & Warner, 165 years of history have taught us how to overcome even the most adverse conditions. We know how resilient our Chicagoland community is — and we’re confident we’ll get through this together, stronger than ever.