Why Your Home’s Staging is Essential

 

Same room with Staging
Living Room without Staging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re asked at many listing presentations, “Why should I stage my home?” We get it! When you’re looking to net the highest profit, the last thing you want to do is incur more costs. That said, in this case the old saying of, “Sometimes you have to spend money to make money” is truer than ever. Staging your home peeks prospective buyers interest and lets them visualize themselves living in your home. Presenting a buyer with a staged layout is the one of the best ways of getting them to the next step of envisioning where their own furniture would go and picturing what their future looks like in your home.  

 

When selling your home perception is everything and staging is a tool that you as the seller can use to have more influence. Peaking imaginations with an organized, clean home and collection of cohesive furnishings not only accent the style and architecture of the dwelling, but also capture a larger audience and get more potential buyers to view your home in person. The more people viewing, the better chance of receiving an offer. The quicker you come to terms, the less you spend in holding costs. Seems simple enough, right? Well, as you are thinking this is an “investment”, so we all know that nothing is guaranteed. That said, here are a few stats on staging. 

 

Sell for a Higher Price: 

On average, Chicago listings that are staged sell for 4-6% higher than their non-staged competitors. An empty home can seem cold and be difficult for buyers to picture how the home could be laid out. Staging helps show the actual size of rooms and takes out the guess work. We want the buyers to imagine living in the home, not if their couch will fit in the living room. 

 

Sell Faster: 

A staged home will generally sell faster and receive more inquiries than a comparable home that is not staged. Buyers are generally viewing many homes and the more memorable your home is the better. When a buyer exits your home with a brochure filled with beautiful photos of your home, it is easier for them to recall it after viewing 10 other homes. Purchasing a home is based largely on “the feels” and staging can set the scene for those.  

 

Cost of Staging: 

The cost of staging your home is typically negligible to the price increase you yield for selling your home staged. Typical staging packages start as low as $2500 depending on the size of your home. While holding costs for every seller vary, staging to begin with takes out the guess work on multiple levels and eliminates an extended listing time should your home not sell and you decide a stage must happen later.  

 

Simply put, using a professional staging company highlights the layout of your home and adds a designer feel for a nominal price. No home is 100% perfect. However, staging helps to enhance the wonderful aspects and put a little lipstick on the funky parts. In these instances, things that we initially view as needing a bit of camouflaging, can turn into a charming addition. Our goal as your realtor is to give you not only the best advice, but amazing resources as well. Sometimes a home needs nothing more than a bit of decluttering and rearranging, in other instances a full stage in the best choice. We’re here to walk through your home and give our assessment & ideas to garner the most favorable outcome for you. The Dowell Group creates individual a marketing platform for each listing with the objective to yield more money in less time. Contact us today for an appointment at 312-391-5655 or ddowell@thedowellgroupre.com. With our expertise you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done everything possible to procure a quick and profitable sale for your most valuable asset! 

 

Dowell Group #3 in Sales!

The Dowell Group is #3 in sales for our Chicago Berkshire Hathaway office…which is number #1 in the Midwest and #3 in the Nation!

Thank you to all our clients who trust us to negotiate & facilitate the best deals for them. If you are looking to buy, sell, rent or invest contact us today. We are here for you 24/7.

 

Why Buy Now

The Benefits of Purchasing.

Increases in rental prices.
Rental prices in Chicago have increased around 8% in the last 2 years, making the standard practice of saving to become a homeowner while renting increasingly difficult. New buyer programs are introduced regularly, one just recently for just 1% down! (contact me for details) Programs like this and others, could be the difference between paying your landlord for another year of rent or building your own equity.

Investing in your future.
For most, purchasing a home is the biggest investment you will ever make. However, unlike most investments a place to live is something you will have to budget for regardless. Most people don’t realize they are actually ready to purchase because they don’t have the information easily provided through a few quick conversations. We will happily breakdown the steps of purchasing a home and get you moving in the right direction. In many situations, renting really is throwing your hard earned money away when you could be stacking it.

