Tips to Get Your Property Sold Quickly

Please welcome our newest guest-blogger, Suzie Wilson! As the creator of happierhome.net, Suzie has a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes, a talent she has crafted over 20 years as an interior designer!

When your home is on the market, it’s like it’s going on a date. It has to look its best. That’s because buyers can be extremely picky, often looking at 10 or more properties before settling on the right one. Who can blame them? After all, this is likely the biggest investment of their lives, one for which they’ve probably saved up for years.

So, just what do you need to do to get an offer? Before you throw your hands up in despair, here are some suggestions that have worked wonders for other sellers, and could do the same for you.

Stage It

According to a realtor writing for the Balance, it’s all about illusions that generate the mood you want buyers to feel when they walk around the house, involving a wide variety of props such as mirrors, plants, lamps, throw rugs, fruit baskets, and cookbooks. The idea is to make each room tell its own story, and you may want to hire a professional to do it right, which Angie’s List notes usually costs $150 to $500.

Upgrade the Landscape

One expert says it could increase the value of your property by a whopping 150 percent. That’s quite a return on investment if you keep costs down, and there are ways of doing that while creating the perfect yard. Just the basics will make a huge difference, and that means trimming and watering the grass, mulching the periphery, and adding color through flowering plants.

Give It a Paint Job

You may not have to if your house already has a fresh coat in the right color. That would be blue, at least according to a survey cited by a contributor to Forbes. Rooms that evoke the sky and sea can help a home fetch almost $5,500 more than similar properties on the market. Dark or style-specific shades have the opposite effect, actually shaving money off the expected sale price.

Redo the Trim

This can also add significant value to your home and get it off the market quicker, but only if done correctly in a style that matches the overall decor. Some popular options include crown molding, which lends a touch of elegance, especially in rooms with high ceilings. Ditto for the right window and door casings.

Tackle Minor Repairs

Take a walk around the house from room to room and spot anything that doesn’t look right, including scratches on the hardwood floor, poorly-attached fixtures, and dripping faucets. Make a list of everything you see and take care of each item one by one, calling in the professionals if the job is too big for you to handle. Shoddy DIY can actually undo your efforts.

Add Some Space

Not literally, of course, but through decluttering and centering your furniture so there’s ample room to move around. Begin by removing items that don’t really belong where they are and putting them in storage – particularly anything personal – as visitors want to envision themselves in the house, not the previous occupants. Some experts recommend taking photos of each room so you can examine them more objectively.

Clean Thoroughly

A dirty home tells the buyer it’s not well maintained at all, and that could put the kibosh on a sale when you’re so close to sealing a deal. Besides, getting it spick and span isn’t all that hard once you’ve finished the decluttering, as long as you follow the right tactics. Do it room by room and clean from the top down, with special attention paid to the kitchen and bathrooms.

Once all this is finished, it shouldn’t be long before you have an eager buyer ready to sign, and for more money than you thought you would get.

That cash will come in handy at the new place.

** Suzie Wilson is proud to announce that her debut book, The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House, is COMING SOON to online retailers and bookstores near you! Filled with tips, tricks, and other advice based on her 20 years of experience in interior home design, the book will set you and your home up for success.

All images courtesy of Pixabay.


State of the Housing Market

“How is the market looking these days?”

As real estate professionals, we’re asked this question daily. We hear it from clients, we hear it from friends. We hear it from strangers at parties, and from family at the holiday dinner table. As industry experts, it is an important question for us to approach, but not an easy one to definitively answer.  

The ebb and flow of the housing market in the United States affects every aspect of the real estate industry. It causes interest rates to rise and fall, and consumer confidence to swell and fade. Making things even harder to predict is the fact that the market is cyclical – never resting for long on one end of the spectrum or the other.

Without question, the housing market in the United States has shifted in the last year, resulting in a loss of momentum from its peak in 2016. Several key factors contributed:

  • Rising Home Prices
  • Rising Mortgage Rates
  • New tax laws that reduce incentives for homeownership

But while it is true that each of the above conditions has had a tangible impact on our current market, looking at the recent past only tells half the story.

Moving forward into a new year, it isn’t hard to find hope. After all, the economy is humming; workers’ wages are on the rise, and unemployment has fallen to a level not seen in decades. There are strong indications that both homebuyer demand and home inventory are increasing, and could begin to bridge the gap between a stalled housing market, and a national economy on the rise.

