Selling a house in Illinois can be challenging, especially with the recent dip in home prices. In March 2023, the median home price in Illinois was $258,700, which is down 2.2% from the previous year.
Despite these challenges, there are still ways to successfully sell your house in Illinois. By following some tried and true strategies and working with a skilled real estate agent, you can increase your chances of a successful sale.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with valuable insights on how to sell a house in Illinois, including tips on preparing your home for sale, pricing it correctly, and marketing it effectively. Whether you’re a first-time seller or a seasoned pro, our guide will help you navigate the process with confidence and ease. So, let’s dive in and explore how to sell a house in Illinois!
📉 Illinois Housing Market Update
- Median Home Sale Price Drop YoY: The median home sale price dropped to $364,366, down by 2.3% YoY, the biggest decline in more than a decade.
- Fewer Buyers are Applying for Mortgages: Mortgage purchase applications were down by 31% YoY. Due to expensive financing, fewer buyers are applying for mortgages.
- iBuyers are No More a Viable Option: Several iBuyers have either shut down or are suffering massive losses. As per our research, most iBuyers are not offering more than 70% of a property’s Fair Market Value.
- Bottom Line: In 2023, more sellers in the Prairie State are opting to sell their homes by owner. By listing on the MLS with the best FSBO sites in Illinois, your Illinois home gets maximum exposure, and you save thousands of dollars in commissions.
Step 1: Determine How You Want to Sell Your House in Illinois
How you choose to sell will determine all other aspects of selling your Illinois home. These include the cost of selling a house in Illinois, marketing strategy, the level of preparation you need, etc.
Home sellers in the Prairie State are no longer required to work with only 3% commission realtors to list and sell their houses. You have options now – MLS listing services, discount brokers, FSBO sites, etc. – who work at lower rates. Weigh the pros and cons of each option before you choose one.
- Sell With a Discount Broker: A Illinois discount real estate broker offers all the services similar to a traditional broker at discounted rates. Discount brokers in Illinois charge a 1.5%-2% commission or a $3,000-$5,000 flat rate. They will help you with everything, from listing to closing, and offer decent savings.
- Selling a House By Owner in Illinois: You can sell your home without a Realtor, independently. You will save the entire 3% listing commission but won’t get MLS access. You can list your Illinois home on For Sale By Owner websites. The best FSBO sites leverage technology to get you listed and connect you with potential buyers directly.
- Sell With a Traditional Realtor: We do not recommend working with a traditional Realtor. They charge a 5%-6% commission and control most aspects of the transaction. However, if you need guidance at every step, work with Illinois Realtors in your area who have expertise in the Illinois housing market.
- Offer Your Home to a Cash Buyer: You can selling a house as is in Illinois to a cash buyer. Illinois cash home buyers offer 30% to 50% of the Fair Market Value and offer flexible closing timelines.
✍️ Pro Tip: Offer your home to an iBuyer if your house is in good condition. iBuyers offer up to 70% of the Fair Market Value and make instant cash offers.
Step 2: Set a Realistic Listing Price
The listing or the asking price is the most important factor for a successful home sale. Typically, the Illinois real estate broker will run comps and help you arrive at an asking price. However, in an FSBO sale, you can use online tools like Zestimate to determine the asking price for your Illinois home.
Do not overprice your home. If you do, your home will spend more days on the market, and buyers may make negative assumptions about it.
On the other hand, underpricing can be a good strategy. Remember, the listing price is not equal to the sale price. The purpose of the listing price is to attract buyers for your home.
You can set the asking price at the lowest price acceptable to you. You might get multiple offers which may lead to a bidding war among buyers. Bidding wars can help you sell at a price higher than what you had in mind. Refer to this informative guide on how to price your home for sale for more such strategies.
Step 3: Market Your Home
A good marketing strategy will help you attract more potential buyers. You can work with a broker to market your home or do it yourself. Here are a few marketing tips that can increase your home sale value substantially:
- Stage Your Home: You can sell your home for up to $40,000 more by staging it. You can either DIY it or work with local Illinois home staging companies. They will rearrange the interiors of your house to make it look spacious and presentable.
- Hire a Real Estate Photographer: With professional real estate photography, you could sell your home in Illinois 32% faster. Professionally clicked pictures will make your property listing pop. It will also help you to market your home to 90% of buyers who search for properties online. Check out the top real estate photographers in Illinois.
- List on MLS: With an MLS listing, you can sell faster and for up to 17% more. Your property listing will also get syndicated to 100+ real estate websites. But, only licensed real estate agents in Illinois have access to the MLS. They charge a 3% commission which can burn a hole in your pocket. You can list your house on MLS in Illinois with Illinois Flat Fee MLS companies. Houzeo will get you listed for $379, and that too within 48 hours.
- List on Free FSBO Websites: Several FSBO sites allow you to list your home on their website for free. Your Illinois property can attract buyer traffic that visits a particular FSBO website. Some examples of free FSBO listing websites in Illinois include Craigslist, Zillow, ForSaleByOwner.com, etc. However, you may attract unverified buyers or scammers as well.
- Post a Yard Sign: With a yard sign, you can attract unrepresented buyers and save the buyer agent commission. Ensure you get a yard sign with your phone number so that the buyers can contact you directly.
