How to Sell a Home in Chicago

10 Steps to Selling a Home in Chicago

We may sell our listings faster than the market average, but a successful home sale doesn't happen overnight. It's the product of careful analysis, planning and expert marketing. Here's how it works:

Step 1 - Seller Consultation

You're moving! This is exciting. Access Chicago Realty is here to make this experience a great one. We'll sit down with you and assess your goals for selling. Do you want to sell as quickly as possible? Or get top dollar? We'd also love to hear about your previous experience with real estate agents - it helps us create a home selling experience worth bragging about. You and your Access agent will walk through your home and learn all about it. Then, we'll give you some reading material while we make another lap to take thorough notes on all your home's awesome selling features. We'll crunch a few numbers, then tell you what you've been waiting to hear - what your home is worth. We'll discuss a pricing and marketing strategy, fill out the listing agreement and disclosures, and finally create a timeline for getting your home ready to sell. We're off and running!

Step 2 - Staging and Marketing

Before your home hits the market, we've got to get it ready for the ball! That means staging. And de-cluttering. And probably a public storage locker. Or two. We may also recommend painting or replacing some carpet or appliances. Once your home is looking it's best, we'll put our marketing machine to work. That means photos, signs, digital flyers, open houses, and a custom website, powered by And we'll allow buyers to virtually walk through every room of your home using revolutionary three-dimensional imaging technology.

Step 3 - Showings

With our marketing campaign in high gear, buyers will start to get excited about your home! You'll receive emails with advance notice of each showing, and we'll help you create a "showing drill" to quickly get your home looking presentable for showings. Access agents will also hold regular open houses to gauge buyer feedback in a low-pressure environment. During this stage, we'll provide regular updates on the number of showings, buyer's agent feedback and how your listing is performing online. With a home as nice as yours, we're sure to have good news!

Step 4 - Offer/Acceptance

Great news! A buyer wants to make an offer on your home. Now what? Your agent will interview the buyer's agent, review the offer and inspect the buyer's mortgage pre-approval. Don't be surprised if the first offer is a little lower than you were hoping for - it's just a starting point. Rest assured, your Access Agent is negotiations pro. It's our job to help you evaluate and respond to each offer and counter-offer. After some give and take, both parties will agree on a price and terms. You've got a deal!

Step 5 - Inspection

The buyers will hire a professional inspector to take a look at your home before they close on it. The inspector will thoroughly examine the furnace, air conditioner, water heater, appliances, interior walls and floors, electrical panel, and many other items. The inspector is going to find something. Don't be offended - that's his job. The buyers may ask you to make a few repairs prior to closing or issue them a credit if they need to replace something themselves.

Step 6 - Attorney Review

Because real estate agents are prohibited by law from providing legal advice or modifying contracts, your attorney will review your contract and make any adjustments after it has been accepted. The offer will specify a timeframe for this, typically 5-7 business days. We'll need to track down important condo documents, if applicable, and formalize any repairs or credits you agreed to after the inspection.

Step 7 - Repairs & Moving

While the buyers are off getting their loan approve, it's time to find you a new place to live. Whether you've decided to rent or buy your new place, your agent is here to help. Meanwhile, there may be a few inspection items to attend to. We're happy to set you up with professional contractors to handle that for you.

Step 8 - Final Walk-Through

After you’ve moved out, the buyers will take one last spin through the property to confirm you made any repairs we agreed on and didn't accidentally put any holes in the wall moving out.

Step 9 - Closing

You may choose to attend closing, but many sellers do not. Your attorney will have a small pile of paperwork for you to sign in advance. Once the buyers sign all their loan documents, the title company will transfer the deed and use the buyer’s funds to pay off your mortgage and closing costs. The rest of the money is yours. Congratulations, you’re on to bigger and better things!