So why does the current slump continue? It comes down to one simple factor – uncertainty. The decision to buy or sell a home is packed with pressure, and most individuals get their information from television and online news. At best, the opinions of these various outlets can differ dramatically. At worst, they cause panic and stress by only offering up worst-case scenarios.

So our best answer to the question, “What is the state of the market?” Put simply, it’s fluid. It changes from one day to the next, often in ways that are impossible to predict. And if you only look at it from a national perspective, you may never find the right time to dip your toe in its waters.

It is imperative instead that you look at the opportunity to buy or sell a home from one perspective and one only: your own. With a results-oriented real estate agent serving as your guide, expertise and an established process will be the catalyst for a swift and successful transaction – not the influence of the market at large.

As we head ever closer to a new year, you owe it to yourself to experience what full-service real estate truly means. It’s time to find out how d’aprile properties has distinguished itself as the premiere real estate brokerage in the Midwest.

It’s time to discover what makes d’aprile different.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Never Too Late for the American Dream

When you meet the unassuming and uniquely awesome Ms. Diane Mowrer, you can’t help but be pulled in by her enthusiastic spirit. An avid cook, decorator, and self-proclaimed ‘neat freak’, her personality and sense of humor crackle with energy. She constantly wears a broad, genuine smile and is quick with a joke – even if it’s directed at herself.

A former executive assistant with Chase Bank, this mother of five is a DIY-kind of girl. Spontaneous and creative, she prefers tackling remodeling projects head-on, and getting her own hands dirty. Having recently become a homeowner for the very first time on her own, she now has the opportunity to begin a new chapter in her life, on her terms.

All at the tender young age of 79. (Don’t worry, she gave us permission to tell!)

For 25 years, Diane had been renting an apartment in the Western Suburbs. She labored up and down flights of stairs daily, and had no choice but to constantly clear snow from her uncovered car come winter. But perhaps the biggest burden to bear was the lack of opportunity to turn her living space into a real home, forced to stare at drab paint colors and dated fixtures chosen by someone other than herself. Creativity needs a canvas, after all.

Diane hadn’t been actively looking to move, but like so many others she often passed time looking at properties online with a curious eye and an open mind. One day she realized a condo that had previously caught her attention had come back on the market in Lombard. As luck would have it, her granddaughter Sara Press just happened to be a highly-skilled d’aprile properties real estate agent, so after breakfast one morning in the area, Diane asked if Sara could show her the property. Before they left, she was ready to make an offer on what would soon become her new home.

Sara guided her through every step of the home buying process, and even brought in a little help from Erin Stojakovic – a mortgage professional with our good friends over at Midwest Lending. That’s how on August 8th – just a couple of months shy of her 79th birthday – Diane found herself sitting at the closing table, being handed the keys to her very own home.

After almost eight decades, you would think she took some time to relax, and savor the moment. But no, not when there was so much she could do, without anyone’s permission but her own! Walls and cabinets were soon painted, countertops and carpeting were replaced. And a stand-alone cupboard will be custom built for the kitchen, after she drops the ceiling and installs canned lighting. But reluctantly, she admits that these can wait until after the holidays. She has cookies to bake, after all. And she already knows where she’s putting her tree.

Diane once lived paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet. But with patience and some strategic saving, she realized that homeownership was well within her reach. When asked if she had any advice for other seniors looking to start over, she simply said, “Never give up. With the right people beside you, it’s easier than you think.”

If only all of use could be so positive, so young at heart. Thank you Diane, for letting d’aprile properties be part of your story. It has many more chapters to come.


What It Means to Serve – Military Family Appreciation Month

Today, more than two million courageous men and women proudly serve their country, representing the United States military and its reserve components. These individuals, serving both domestically and abroad, wake up each and every morning with one purpose: to defend the principles on which this nation was founded, so that its citizens can live free. 

They are Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers. They selflessly sacrifice their lives for a cause greater than themselves, and they deserve all the support and respect that we as their fellow countrymen can offer. But we must never forget those who stand beside our servicemen and women every day, even as they are forced to stay behind.

