Staging your Chicago Condo to Sell

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Selling your Chicago condo in today’s market can be a challenge – the competition is fierce and buyers are savvy.

Properly staging your condo can provide the “it factor” that helps move your unit faster than those of your peers. In order to sell for maximum value, it’s imperative to distinguish your condo from the crowd by presenting a quote unquote finished product. Move-in ready is what many buyers are looking for.

According to Monika Carney of Phoenix Rising Home Staging and Interior Design, accurate staging is vital in the sales process because it can highlight your home’s strengths.

“Every place has a set of beautiful features as well as challenges,” says Carney. “It’s a matter of knowing how to present the beautiful ones.”

Although every unit is unique, staging generally relies on rearranging furniture, changing color schemes, packing away personal items and making small cosmetic repairs.

Carney, who is also a real estate broker, says that staged homes command higher prices on the market and don’t stay on the market as long as similar properties that are not staged.

Professional staging services are available in most major cities and generally involve the following four steps: consultation, rearrangement of owners furniture, enhanced staging (includes purchasing new furnishings) and complete furnishing of a vacant unit. While professional service costs vary, consulting usually begins around $200, whereas furnishing a vacant unit can cost thousands of dollars. Painting and repairs are also additional costs.

Professional stagers like to remind their clients that not every room in the house needs to be staged. Secondary bedrooms and other auxiliary features aren’t necessarily going to sell your home.

5 Helpful tips from design professionals

Limit the visibility of your possessions. You don’t want personal preferences and style to drive away potential buyers. The idea is to let buyers see themselves living in the unit, not you. It’s hard to create that atmosphere when they’re overwhelmed by your possessions.

Keep things clean and simple. De-clutter your kitchen to enhance counter space and arrange your dining room furniture in a way that makes it inviting and not cramped. Less is more when it comes to accessories in any space.

Be mindful of your closets and cabinets. If these areas appear too crowded, it can give the impression that the condo is cramped and needs more space. Also pay attention to oversized furniture that visually cuts the unit’s space. By eliminating a few pieces of furniture your unit becomes more spacious and easier to sell.

The biggest selling points for any condo are the bathrooms and the kitchen. Enhance your unit’s overall desirability by making sinks, tubs and refrigerators sparkle.

Remember that the building’s communal areas and neighborhood are extensions of the unit; make sure to play them up as well. It never hurts to go the extra mile. Put together packages of brochures, guides and maps of the nearby attractions in order to further entice the buyer.