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! 

 

Chicago Market Analysis: May-August

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chicago real estate market has experienced historic numbers this summer, so it’s no surprise that listing prices and sales figures have risen. In comparison to last year, the median sale price in the Lincoln Park, West Loop, and Lakeview neighborhoods have all increased 6% or more. For sellers, May-August in the Windy City has been quite fortuitous almost across the board.

Entering the summer market, the buzz around the city was that inventory was low. However, in all these areas the numbers tell a different story. All five neighborhoods included in this study (Lakeview, Lincoln Park, West Loop, Bucktown, and Downtown) saw 6.8% or more in new listings than the same time last year! Downtown leading the way with a 13.6% increase. While these figures are great for prospective buyers, it’s important to consult an agent and exam the stats of your area if you are a seller. Overflow of inventory does have the potential to affect median sales figures. The analysis of Downtown is an example of how a larger number of listings could possibly decrease sale prices. 

Overall, this summer market 2017 was strong with very limited stagnation that allowed prices to stay steady and/or increase in the majority of areas. As real estate professionals, we daily see how the market ebbs and flows, which makes us an excellent resource to our clients. If you’re considering selling your home or would like to learn more about the status of your neighborhood market and home value, please contact The Dowell Group today for a free comparative market analysis!

5 Tips for Buying a Home

Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get your finances in order.

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.

Find a house you can afford.

As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

Hire a professional.

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

Do your homework.

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.

Think long term.

Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.

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!