They are the heroes on the homefront: the spouses, children, and parents of our military members, who answer the call with dignity and grace. While they may not wear a uniform, they know precisely what it means to serve their country. Bearing the heavy burden of long deployments and difficult moves, these steadfast patriots often put their own careers on hold, in order to support their family and protect their household.

They’re your neighbors. They go to school with your children, and you see them at the grocery store. And while their struggle takes place daily, they bear their burden in silence, so those they advocate see nothing but strength and stability.

November is Military Family Month, and it is our duty to honor and support the families of our troops and veterans for their unwavering devotion and contribution to our freedom.

In 2018, d’aprile properties continues to partner with Homes For Our Troops, widely recognized as one of America’s Top-Rated Veterans and Military Charities for seven consecutive years. A privately funded nonprofit organization, they build and donate specifically adapted custom homes nationwide to post-9/11 veterans and their families. To join us in this cause, visit our fundraising page HERE.

These people are the backbone of our military, the fuel that keeps the home fire burning. If you’re looking for a way to personally salute the heroic families who stand by our armed forces, remember that even the smallest act of kindness can bring welcome relief to those who simply long to see their loved ones come home safe.

  • Say “Thank you”
  • Write them a note
  • Leave a care package at their door
  • Offer to babysit
  • Volunteer your time by shoveling their walkway, or carrying their groceries
  • Donate to a veterans’ charity on their behalf

Or when in doubt, simply ASK them what they need. Because each and every one of us, no matter how strong, can benefit from the charity of others. We rise by lifting each other.

 


Top Tips for Cleaning Your New Home Before Moving In

 

Let’s say hello again to guest-blogger Jim Vogel, co-founder of ElderAction, who focuses on helping ensure seniors thrive throughout their golden years by sharing pertinent resources and information. He also knows a thing or two about keeping a happy home!

Purchasing a new property is exciting, and chances are you’re anxious to move in as soon as possible. However, your new place can harbor hidden dirt and debris that you would be better off without. Here are the best ways to create a clean, move-in ready environment so you can breathe easier in your new home.
Take It From the Top:  Cleaning is probably going to be more of a chore than you envisioned. No matter how spotless the house looked when you visited, when items are moved out dust and debris can be stirred up. On top of that, cardboard boxes seem to always leave some residue of their own. Bed, Bath and Beyond suggests you begin cleaning by looking at what’s overhead.  Light fixtures, crown molding and corners likely harbor dust and cobwebs.
What’s Underfoot?:  Carpet fibers can hold a wide variety of allergens and pollutants, so even if carpet appears clean give it thorough cleansing. If there are stains, start by trying to identify them. Popular Mechanics offers several handy tips for treating stains with common household materials. Once you address those spots and marks, steam clean the carpet. The detergent and steam will help penetrate the fibers, loosening and lifting dirt.

 

Dusty Drapes and Blinds:  Did your new home come with the window coverings from the previous owner? Even if you don’t intend to exchange them later with your own, some experts note they can hold allergens and dust in the fibers, folds and crevices. Remove them for washing or vacuum them thoroughly.
Scrub Those Appliances:  When you’re moving into a new home, some professionals note an often overlooked area of concern is the kitchen appliances. Give the refrigerator, oven and microwave a thorough cleansing before you use them.
Sleep Tight:  Especially after all your hard work, you don’t want to bring dirt and allergens into your new home. If your mattress is five years old or older, it’s likely home to bacteria, dust mites and other yucky microorganisms. Instead of trying to catch some shut-eye with all those freeloaders, research some mattress reviews to find one that fits your sleeping style and body type so you’ll rest easy in every way.

 

Deep Breathing:  Ensuring you and your family members are breathing clean air will help you rest easier in your new abode. As Sears explains, the air inside your home can be worse than you might think, laden with pollutants such as household cleansers, fumes from paint and other toxins. Be sure to change the filter in your home’s HVAC system for starters. It’ll not only help keep the air clean, it will also help the system run efficiently. If in doubt, one idea is to have your home’s air quality tested. And before your family spends a night in the new house, another recommendation is to properly install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Move-in Ready!:  Before moving into your new home, clean thoroughly. Make sure all the ugly little particles from its previous life are removed, and don’t bring in any new ones. Your new home will be a breath of fresh air, thanks to your wise choices!

