THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Ringing in the New Year with Many Celebrations!

2024 Happy New Year graphic with gold decorations

It’s hard to believe that we’re at the end of another year already.  And as Chicagoans, we know the best way to end the old year and ring in the new year is by celebrating with the following New Year’s Eve events!

Check out the following Chicago New Year’s Eve fireworks displays at midnight:

The Chicago Riverwalk Fireworks are best viewed along the Chicago River at Upper Wacker Drive from McClurg Court to Franklin Street.  This outdoor celebration will begin with a special edition of ART on THE MART at 7:30 p.m. culminating with its show-stopping fireworks from six bridges along the river!

Lighting up the sky over Lake Michigan are Navy Pier’s Iconic Fireworks located at 600 East Grand Avenue in the Streeterville neighborhood.  This display can be seen along the lakefront; however, the best views are from one of Navy Pier’s New Year’s Eve parties!

Board a yacht for a 3½ hour all-inclusive cruise on the Chicago River with the Gala River Cruise Fireworks which departs from DuSable Harbor (200 N. Breakwater Access) in the Loop.  There’s nothing like catching a fireworks display above the water while sipping on drinks, munching on desserts, and listening to music!

Spend the last night of 2023 all dressed up in formal wear for a New Year’s Eve Soirée at Offshore Rooftop (1000 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood.  This extravagant, all-inclusive party includes 4 hours of premium bars, passed appetizers, and a midnight Champagne toast along with live music all night long.  Plus, you won’t find a better place to watch the fireworks at midnight as you ring in 2024 at the world’s largest rooftop bar!

Ring in 2024 at the historic Congress Plaza Hotel’s New Year’s Eve Party located at 520 South Michigan Avenue in the South Loop.  Drink, dance, and mingle among the other guests spread throughout eight rooms of the hotel while enjoying a buffet, multiple bars, DJs, and other entertainers before the balloon drop at midnight!

Party at one of Chicago’s most popular nightclubs TAO Chicago’s New Year’s Eve Party located at 632 North Dearborn Street in the River North neighborhood.  This two-floor extravaganza offers a 4-hour cocktail reception, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a Champagne toast at midnight along with DJs to keep you dancing all night long.  Also, you need to dress to impress as the attire requested is “celebratory chic!”

Celebrate this century’s version of the ‘20s at the Gatsby’s Prohibition New Year’s Eve Party held at Morgan Manufacturing (401 N. Morgan St.) in the West Loop.  This roaring ‘20s themed party on two-floors will be packed with photo booths, cocktails, Champagne, and more for a night you’ll never forget!

If none of the selections above are your cup of tea, here’s a link to New Year’s Eve in Chicago offering other parties, dinners, and more so you can Ring in 2024 in style!

Celebrate Wisely — See You in 2024!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago

Neighborhood News: On top of the world at the Chicago Loop’s Willis Tower

Chicago cityscape aerial view

Rising 1,730 feet into the air (including the  twin antenna towers), high above the Chicago Loop, the signals from Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker can be seen as far away as Michigan on a clear night. On a clear day, you can see four states when looking through their world-famous Skydeck windows– Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. 

Visibility from the Skydeck is approximately 40-50 miles.

Though there’s no part of recorded history that indicates Sears executives decided to erect the world’s tallest building, Sears Tower opened in 1973 as the world’s tallest building, a title that it held for nearly 25 years. Today, Willis Tower is the third-tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the 23rd-tallest building in the world.

It took 2,000 workers three years to build the 110-story structure, designed by Bruce Graham of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. 

By comparison, according to their website, it took the Ancient Egyptians 20 years to build the Pyramids at Giza.

