After watching all of Thurston and Adrienne's firsts in their loft over the years, I received a message in late April. We all met at Monk's Pub (the most authentic pub in Chicago, if you ask me) and T&A drop some unexpected, very exciting news. Adrienne got into Dental school in Nashville and they needed to sell their Wabansia loft. Like, now!
We talked numbers, we talked timing, we talked renovation pros and cons and then, we talked numbers again. After a week or so of deliberations we came to the conclusion that by renovating the loft into the modern beauty she could be, we would be gaining over 25k in equity/sale price. That being said, that 25k was based on a record breaking anticipated sale price for the building, but more of that in a minute. The budget for the renovations was $12,000. The anticipated profit allowed T&A to cover all the closing costs plus some extra just on equity from the renovation. And so we started the renovation journey.
Here's a MG Home Chicago lesson in renovating to sell. You know Instagram? The magical tool on all our phones, using models to sell us, everything. Well - learn from the Instagram models. Their pictures aren't realistic, but they sell a fantasy. And as it turns out, fantasies sell well. Your brand new renovated unit should do the same. I tell all my clients the same exact thing whether we are staging for sale or renovating, "Make your home into an Instagram model! She always sells!"
There are two main factors to sell a condo above the comparables: Instagram model status, and strategic pricing. All the finishes were picked to the taste of the masses not myself or the owners. Little tricks were used to make a variety of small spaces look bigger. What T&A's loft was missing in square footage, it had in charm and we made it our mission to sell the crap out of the charm. Secondly, was the pricing strategy...
From the beginning I promised* (everyone knows I don't control the market) to sell this unit over asking price and in just a few days. Given that the Chicago real estate market has taken a significant slow down this year and properties are taking longer to sell than they have in 5+ years, I had a plan. Price - low! Sounds counter intuitive but it works in certain situations. We had a comparable unit one floor above us, sitting on the market for almost a month, priced 5k above ours. Then, the night before we listed we found out the unit sold, for full asking price. I asked T&A to trust me, and price low. With the momentum off the sale above us and the "Instagram model" renovation, within 24 hours we had 2 offers and more showings than I could keep up with. 12 hrs later - T&A had their Wabansia Loft under contract.