- Host Open Houses: In a hot market like Jacksonville or Miami, an open house can be a great way of showing your property to home buyers. Also, you can attract unrepresented buyers.
Step 4: Show Your Home to Potential Buyers
Showings are essential when selling a property in Illinois or anywhere. The more the number of buyers touring your home, the greater the chances of you getting an offer. But this doesn’t mean showings should be inconvenient for you. You can use an online showings management tool like Houzeo Showings.
Houzeo Showings allows you to schedule slots for buyers to tour your Illinois house. Home buyers can also request and reschedule or cancel showings.
Step 5: Negotiate Offers
Interested buyers will send written offers to your agent or directly to you, in case of an FSBO sale. In a seller’s market, buyers might make offers above the list price. But, experts predict 2023 to be a buyer’s market. So, be open to negotiations.
As a seller, you can accept, reject, or counter an offer. A counteroffer is a way of negotiating an offer for better terms or prices. It should be in written format and must have a set timeframe for the buyers to respond. In the counteroffer, you can offer seller concessions, repair credits, etc., in exchange for selling at the list price.
In case of multiple offers, weigh all of them across various merits and do not accept the highest bid right away. You may want to consider the following before accepting an offer amongst multiple offers:
- Mode of payment (cash vs financing)
- Home buyer’s mortgage approval status (pre-approval vs pre-qualified)
- Buyer’s willingness to cover the closing costs in Illinois or some part of it
- Buyer’s willingness to bypass some contingencies like a home appraisal, home inspection in Illinois, etc.
- Closing timeline
In a traditional home sale, a real estate professional will negotiate for you. However, as an FSBO seller in Illinois, you are on your own. In such a situation, you can use digital offer management tools like Houzeo Offers. With Houzeo Offers, you can counter an offer, call for the highest and the best offer, and more.
Step 6: Close the Sale
After the seller accepts an offer, the MLS listing status is changed to “house under contract“. You and the buyer have to complete a lot of tasks from contract to closing. Here are the key milestones in the closing process in Illinois:
Allow the Buyer to Complete the Due Diligence
After you accept an offer, your Illinois property goes off the market, and the buyer can perform the necessary due diligence. The buyer inspects their to-be-home to proceed with the purchase.
Post due diligence, the buyer works on securing a mortgage, known as the underwriting period. During this period, the lender verifies the buyer’s finances and inspects and appraises the property. An amount equivalent to the property’s appraised value is sanctioned to the buyer.
Pay the Closing Costs
As a seller, you will pay 5%-6% in Illinois real estate commissions, equally split between your and the buyer’s agent. Additional seller closing costs in Illinois that you may have to incur include:
- The escrow or the title fee
- Taxes on selling a house in Illinois such as the transfer tax, capital gains tax, etc.
- Outstanding HOA dues
- Real estate attorney fees
- Seller credits (if you have offered any).
» Closing Costs Calculator for Seller in Illinois: Estimate the exact cost to sell a house in Illinois.
Sign the Escrow and Title Documents
This is the final step in the process of selling a home in Illinois. Here, you sign the escrow and title documents needed to sell a house in Illinois. Additionally, you sign the deed and closing disclosure. Ensure you bring two valid ID proofs at the signing.
After the close of the escrow, the new homeowner’s details are registered in the public records. You receive a wire transfer or a check for the final home sale price, and the sale is complete.
So, if you’re planning to sell your house in Illinois, remember that timing is everything. While the real estate market may have its ups and downs, it’s important to keep an eye on the trends and find the best time to sell in Illinois.
By doing so, you can ensure a successful and profitable sale. Whether it’s spring or summer, fall or winter, there’s always a market for homes in Illinois.
So, take the plunge and sell your home with confidence knowing that you’re making the most of the current market conditions. Remember, the real estate market is always changing, so keep up-to-date and take advantage of the best time to sell a house in Illinois.
Get on the MLS with a Flat Fee Realtor or a Flat Fee MLS company like Houzeo. With Houzeo, your home will be listed for $379 within 48 hours. Read Houzeo reviews to know what home sellers across Illinois say about Houzeo.
1. What is the Illinois seller disclosure form?
The Illinois Seller Disclosure Form is a document required by law that provides information about the condition of the property being sold. Sellers are required to disclose any known material defects or issues with the property that may affect its value. Read this guide on Illinois real estate disclosures to know your disclosure obligations in Illinois.
2. How do I sell a house by owner in Illinois?
To sell a house by owner in Illinois, you will need to market the property, set the price, and handle negotiations and paperwork. It is recommended to consult with a real estate attorney to ensure compliance with state laws and regulations, including the Illinois Seller Disclosure Form.
3. Is a home inspection required when selling a house in Illinois?
No, a home inspection is not required by law when selling a house in Illinois. However, it is recommended to have a home inspection to identify any potential issues or repairs that may affect the sale of the property.
4. Can I sell my house as-is in Illinois?
Yes, you can sell your house as-is in Illinois, but it is still recommended to disclose any known defects or issues with the property on the Illinois Seller Disclosure Form. It is also important to note that selling a house as-is may affect the price and length of time on the market.
Selling a House in Illinois Near Me
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