What steps must I take to sell my home?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Greetings again everyone. This is Charles McShan from Century 21 Universal and this blog is entitled Selling my home in the Chicago area. My last blog was the steps to buying a home in the Chicago land area. This blog compliments that blog because to buy a home in the first place. The home that you chose has to be on the Market. A  home is like a magnet, when you place that home on the market it will attract home buyers like nails would be attracted to a magnet. That is the purpose of this blog. I am based out of the city of Chicago but whether you are in Chicago or as far away as Seattle Washington if you are thinking about selling your home the steps of selling your home remains the same.

      So let’s talk about Real Estate from the Seller’s point of view. If you have stayed in your home a long period of time and it does not matter what type of home it is but if you have been there for a while you indeed will have many memories. Many families have raised their children, weathered out all kinds of storms, paid-for house repairs both small and large. But life, bring changes, the kids grow up and leave the nest, you received a new job offer elsewhere, sickness, death. Now!  selling your home becomes an option. You now must mentally prepare yourself to leave your safe haven. When you make up your mind to bring this change about you will stop looking at your home as a secure place of the past and you will now look at it as a sellable commodity. This will involve you Divorcing yourself from your home. 

         Inspecting every inch of your home with a magnifying glass 

       To start the process of selling my home, you will first ask yourself what needs to be repaired. You can answer that question honestly because you lived in that home for years. You know what you have repaired and what you have pushed down the road for deferred maintenance. Now you will inspect every inch of your home like a Home Inspector with a magnifying glass. If you have a major repair job that you push down the road for deferred maintenance you will need to fix it now. Why? If that repair is a safety issue and you know about it an do not disclose it, it can come back and bite you in future legal action. If you tend to it now, you can repair it slowly and not have to be forced to fix it at a higher cost after the Home Inspection process brings it out and the deal is ready to collapse. 

     When you inspect the exterior of your home, start at the porch and steps. Make sure your handrails and steps are secure and crack free. If a buyer is trying to buy your home with an FHA Mortgage they will inspect the property and if the handrails and steps are not secure and properly maintain you will fail the FHA Inspection. Make sure the Garage and all its parts are in working order. If you do not have shrubbery and trees planted in your lawn ii is probably too late to do now so just make sure the grass is cut and there are no brown spots and weeds. Check your rain gutters, siding, and the building foundation. Inspect your deck and shed if you have one. Check all exterior electrical outlets and water connections. 

   Once you go inside your home, the next thing you should get a sheet of paper to make a checklist. Start at the front door and inspect every doorknob, floorboard, light switch, and outlet. Replace any parts that are damaged. Check the caulking around the tubs, sinks, and toilets, if it needs to be recaulked and you do not know how to do it, hire a professional so the job will not look sloppy.  Speaking of sinks, check these areas for leakages especially upstairs. I have been to clients homes and you can look at the ceiling to see the water damage of the upstairs bathroom leaking water into the ceiling You know the damage is there, why haven’t you fixed it? When a buyer looks up to see that damage, they will simply walk out of the door. Take time now and repair these things. 

    Selling my home in the Chicago area also involves home buyers using an FHA loan. Earlier we stated that for your home to qualify for an FHA loan your front/rear steps and the hand railings must be safe and properly maintain. Inside your home the, walls must be free of cracks and peeling To be FHA approved is a good way to get your home sold.  Check out the  Appraisal and Inspection guidelines to know how to qualify please click here. http://www.fhahandbook.com/appraisal-guidelines.php . The next question someone might ask is what about a VA  loan? Well if someone approaches you with a VA loan it is best to be informed in advance about that type of loan that is. There are things the Veteran will pay and there are things the Veteran will not pay. Also, do not be surprised if the Veteran asks you to pay for things. Like what? Please click here to find out >https://www.veteransunited.com/valoans-/note-to-hnoe-seller-leaving-out-va-borrower-is-your-loss/

    Whether it is FHA loan, VA loan or a regular loan, Give your walls a fresh coat of paint especially if some of your rooms look like they just came out of the 1970s. Get rid of that smelly stained carpet, wax the floors, lubricate the doors fix the appliances. If you can afford it put ceiling fans in the bedrooms. Fix all broken cabinets. Replace bad window screens and fix the crack windows. In the basement paint the walls and the floor. Make sure all vents are properly connected to the furnace. In regards to your Circuit breaker or fuse box make sure there are no exposed wires. Check out the sump pump, hot water heater, electrical fixtures or anything else down in the basement to make sure that it is in operating order. 

     Now, there is a major problem of a lot of homes have and that is mold. If you have mold anywhere in your home, that is a number one priority, call in an expert and eliminate the problem. You should fix any mold problems right away because they are affecting your family health right now. If you do all these things in advance your future home buyer will not try to lower the price based on these things not being fixed and they say that they will have to fix them. If you know a good handyman he will be able to help you with a lot of these repairs. As you progress on the above things you will also start the process of decluttering your home.

    The things you will not take with you when you move you can either start the process of throwing things away or sell them in a yard sale. Clean out your closet. Force yourself to sell things you have not worn in years. Get rid of that t.v. from the 1990s even though it still works. Yes sell it, trash it or donate it to goodwill, somebody will use it. Now, after you do all that and your home is clutter-free your home will appeal to the buyer more because now they can see where their furniture will fit in your house. 