How it started: World’s Largest Store builds World’s Largest Building 

In 1969, Sears was the largest retailer in the world, with about 350,000 employees. According to Wikipedia sources, Sears executives determined that a new headquarters in the suburbs was infeasible, since it would require relocating about 7,000 employees. Instead, Sears executives decided to consolidate the thousands of employees in offices distributed throughout the Chicago area into one building on the western edge of Chicago’s Loop.  They chose a two-block area in the Loop, bounded by Franklin Street on the east, Jackson Boulevard on the south, Wacker Drive on the west, and Adams Street on the north. 

The architects envisioned a multipurpose structure where Sears could occupy the larger lower floors, and more conventional office space could be rented out on the upper stories. As the Willis Tower website notes, in August, 1970 ground was broken for the beginning of construction. Taking three years to complete, Sears Tower was finished in May 1973. The builders used enough concrete to make an eight- lane highway five miles long. Within the building, there are 25 miles of plumbing, 1500 miles of electric wiring , 80 miles of elevator cable, 796 restroom faucets, and more than 145,000 light fixtures. The last beam put in place was signed by 12,000 Sears executives, employees and Chicagoans.

In 1988, Sears Roebuck and Company sold and moved out of the building, but the Sears Tower name remained until 2009 when the building was renamed after the Willis Group, a London- based global insurance broker.

Skydeck Chicago: See the world from the Ledge

Opened in 1974, the Skydeck experience delivers stunning views for up to 50 miles and four states. 

For example, to the north, you could see  Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha, to the south, Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan, and to the west, Maple Park (near DeKalb). And to the east? Lake Michigan, as far as the eye can see!

Explore this Chicago experience as you make your way up to the 103rd floor and check out the view from the Willis Tower Ledge. On your way up, there’s a new 30-60 minute Chicago experience featuring the city’s rich history. 

At 1,353 feet in the air, the Ledge’s glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck. 

The Skydeck is open October- February Monday – Friday:  9am to 8pm, and Saturday – Sunday:  9am to 10pm. Last entry is 30-minutes prior to closing. Lots of special ticket packages are available. For tickets and information, click here. 

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Restaurant Review: Ring in 2024 with a sumptuous feast!

Sushi rolls laid out in numbers reading 2024

It’s hard to believe, but 2024 is right around the corner. And to ring in the new year right, Chicago’s restaurants are celebrating with lots of special menus, party favors and fun…some are perfect viewing sites for New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Navy Pier!

Reservations for Chicago’s downtown and North Side restaurants are going fast. Dean’s Team Chicago checked out the following spots…book with confidence! As of Tuesday, here are some of the offerings, via Open Table

A White & Gold Feast rings in the new year at the Gold Coast’s Fig & Olive,104 East Oak Street. Guests can indulge in a special a la carte menu featuring Surf & Turf and a Spicy Lobster Pasta, in addition to  Fig & Olive’s signature Mediterranean dishes, such as LAMB ADANA, with bulgur, currants, pomegranate, roasted cauliflower, spicy almonds, and chimichurri. Or, MAFALDINE, a mushroom ragout, black truffle, mascarpone, Grana Padano, and rustic breadcrumbs. For reservations, click here.

At River North’s The Smith, 400 N. Clark Street,enjoy a three-course dinner of American classics for $75 per person, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight from 7:30pm to HAPPY NEW YEAR ! For reservations, click here.

At the West Loop’s Roanoke,135 W. Madison Street, their $105 per person prix fixe menu includes appetizers such as RIBEYE CHILI with pimento cheese and avocado, or a rich LOBSTER BISQUE with crouton, lobster, and  chives; entrees include PORCINI CRUSTED PRIME RIB withhouse biscuit, truffle mashed potatoes, and au jus. Or, try their LOBSTER ZITI  withbrie cheese sauce, confit tomatoes, and garlic bread crumbs; and desserts such as FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE with vanilla gelato, or a decadent CARAMEL APPLE COBBLER with vanilla gelato a la mode, and caramel.  Choose between a variety of options with recommended wine pairings! For reservations, click here.

