Payes Homes’ Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home in Winnetka

Payes Homes’ Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home in Winnetka

  • Ivonne Payes
  • 09/5/22

Winnetka is located a short 16 miles north of downtown Chicago and has a population of about 13,000 residents. It has one of the highest household income rates in the nation and was recently ranked by 24/7 Wall St as the second best small town to live in in America. Its name translates from the Potawatomi language to “beautiful place.”

One of its most recognizable attractions is the 1920s-era Georgian house located at 671 Lincoln Avenue. This home served as the house occupied by the McCalister family in the classic movie hit Home Alone starring Macaulay Culkin, Catherine O’Hara, and Joe Pesci.

The town has also appeared in many other Hollywood blockbusters, including Breakfast Club, Risky Business, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Additionally, many A-list Hollywood stars are from or lived in Winnetka, such as actresses Christine Ebersole, Ann-Margret, actors Bruce Dern, Charlton Heston, and Rock Hudson, and NFL quarterback Jay Cutler.

With all this fame in hand, it’s no surprise that median home prices of Winnetka real estate currently lie at $1,799,000, down a bit from last year’s high of $1,967,000. Despite this drop, houses are currently selling at a faster rate than last year and the market remains stable. If it’s time to sell your home, here are some home-selling tips.

Make sure to hire a proactive agent

Interview potential agents as you would an employee. Do a background check by at least looking at a realtor’s online ratings, website, and testimonials. Set up a consultation. Is the realtor punctual? Professional? Do they blindly shoot for the stars in response to everything you say or ask? If the realtor disrespects your time or dismisses your comments and questions without a good reason, they might handle your home and its sale the same way.

Make sure to have your paperwork ready

If a buyer comes up with an offer today, are you, the seller, ready to move forward with the transaction? It’s good planning and time-saving to have all your seller’s documentation and paperwork ready so you can present it to a buyer as soon as you’re willing to accept his offer. Make sure you have a pre-sale home inspection conducted even before you list your home. This will alert potential buyers to any faults that might affect the sales price. Having this paperwork ready to go will give buyers the confidence to make a quick offer based on factual information, which could result in a quick sale as opposed to one where you have to wait for an inspection to occur or the buyer has to wait for you to complete any outstanding paperwork. Another time-saving task is to partner with a title company by the time you list your home for sale. This saves both time and a headache if a buyer has to find one on their own.

Monitor the fine print

As a seller and regardless of market conditions—neutral, weak, or strong—you could be tempted to accept any offer where a buyer chooses to waive the contingencies just so you don’t lose a viable offer. However, you should know that these contingencies could translate into a lower offer or even result in a risk for you. Will the buyer nitpick every minor item they claim is a problem? Are they demanding or do they seem relaxed and willing to negotiate? Make sure you assess all the offers you receive to make sure you accept the strongest one, even if it’s not the highest offer in the bunch.

Be transparent about any issues

If there are any outstanding repairs or maintenance on your house, do not delay in completing them. Sellers are required to notify buyers of these problems and other incidents, such as past flooding problems, earthquake damage, murders, and other conditions and complications that existed or currently exist in the house. It’s up to you to determine if you want to fix these problems or adjust the price of your home so that a buyer can pay for the fixes. In a seller’s market, there’s a good chance that sellers can sell their homes in “as-is” condition because there are buyers who are eager to buy a home amidst sought-after Winnetka real estate. However, it’s still an important home selling tip to display your home in its best light so it stands a greater chance of selling quickly. At the very least, you can opt to hire a cleaning service to deep clean and declutter your house so it’s ready to show at the drop of a hat.

Opt for a pre-sale home inspection

Home selling tips wouldn’t be complete without the suggestion to invest in a pre-listing inspection. This step is optional but is also a wise investment. A detailed inspection report of your Winnetka real estate will identify structural or mechanical issues even before you list your home for sale so you can adjust the asking price accordingly. The inspection may cost several hundred dollars but will alert you in advance about issues that could potentially make or break a deal. By keeping a few steps ahead of buyers, sellers could speed up the selling process by making repairs at the same time they’re finishing other prep work. Tackling these issues before the house is listed for sale means that by the time the house “goes live” it should be move-in ready with all problems out in the open.

Are you ready to take the next step and list your Winnetka real estate for sale? If so, reach out to trusted local agent Ivonne Payes for assistance.

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