     Now with all that free up space, you can now give your home a real deep cleaning. Either do it yourself or call in a cleaning service. If you have a pet now is the time to think about placing your dog in a kennel so you can eliminate that dog odor that you have become accustomed to but will chase the home buyer right out of the door. The same rule will apply for your ethic cookers out there. You are accustomed to the smells of your tasty dishes you can smell the aroma when you open your front door.  The future home buyer will not like that smell not so if you want to sell your home you must eat out more and clean your walls, draperies carpets of those smells that you love but the next person will not. Sorry for the truth because the truth does hurt. But, if deep down inside you really want to sell your home you know you must Divorce yourself from your home the smells that you are used to it and make it as neutral as possible so it will Sell. 

  When I use the word  Divorce that simply means to depersonalize your self from your home. What you did not sell, give away or threw away you can put in a nearby storage unit to take with you. The fewer things you have in the home the better. You want to create a balance of depersonalization and a warm home. That means storing family photos, personal items, toys equipment awards, etc. Just leave a few token items around to make the home filled that it is lived and inviting. Should you stage your home or not? That is a personal decision between you and your bank account.

                 What selling price should I the seller ask for?  

     Now, as you were doing all the above things you were also contemplating the selling price of your home. By now you have retained a Real Estate Broker along with a Real Estate Attorney. The number 1 topic between a Seller and a Real Estate Broker is the asking price of their home. A lot of homeowners place a lot of sentimental value on their home and they think they are entitled to that value so they want to price their home from $20 t0 $70.000 more than anyone else in their area who are also selling their homes. Some say they need the extra money to pay down on their next home or to pay bills off. Do you really think that home buyer in today’s digital world will give you $20.000 extra just because you wanted it? Think about it. Would you give someone an extra $20.000 if you didn’t have to?

       Some Sellers feel that if they did major work on their home for safety reasons they are entitled to get that money back. That will not happen. Why? The Homebuyer will probably say to you that you were supposed to keep your home in working condition and by default you and your family benefitted from those safety features also. The same rule applies to body showers, whirlpools outdoor decks, solariums, etc. You are not guaranteed to get even half of that money back when you sell your home. You placed those items in your home for your benefit.

  Here is a good article on How to price your home for sale. Please click here. https://www.thebalance.com/pricing-houses-to-sell-1798968 . So you the Seller agree to an asking price for your home. If you have a spouse or a live-in partner thru joint ownership you both agree to what is staying in the home and what you take when you leave. This is very important because once you put it in the contract and sign on the dotted line you both will have to honor that contract. If you remove something the buyer sees that is gone when they do the final walk thru the deal can be terminated or a concession in price will occur at the closing table. You sign a Sales Contract with your Broker, you put the home onto the market and like a magnet, the homebuyers will be attracted to you. 

       The game is now on. The rest of the story is just like what I wrote about in my blog to steps to Homeownership. Some buyers will love your property, some will not. Some properties will not get sold due to price, the majority will. If that happens the offer is accepted. The contract goes thru the Attorney review. A home inspection is done on the home. Based on that inspection a price adjustment might occur due to repair issues. A price adjustment might also occur due to a low appraisal return. The Seller might or might not help with the closing costs. If the Survey and everything go as expected the Title company will issue the statement. We are clear to close. 

                                          We Are clear to close 

   With those words, your Real Estate Attorney has the privilege of picking the Title Company where the closing will occur.He/She then notifies all the concerned parties with the time and date of the closing. Whether the Seller has moved out of the property or is still staying there they have the obligation to keep the home in tip-top shape an in working order. Any problems that come up with the property they must notify their lawyer. On the date of the closing, the buyer will walk thru the property to make sure that nothing that was listed on the contract has been taken out or if there is new damage. The Seller can come to the closing or have their attorney represent them in their absence. 

      Now, we are at the closing table. Thru a series of debits and credits, payments for services will be, checks are exchanged, documents are signed and the buyer officially becomes the new owner of the property. If there is no agreement for the former owner to stay in the home after the sale, the keys are given to the new owner and that is it. Everyone walks away. Keep in mind certain steps in the closing process may be a little different in the area where you live but the end results will be the same a successful Real Estate Transaction.

   So in conclusion, to sell your home in Chicago or anywhere else is a major decision. There are many steps involved but if you hire a Real Estate expert you will be in good hands. If you are in the Chicagoland area and you need the services of a Real Estate Broker, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you to get your home sold. My office of Century 21 Universal is located at 7300 N.Western Ave. Suite I Chicago Ill.60645. If you let me I would like to place our company sign on your property as the for sale sign that will attract the Homebuyers like a magnet to your property. That sign is below and to the right. Thank you and have a nice day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Charles McShan                                                                                                                                                                                       chicago@charlesmcshan.realtor                                                                                                                                                           website  https://www.charlesmcshanchicagolandrealtor.com                                                                                                       Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/cmac2121/                                                                                                                             Facebook https://www.facebook.com/charlesmcshanrealtor                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Click here for your free Download gift