Emily Sachs Wong of @Properties knows what she loves when she sees it. And she absolutely loves her yellow banana-colored couch.
“It certainly stands out, that’s for sure,” laughs Wong. “Every time I look at it, it certainly makes me happy.”
But if the time ever comes when she decides to sell her family home, Wong admits that this beloved treasure will be the first to go so prospective buyers will never see it. And as one of Chicago’s top luxury real estate brokers, this sacrifice is the perfect example of just what she encourages her clients to do when they are trying to sell their house.
“This is not a traditional time in the real estate market,” says Wong. “Every buyer is on Instagram and watching television shows and what their dream house should look like. Sellers aren’t only competing against your neighbors, but also with the world around us. If your house isn’t modern looking and the things within the house are dated, people don’t want to buy the house. Everything has got to feel current.”
Therefore, Wong often has to have the tough conversation with her clients regarding changes to the home before putting it on the market.
“When you are trying to sell a house for $3 million dollars, it should be nothing to pay $10,000 dollars on paint and fixtures,” says Wong. “First showings always happen online these days in most age groups. Everyone has access to the pictures of the home you are trying to sell from the comfort of their computer. Even if you have the best exterior space and best yard, prospective buyers simply won’t come if your interior pics are not on point. This is a time when every photo has to be appealing.”
So what changes should you make before they hammer that ‘For Sale’ sign in your front yard? Well, some of those changes are quite easy.
“There shouldn’t be old world lighting, there shouldn’t be beige everything and if you ask me, I think we are on the backside of the whole gray trend,” says Wong, who has worked in the real estate business for more than twenty years. “Paint the walls white and change out light fixtures and make some of the transitional styles current.”
This doesn’t mean that you have to take all of the personality out of your house.
“There is nothing wrong with having more than one color in your house for example,” explains Wong. “It just might be a good idea to use colors to lighten things up in terms of the furniture and rugs and such. It also can be a good idea to take down the heavy curtains and all of the pillows. Just freshen things up a bit.”
And while these changes may take some time for sellers who are quite eager to get the house listed, Wong says it will be worth it in the long run.
“For this generation of buyers purchasing life homes, time is precious,” Wong says. “People don’t want to take that valuable time and spend it fixing a home. They don’t have the inclination to do what needs to be done to make a house current. That’s why your house must be completely ready before you decide to sell.”
Bottom line—Wong prides herself on telling her clients the truth.
“No one wants to hear a message of doom and gloom but its important to hear the reality of it all,” says Wong. “But the fact is that sellers have to remove themselves emotionally throughout this process.”
And when you need insight as to how to make your home ready for market, look no further than Wong and her esteemed team.
“My group truly knows the trends, so we can help sellers modify the inside of their home,” she says.
And the time to sell is now.
“Spring is always the best time for us,” says Wong. “In fact, we do probably 70 percent of our business in the first six months of the year. This is the time. Once we hit mid-June, people go on vacation and just wont be looking at real estate as closely. The time to make a change is now.”
Emily Sachs Wong is with @Properties, Chicago’s Lincoln Park Office, 773-472-0200, Mobile: 312-286-0800, [email protected]