Who could have seen 2020 coming? The last year was an unusual and unpredictable one in the real estate world. While industry experts always anticipate a little bit of turbulence in presidential election years, nobody saw the COVID-19 pandemic coming. In fact, words that were often used to describe the Chicago real estate market heading into 2020 were “steady,” “boring,” and “same old.”

How naive we all were! 

2020 was a singular year, one that will always be remembered in terms of social distancing, face masks, and Zoom calls. In the real estate world, 2020 was a shock to the system — but one that helped prove that, really, the system is fairly strong, stable, and resilient. 

While the early months of the COVID pandemic brought a lot of uncertainty and some hasty changes, real estate professionals and their clients adapted swiftly here in the Chicago area — and activity remained incredibly robust throughout summer, fall, and even winter as a result. 

At the same time, these last several months have reaffirmed the importance of having a place to call home. We’ve all spent more time than ever thinking about what we like and dislike about our spaces, while adjusting to a “new normal” of remote work and schooling. This time to reflect and adapt will reshape what buyers are looking for, long after the pandemic has finally come to an end. 

So, what can we expect now that vaccines are being delivered, a new federal administration prepares to head to the White House, and homebuyers and sellers are starting to make their lists of New Years’ resolutions? 

Here’s a look at what we can expect in the Chicago real estate market for 2021:

How Real Estate Photography Makes All the Difference in the Sale of Your Home

Think of your favorite advertisement, whether it’s a commercial or a bus ad. What makes it stand out in your memory? A catchy jingle? A startling statistic? Or is it something more visual – an image, a photograph, a dominant color?

We’re willing to bet that you’ve been floored by a powerful image or two before, right? You’re not alone. In fact, visual content is the cornerstone of modern marketing – and that holds true for real estate, where photography may make all the difference for the success of your home sale.

We’ve said it before:

“It’s important to adopt the mindset of turning over your home to the market. In essence, this means pretending that it doesn't belong to you anymore and treating the property as a product that needs to be marketed for sale.

A successful sale requires the homeseller and their real estate team to think like marketers, and to invest in many of the same tactics that marketers use to sell other consumer goods or services. In many cases, that means bringing on a photography pro to capture the essence of your property, rather than relying on easier alternatives, like cellphone photography.

In fact, we always bring on a professional photographer for our listings. Why? Well, in our time, we’ve seen beautiful houses go unappreciated because of poor images, and we’ve seen high quality photographs lure in buyers who may otherwise have been on the fence. In fact, in today’s marketplace, a great set of images may just be the most important tool for getting prospective buyers into the home.

Still need convincing? Let’s explore some of the reasons why photography is so important – and show off a few examples of what works and what doesn’t:

Think of a Photograph as Part of the Staging Process

Staging Your Home? Don't Forget the Garage

There are so many ways to get around in Chicago, from bike lanes to CTA trains to walking paths like the world famous 606. But for many, the car is still the best way to get from one end of the city to the other.

With that in mind, it’s important to remember that many potential buyers will care very deeply about one part of the home that many of us take for granted: the garage. Don’t let this space go to waste!

Here are three ideas for staging your Chicago garage for maximum impact:

1.) Don’t Just Shift the Clutter Around

One thing to keep in mind if the garage is part of your prospective buyers’ tour? Don’t just shift your clutter from inside the house out into the garage!

Having a massive pile of home junk in the center of the room is hardly a great way to show off the potential of the space to your buyer, who is likely more interested in seeing how a garage can be used to store a car or act as a work station than to take a look at the life-size Michael Jordan poster you took off of your wall and put out of sight.

Instead of just relocating your clutter from one part of your home to another, focus on the home decluttering hacks that your buyers will really love: Organize messy spaces like closets or bathrooms, and be ready to part with a lot of unnecessary detritus (or at least store it off-site).

Stage Your Garage

2.) Organize Your Space

Real Group Real Estate

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Baird & Warner

2526 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

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