For an early dinner with the kids, there’s nothing better than Lincoln Park’s R.J. Grunt’s,2056 N. Lincoln Park West. The first Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, Grunts still exudes the funky, devil-may-care lifestyle of the 70s in its style, décor, music, and menu. Their creative, eclectic menu features giant burgers, such as the GRUNTBURGER, their “cosmic cornerstone of culinary karma.” It’s carefully hand crafted with fried onions, blue cheese & “all that other stuff.” Pair the burgers with their new ‘digital’ salad bar, giant malts and milkshakes that are hand scooped and come in a rainbow of favors. And…Oh! As their menu states, “Don’t forget the barbecued baby back ribs, and sandwich specials!” For reservations, click here.

Happy New Year, All!!

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – New year-New Goals

Most people start out January guns blazing, ready to lose 50 pounds or declutter their entire house! Personally, I’m not a big person for New Year’s resolutions, because in my experience the resolutions begin to fade by February 1. Instead of resolutions, what we need is a plan. 

For years many successful people have used a formula to really pin down these goals and set out a plan for them to achieve them. These are called S.M.A.R.T. goals, an acronym that gives you 5 elements for creating a plan for success.

S stands for specific. The goal is defined specifically by what will be accomplished and the steps needed to achieve that goal. What will you need to do first? Next? How will you feel when you achieve this goal? How will it affect your life?

Mstands for measurable. A weight loss analogy fits here. Don’t just say: my goal is to lose weight. Think specifics. I will lose 10 pounds by March 31. You may say I will make at least 10 meaningful connections with people in my sphere per week. I will declutter 1 room in my house every 2 weeks. Create a meaningful way to track your progress. 

Astands for achievable. Lofty goals are all well and good, but if they are too out of reach it can be a fast track to quitting! Do you have the resources to achieve this goal? You may need to learn a new skill or ask for help from team members to be successful. Start out small. You can always readjust down the road.

Rstands for relevant. Every action you take should move you closer to your goal. If your goal is to reduce expenses in your department, you will need to look at your current expenses as opposed to your annual budget. You can then highlight where you may be overspending. This direct-action step will point you in the right direction. 

T stands for timely. You will need to set up a timeline. Some goals are short term, and some are long term. Some may even be a combination of both. Without a deadline you can’t see if you are on track. Try to be realistic and give yourself plenty of time to adjust. That’s where small steps are best to encourage you to keep going!

So, explore S.M.A.R.T. goals online. There are many free templates and other tools to help you to develop a goal plan and set yourself up for success in this new year.  

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago

6 Things That Can Drive Your Property Taxes Up

Percentage and house sign symbol icon wooden on wood table

Property taxes are tough to figure out. The federal property tax code alone is thousands of pages long, let alone the local codes all over the country.

In a nutshell, property taxes are determined by a home’s assessed value and the property tax rate for that specific town or county. Sounds simple enough, but then there are all the other dozens of factors that can come into play that can result in higher taxes.

One thing’s for sure: no one likes paying property taxes, or any other kind of taxes for that matter. And homeowners certainly don’t like seeing an increase in these taxes, either. But the amount you’re paying today could increase tomorrow for a variety of reasons.

Here are a few things that can cause your property taxes to go up.

1. Increase in Area Value

Everyone wants to live in a nice area that’s highly valued. After all, the higher the value of the community as a whole, the higher the value of the properties within it (with certain exceptions).

A number of things can cause an area’s value to increase. Maybe the local economy is seeing a boost due to increased employment opportunities. Or perhaps a golf course is being put in nearby your home. Even the construction of new luxury homes nearby can have a big impact on the assessed value of your property.

The opposite is also true. Think about areas with an abundance of hydro towers or chemical plants. How do you think the property tax assessments of homes in these types of communities compare to properties in a golf course community?

ty taxes are a big source of funding for schools and community colleges. If existing educational institutions in the area are asking for money to make improvements, for instance, the money may often come from property taxes. In that case, you can expect your tax rate to get a boost, thereby increasing how much you pay every year to live where you are.