Tax Benefits.
Deductions make us happy! Getting a pat on the back from the IRS for investing in you is an added bonus of becoming a homeowner. Taking advantage of this is just another way to be money smart.

Pride of Ownership.
Financials aside, there is something to be said for walking into your home where you have the creative freedom to renovate, paint or change anything that you wish. Creating a comfortable environment that will only give back to you when it is time for the next journey. Pride of ownership is a real thing and it feels great!
More questions? Please send them our way and let us help you find your new home! Choosing the right team is essential. Whether buying or selling we are there for our clients to walk them through every step of the process and provide seasoned referrals for all of your needs. If you are a buyer are services are complimentary! Want to do a little Google research and see for yourself? Check out our reviews on Zillow. https://www.zillow.com/profile/ddowell/#reviews

Relocating to the Big City

Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.
Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.
Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.
Get involved. Meeting people in a big city can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: city life is often too noisy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.
Mind your wallet. City life is expensive. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.

Millennials Are Searching For Homes. Are You Ready For Them?

Years ago, a fearsome economic downturn resulted in Millennials returning to their parents’ homes in droves after graduation, in order to save money as they searched for too-elusive job opportunities. The image of a young 20-something, sitting in a darkened basement with Cheetos dust in their hair, sending out resumes at a clip was an all-pervasive image. Fortunately, the economy is recovering, and census studies are showing that home purchases amongst 25 – 34 olds are on the rise. Today’s real estate professionals would be remiss to ignore the trend.

Something to watch out for with buyers amongst the millennial set, is their tech-savviness. They’ll Google, Facebook and thoroughly vet any potential service provider in the digital sphere – especially a real estate agent who will helm the search for one of the most significant investments they will ever make. A strong, thoughtful web presence is key in order to capture their business.

A workforce in frequent upheaval means that the days of the 20-year tenure with one company have become rare. Advancement opportunities and frequent career changes mean that Millennials require housing options that are more fluid. They’ll seek homes that can sell quickly, in neighborhoods that will appreciate in value fast.

While they’re there, millennials want their homes to be convenient and connected. Areas close to work and amenities like shopping and dining options will be key, and if they can adjust their thermostat using their iPads, that would be a definite plus. As with any first time homebuyer, affordability will be a primary consideration. Luckily, Millennials may not need as much space as generations past. With ecologically-minded attitudes and a trend toward delaying/deciding not to have children, additional bedrooms and baths aren’t always as much of a priority.

Make no mistake, Millennials are already playing a very large part in shaping the future of the real estate market. Recognizing their unique needs and wants has been a priority of my team, and we have adjusted our business services to better serve this growing niche. Real estate professionals looking to open the door to a whole new generation of clients should make sure they’re in tune with the dynamics of this tech-savvy generation.

For more information on meeting the real estate needs of Millennials, or any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at ddowell@koenigrubloff.com

Innovative Flexhouse of Logan Square Announces Phase 3!

If you have spent any amount of time in Logan Square this summer, chances are you have noticed and admired the new rowhouses taking shape on Ridgeway Avenue. Known as Flexhouse2, this modern, urban concept is the creation of Chicago-based Ranquist Development Group.

Best known for their high quality, modern homes in Chicago’s finest neighborhoods, the professionals at Ranquist were quick to recognize an emerging trend in the Chicago housing market. Homebuyers were increasingly interested in finding modern, efficient and modest housing in vibrant, transitional neighborhoods.

Innovative concept in mind, Ranquist worked with Interface Studio Architects (ISA), a Philadelphia-based architecture practice renowned for their unique approach to sustainable and affordable urban housing design. Through the collective expertise of these two respected firms, and a partnership with Sedgwick Investments, the Flexhouse development was born.

The interior of these designs are open concept, with a natural flow that allows each home to easily adapt to a variety of uses and lifestyles. The main levels are modern with an industrial edge, augmented by ten foot ceilings, radiant-heat concrete floors, custom cabinetry and sleek Quartz countertops.

Incredible, extra-deep backyards are the highlight of the exterior. The outdoor space is highlighted by a private deck area, and gives access to the two-car garage, with a storage loft.