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A Day On the Links

 

Sometimes, after a hard day’s work, a little time out of the office is the cure for what ails ya! On September 25, d’aprile properties was once again excited to join our friends at Midwest Lending, who sponsored our annual Golf Outing! Agents, Loan Officers, and Support Team members got together for a day on the links at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton, IL.

 

d’aprile properties and Midwest Lending are close partners in the real estate market, and the camaraderie was even more intense on the course! A shotgun-style tournament was held, and 4-person teams had a blast taking part in a little healthy competition.
The sun was shining, the smiles were bright, and the backswings (for the most part) were true. A great time was had by all, and we are already looking forward to next year’s event! Thanks again Midwest Lending!

 

 


Moving Forward With You

The minute you’re satisfied with where you are, you aren’t there anymore.
— Tony Gwynn, Hall of Fame Baseball player
Time flies when you’re having fun.
This company began with a shared purpose, and a hopeful outlook toward the future. Today, having exceeded the expectations of thousands of clients across the Midwest, and cultivating some of the area’s finest top-producing agents, we are excited to announce that we have made the Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America for the fourth consecutive year.
The organizations included on this list are noted for their dedication to service and innovation, and are championed for their ability to create value and job growth. d’aprile properties is proud to once again be included on this prestigious list.
Our firm dedication to the quality of service we provide has fueled our success – but we won’t stop Moving Forward. We’re committed to providing a unique and wholly satisfying real estate experience to our current and future clients, as well as our amazing team of dedicated agents. We dedicate ourselves to providing our agents the opportunity to take their individual business to new heights.
d’aprile’s foundation was built on a culture of collaboration. While it would be impossible to name each, we’d like to take this moment to thank each and every one of our valued clients, agents, and support team members, whose trust and acceptance of our vision are the exact reason that we do what we do.
We’re honored to have shared this experience with you, and look forward to working with you again in the future!

 

 

 

 


Cutting the Ribbon!

They say that you can BE a good neighbor only if you HAVE good neighbors.  

On Wednesday May 31st, d’aprile properties celebrated the Grand Opening of its newest office location in downtown Park Ridge, IL.  Mayor Marty Maloney was on hand to conduct the ribbon-cutting ceremony, sponsored by the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce.  Our agents and staff joined together for a toast, as local business owners, vendors, and residents stopped by to officially welcome us to the neighborhood.

 

This city has shown us nothing but kindness and generosity since we began construction.  We couldn’t be more proud or excited to be a part of this Uptown community, and we look to continue to bring our unique culture and work ethic to the local real estate market.

On behalf of each and every one of our agents, as well as our founder and Co-CEO Ryan D’Aprile, we would like to personally thank the citizens of Park Ridge for their incredible hospitality.  We look forward to making you proud.

So if you’re looking to buy or sell – or if you’d just like to see what we’re all about – we’d love for you to stop by and see us at 145 S. Vine Avenue!  It’s time to find out what makes d’aprile different.


Proud to Call Park Ridge Home

What does the word community mean to you?

At d’aprile properties, we define a community through the character of its people – a combination of work ethic, pride, and spirit that brings everyone together, in a place they happily call home.  That’s why we are excited to announce our first office opening in Park Ridge, right down on Vine Avenue overlooking Hodges Park!

As an organization, d’aprile properties prides itself on it’s collaborative approach to real estate.  Our agents truly work as a team, sharing their expertise and their wealth of experience, in an effort to better the company as a whole.  That’s why Park Ridge is such a perfect fit: a close-knit community where everyone seems to know everyone else, on a first name basis.  The charm of Park Ridge lies in its ability to feel both exciting and modern, while never losing the small-town hospitality of its residents and businesses.

Park Ridge’s commitment to growth, as well as its pride in the accomplishments and heritage of its people, help it stand out amid the myriad of neighborhoods and villages that make up the Chicagoland area.  It mixes the working-class attitude of the city, while providing a safe and clean environment in which to raise a family.

At d’aprile properties, we are a reflection of the communities we serve.  We are real estate agents, but we’re also husbands and wives, mothers and fathers.  We are members of one family, and being a part of a family means looking out for one another, in whatever way we can. 

It is a privilege to be a part of this incredibly unique and diverse community.  We couldn’t be more excited to call Park Ridge home.