3. Budget Cuts

Some of the revenue that comes from property taxes are put towards essential services for the area, such as the police and fire departments, libraries, and others. If the state that you reside in decides to slash funding for these services in your area, where is the money going to come from? Why, the local homeowners, of course!

Even when there’s a downturn in the local economy and real estate market, your property taxes are still vulnerable to increases. And one of the biggest culprits for this annoying phenomenon is budget cuts.

4. Increasing Living Space

OK, so there’s not a whole lot that you can do about keeping a cap on property tax rates in your area when it comes to the above factors, but there are things that you as a homeowner might do to inadvertently increase how much you pay in this realm.

In most states in the US, more living space typically translates into a higher property tax rate. If last year your home measured at 1,200 square feet, for example, but that sunroom addition you put in this year brought your home’s size up to 1,800 square feet, you can bet that your property taxes will increase after your home’s been reassessed. 

Whether you convert the garage into a rec room or build a completely new addition to the home, increasing the livable space of your home will increase its value, and therefore its property taxes, too.

5. A Pool, Deck, and Other Outdoor Additions

Not only can an improvement on the actual home itself increase your property taxes, improvements in your outdoor space can do the same. While property tax systems differ from one state to another, as well as among local municipalities, properties will usually be reassessed when improvements are made.

Putting in an in-ground pool or building a big deck both qualify as tax-affected improvements. Your local tax assessment office will calculate the property value using the percentage of market value using comparables of other nearby properties in your area.

The amount that your property value will increase by will depend in your local market. Adding a pool might add 8 percent to a property value in one area, or as much as 30 percent in another.

6. Curb Appeal

Anything that enhances the look of a home’s exterior is fair game when it comes to property tax increases. Even seemingly modest things like a flower patch or vegetable garden can have an impact on the numbers you see on your property tax bill.

While tax assessors need to follow strict guidelines when they evaluate properties, there is still a bit of wiggle room when it comes to subjective opinions. So, if they think your home looks more attractive than next door’s house because you’ve got a few flowers and shrubs versus your neighbor’s barren front yard, your home may be given a higher assessed value.

The next time you take a gander at your property tax bill and notice that it’s higher than the last one, consider if any of the above factors came into play and had a hand in the price increase.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Last Holiday Weekend of the Season!

Happy holidays card with mistletoes

We finally made it to the last holiday weekend before Christmas day this coming Monday.  And guess what?  Yep, there’s still plenty of holiday festivities to get you in the spirit for Christmas before then!

How about just kicking back at The Music Box Christmas Double Feature and Sing-a-Long which runs through this Sunday at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood.  Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, this holiday event is one of the most popular and beloved Christmas traditions here in Chicago.  The double feature includes “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart, and Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby.  Plus, during intermission, sing holiday carols with Santa while the lyrics are projected on the screen so you can join in on the fun as well!

If you happen to be hosting this Christmas, take a little break at the Guided Wine & Antipasto Tasting Tour of Italy this Saturday (3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) located at Eataly (43 E. Ohio St.) in the River North neighborhood.  Enjoy an afternoon as you walk through a tasting tour of Italy through meat, cheese, and wine.  You will learn which wines to pair with the meat and cheese by sampling three wines, two cheeses, two meats, and accompaniments during the class.  Then create your own Formaggi or Antipasto board with Eataly’s imported and domestic products to impress your family and friends that you’ll be entertaining!

For those who need an alternative to the pressures and commercialization of the Christmas season, join DMen Tap (2849 W. Belmont Ave.) in the Avondale neighborhood as they celebrate Festivus, which was a holiday featured in the Season 9 Seinfeld episode “The Strike” that aired on December 18, 1997.  This event includes the setting up of the Festivus pole, the airing of grievances, performing feats of strength, feasting on amazing food and drinks along with endless Festivus Miracles such as trivia and episodes, and other fun festivities!