Special care was taken when considering the sustainability of each home. Green features include high-efficiency heating and cooling units, programmable digital thermostats, Energy Star appliances, dual-flush toilets, high-efficiency Andersen windows, low VOC paint and a combination of open and closed cell foam insulation.

But the true beauty of Flexhouse is in the customization. Homebuyers have the ability to choose from different floor plans, as well as the ability to customize many interior finishes to make the space their own. While semi-custom design isn’t a unique concept, it was certainly a luxury that used to only be afforded to homebuyers at particular price points. Flexhouse is changing the landscape of modern, affordable urban housing.

Following the smashing success of The Flexhouse and Flexhouse2, Ranquist is getting ready to break ground on the next phase of development. With only one unit left in Phase 2, Phase 3 includes plans for sixteen new rowhomes along Hamlin and will be delivered starting in the spring of 2015.
Flexhouse truly embodies today’s new generation of homebuyers, with simplistic, modern architecture, a focus on sustainable, design-driven solutions, and affordability that makes their homes attainable for a broad range of homeowners and neighborhoods.

For more information on the Flexhouse development, contact Danielle Dowell at 312.391.5655 or ddowell@koenigrubloff.com

modern kitchen

Flexhouse master bath

Hot New Listing in West Town! | 511 N. Oakley Blvd.

511 N. Oakley Blvd. | $859,000

The Property
Located in the hot West Town neighborhood, this new construction home was built with indoor and outdoor entertaining in mind. You will marvel at the soaring, loft-like 13’ ceilings and an abundance of oversized windows that flood the entire space with natural light. Modern kitchen cabinets, floating vanities, designer lighting and custom tempered glass railings reinforce the clean, contemporary feel found throughout the home.

The 3,200+ square feet of living space was well conceived, allowing flexibility with the indoor layout, while maintaining a smooth transition to the outdoor areas, which include a fantastic composite Trex deck over the garage, as well as 3rd floor roof access with great views of the skyline.
Indoors, espresso hardwood floors span the first, second and third levels, adding warmth and richness to the space. The kitchen’s modern lines are complemented by custom cabinetry, sleek Quartz countertops, over-sized island, stainless steel Bosch appliances, wine fridge and a contrasting glass tile backsplash.

Each of the four bedrooms offers ample storage space, including the master bedroom, which features a walk-in closet. The three full and one half baths all feature beautiful European porcelain tiles, custom vanities and custom lighting.

Other features include a bright, spacious lower level with a wet bar and beverage center, dual-zone HVAC with Nest learning thermostats, wiring for cable and audio, Pella windows, extra tall 8’ doors and an attached 2.5 car garage with extra storage space. There is a Metra stop only 1 ½ blocks away, making it a breeze to access downtown, as well as the suburbs.

Close to all that West Town has to offer, this brand new, chic home has it all!

For more information on this listing, or for any real estate needs, please feel free to contact me at 312.391.5655, or ddowell@koenigrubloff.com

The Community
West Town is a vibrant, diverse community that encompasses the neighborhoods of East Village, Humboldt Park, Noble Square, Smith Park, Ukrainian Village, River West, Division Street, Grand Avenue Design District and Wicker Park.

There is no shortage of things to do in this sprawling mosaic of distinct neighborhoods. There is an energetic buzz to this community, which is chock full of eclectic shops, fantastic restaurants, casual coffee shops and a hopping bar scene throughout the neighborhoods, as well as the unique boutiques, antique shops and furniture stores of the Grand Avenue design corridor.

West Town is also home to numerous community service groups, as well as incredible cultural elements and offerings, including the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral and the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral.

Residents of the community love the treasure trove of green space, which includes eight major parks. One of the resident favorites is Smith Park, a fantastic outdoor area surrounded by beautiful homes, complete with a running track and a public pool – a rarity in the city limits!

Families love the incredible variety of schools, and are pleased to find a mix of many great public, parochial, private and magnet, and music and fine arts schools in the area.

Public transportation is abundant, making it easy to crisscross the area to discover all West Town has to offer!