In case you weren’t aware of this new winter season event (like me), Winter Fireworks will host its last show this Saturday (9:00 p.m.-9:10 p.m.) at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood.  Come get cozy on the Pier as you enjoy Navy Pier’s free dazzling award-winning spectacular fireworks winter display!

Indulge in the merriment of the holidays on a Christmas Eve Premier Dinner Cruise with City Cruises Chicago located at Navy Pier from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for an elegant celebration on Lake Michigan.  This cruise includes plated, chef-prepared menus, delicious cocktails, and top-notch service.  Plus, their DJ will set the mood while you take in the stunning views of the Chicago skyline, the Adler Planetarium, and Willis Tower.  This may very well be a Christmas Eve celebration you’ll never forget!

Finally, Christmas Eve also brings the Matzo Bash to the Joy District (112 W. Hubbard St.) in the River North neighborhood from 9:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.  This fun-filled evening kicks off with Tito’s Vodka Cocktails and Hardly Water Canned Cocktails covered by the establishment from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.  The festivities then continue on multiple levels where you can choose from schmoozing in the bar and/or dancing in the club to Top 40, mashups, and throwback hits spun by Chicago’s best DJs.  Best of all it’s a party that’s Bubby approved!

Have a Wonderful Merry Christmas!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago

Neighborhood News: Washington Square’s Newberry Library

View on a young male student teaching a mature man in the library

Quick quiz: What Chicago institution has “27.5 miles of shelving in the library stacks. And it’s still growing!” 

If you answered ‘The Newberry,’ 60 W. Walton, you’d be right!

Inquiring minds want to know. We want to help.”

The Newberry Website 

In the beginning…

The Newberry Library established in 1887 as the result of a bequest by Walter Loomis Newberry, an early Chicago resident and business leader involved in banking, shipping, real estate, and other commercial ventures, according to Wikipedia sources. Newberry died at sea in 1868, while on a trip to France. He included in his will a provision of funds for the creation of a “free public library” should his daughters die without heirs. They did, and so, following the death of Newberry’s widow, Julia Butler Newberry, in 1885, it was up to Newberry estate trustees William H. Bradley and Eliphalet W. Blatchford to bring the library to fruition.

To complement the Chicago Public Library, which had been established in 1872, the trustees decided to found a non-circulating reference library that would be free and open to the public.

A research library…and so much more!

The Newberry also offers a variety of exhibitions, meet-the-author lectures, continuing education classes, concerts, teacher programs, and other public programming related to its collections. Exhibitions have featured Daniel Burnham’s famous Plan of Chicago of 1909, artifacts of World War I, and a crowd-sourced aggregation of materials related to love, from heart-shaped Renaissance maps to early twentieth-century American sheet music.

In 2024, they’ll offer many more, including ‘A Night at Mister Kelly’s’ from March 21–July 20, where you can relive a night on the town in the mid-twentieth century. Mister Kelly’s was one of the hotspots of Chicago nightlife in the 1950s through the mid-1970s.

A Literary Paradise 

With more than 600 years of human history in Newberry’s reading rooms, exhibition galleries, classrooms, and event spaces, it is generally known that the Newberry Library ranks among the best research institutes in the world, but what is less well-known is that it relentlessly supports Chicago’s incredible literary heritage.

As the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame notes, “The Newberry figures in the lives of many Chicago writers, as well as their fictional creations. It is here that Henry DeTamble meets his future wife Clare Anne Abshire in Audrey Niffenegger’s bestselling novel The Time Traveler’s Wife. Clare, in her first-person narrative, says, “The library is cool and smells like carpet cleaner, although all I can see is marble.”

Finding your roots…

The Newberry is one of the leading centers for genealogy in the country. They provide access to a range of records, databases, and primary and secondary sources that will give you new leads to follow in search of your family history. On January 6, they’ll offer a class, ‘Genealogy 101: An Introduction to Genealogical Research’ at the Newberry from 9:30am–10:30am.

On vacation…back soon!

The Newberry will be closed December 23-25 and December 30-January 1 for the holidays. The reading rooms will also be closed December 26; however, the bookshop and exhibitions will be open. Never too late for last-minute holiday gifts! For more information, click here.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Restaurant Review: West Loop’s The Publican a homage to European Beer Halls

A festive crowd enjoys the traditional brass band in the packed spatenbrau Ochsenbraterei tent at Munich Oktoberfest

An homage to oysters, pork and beer, The Publican’seclectic menu is inspired by simple farmhouse fare in a space evocative of a European beer hall. 

The inspiration of Chef-Partner Paul Kahan, the restaurant is an homage to “oysters, pork and beer,” utilizing hand-selected and sustainably-raised fish, seafood and pork.

Start with a Chef’s selection of oysters, which could include a sweet, buttery Tumblekin, or a crisp Wellfleet.

Move on to a 24-ounce Ham Chop in Hay, served with collard greens and maple-braised turnips. Or a Country Rib with smoked apple butter, chicory salad, manchego, and rosemary vinaigrette. Or a Sirloin with butternut squash, glazed mushrooms and horseradish.

Don’t miss out on their charcuterie boards! Their Duck and Pork Rillettes are served with seasonal preserves and sourdough toast, while their Ham Plate is served with Serrano ham, PQB sourdough, and cultured butter.

Google reviews were ecstatic 

“The food, the service, chef’s kiss. The bartender made me a custom drink which was perfect. The food timing was perfect so they were staggering foods and all came out hot and fresh. The oysters were fresh flavorful; the beef frites was so delicious and didn’t even need the garlic aioli which made it even better. The porchetta was beyond this world and had the perfect balance of everything. The mushrooms were perfect In texture and soaked in the delicious flavoring while still maintaining the mushroom taste. All other foods were also just as good and I could rave on and on about it. The service was outstanding and we felt taken care of. 10/10 would recommend and come back again.”

The Publican is located at 837 W. Fulton Market. They are open Wednesday and Thursday, 4pm–10pm, Fridays, 4pm–10:30pm, Saturdays for brunch, 10am–2pm, and for dinner, 4pm-10:30pm, Sunday brunch,10am–2pm, and for dinner, 4pm–9pm, and Monday and Tuesday, 4pm–10pm. While hours may differ during the holidays, they are planning a New Year’s Day brunch to welcome 2024 right! For more information and reservations, click here.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Can you really multitask

Smiling young businesswoman doing multitasking work at workplace

We all think that we are great multitaskers, but are we really being productive? Researchers state that it can kill your productivity by 80%! One study has found that only 2.5% of the population can multitask efficiently. We don’t understand that multitasking is not what we think it is. It is actually “task switching”. It is not possible to do more than one thing at a time. It is very inefficient for your brain to switch between tasks because it takes your brain several seconds to start on the new task. When you are doing this constantly it can become mentally draining. While you think you are being productive you are really decreasing focus and increasing stress. You are working harder to do things at a lower level of quality while exhausting your mental reserves. 

We may have been programmed from birth to think being busy constantly is good. But simply being busy does not necessarily mean being productive. Focus can help you meet your goals in life. The Pareto Principle is that 20% of what you do produces 80% of results. The hard thing is knowing what those activities are. You need to reflect on just what those 20% are. The best strategies are simple. Focus on 3-5 goals per day. Dedicate time to each. Leave some empty spots in your calendar to spill over. Don’t be so tightly scheduled that there is no time for emergencies or some tasks that can take longer than expected. 

Another trick is to simply remove things from your plate. After you have identified your priorities, start moving things and putting them into one of three categories. Some work can be delegated. Many of us in business still insist on doing home tasks ourselves. What we don’t understand is that our time is valuable. Groceries can be ordered and delivered. There are people who can clean your house. Learn which things can be delegated. Next you can defer. Not all tasks need to be done immediately, but there is a difference between deferring because a task can wait or because it may be uncomfortable. Try not to get the two confused. 

Thirdly, some things can be deleted. Not all we do is necessary or has a purpose at all. So, implement and constantly tweak your systems. Learn from others different systems they use to make their lives easier. Technology can also make our work more productive. Investments in systems and technology will pay for themselves, so long as you review and tweak them often to keep up your productivity and performance. 

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago

7 Tips For Selling Your First Home

Hands holding paper house

Regardless of how long you’ve lived in your first home, selling for the very first time can be a daunting task if it’s not done right. While there are certain factors that you can’t do much about – such as the current market conditions and your location – there are plenty of other components to the selling process that you have total control over, which can significantly impact the end result.

If this is your first time selling a home, take the following suggestions into consideration to help make the process a smooth and successful one.

1. Stage Your Home

First impressions go a long way, so the better your home looks in the eyes of buyers, the better. Make sure to take some time to declutter your home and clean it up, and consider investing in professional home staging. These professionals will neutralize your decor and arrange your furniture appropriately so that buyers will be more attracted to the style and be better able to see themselves living there.

2. Price Your Home Right

A lot of sellers believe their homes are worth more than they really are. At the end of the day, your home is only worth what buyers are willing to pay for it, which is dictated by the current market in your local area. If you price too high, you’ll end up with a stale listing that’s doing nothing but scaring buyers off.

Instead, if you price appropriately, you’ll make your home more competitive in the market and attract more attention without having to make price reductions after the fact.

3. Disclose Pertinent Information

As the seller, you’re obligated to disclose all issues with the home that you are aware of, and you need to communicate these facts though disclosure statements. If you fail to reveal a problem with the home that you knew about and the issue comes up after the new buyers move in, you could be stuck ironing out these issues in court.

4. Be Flexible With Showings

The easier you make it for buyers to come and see your home, the more showings you’ll get. Try to be as flexible as you can when it comes to showings. Don’t severely limit the days and times that buyers can make appointments to visit. Their work schedules and family responsibilities can make it tough to work around your strict viewing times; instead, make showings flexible enough for buyers’ schedules.

5. Emotionally Detach Yourself

The home selling process is an emotionally charged one. After all, it’s your home we’re talking about, and is perhaps where you’ve dwelled for years, raised a family, and made memories. Letting go of it can be hard, and receiving offers for significantly less than what you believe the home is worth can be disappointing and even insulting.

Try not to take anything personally. While it may be a home to you, it’s essentially just a building to buyers until they move in and start making their own memories there. Don’t let your emotional attachment to your home cloud your judgment and your ability to make the right decisions, especially when it comes to staging and pricing your home, as well as how you handle offers and negotiations.

6. Be Open Minded Through the Negotiations

Speaking of negotiations, it’s crucial to keep an open mind during these discussions. You might not like what you see with an offer, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a meeting of the minds and an eventual deal that both parties can be satisfied with. Consider what’s most important to you: the asking price, the closing date, the deposit amount, and so forth. These are all things you’ll need to consider as you evaluate offers that come in.

Don’t forget that you can always counter an offer, rather than just toss it out the window if you see something you don’t like. Entertain the offer to see how far you can go with it.

7. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Forget about going solo on your home sale, especially if this is your first time. A real estate transaction is typically a complex one that involves a lot of little details that you may not be familiar with. A professional real estate agent will have the education and the experience to handle the process diligently so that there are no holes in the deal. 

The Bottom Line

You’re ultimately in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing a listing price, accepting/countering offers, and plenty of other factors. Selling your first home can be challenging and even emotionally draining, but if you heed these suggestions, you can make the process much more streamlined.