When you’re trying to sell your Chicago home, the waiting can indeed be the hardest part. As potential buyers walk through in showings and open houses, as you try to make your plans for the future, and as days, weeks, or months pass without a reasonable offer, it is understandable if you get a little antsy. But it is also understandable that selling a home can take some time.

The real issue is not that your home may be on the market for a bit, especially if comparable properties are also listed for roughly the same amount of time. The way to look at the matter is by understanding how long it takes to sell a home in Chicago generally. And several factors, especially the time of year, play a role in how long it will take.

Chicago Outperforms National Averages

According to Zillow, the typical home in the U.S. was on the market for between 65 and 93 days from listing to closing in 2018. That is significantly shorter than the 140-day average that followed the 2009 financial crisis. Given the uncertainty of the current economic climate, it would not be surprising if the average time on the market increased from those 2018 numbers.

In Chicago, the median time for a home to be on the market is 42 days. But that rolling 12-month average doesn’t reflect seasonal variations. Just as the weather impacts so many other aspects of life in Chicago, our cold winters have a chilling effect on typical market times. In February 2019, for example, the median market time was 77 days. In June 2019, that median dropped to a mere 26 days.

What’s more, market times can vary drastically by neighborhood. As outlined in our previous Chicago real estate market report for May 2020, the median market time in Bucktown and Logan Square was just 11 days in April compared to 84 days in River North for homes sold in the same period.

How to Sell Your Home Faster

The above statistics represent average time on the market, but you don’t have to settle for average. There are plenty of steps you can take to help your home sell faster.

Working with an experienced and knowledgeable agent is perhaps the best move you can make, as they can develop a comprehensive and optimal strategy for marketing and listing your home. That strategy will likely include making renovations to boost curb appeal and sale price, decluttering your home to make it appear more open and spacious, and professional staging to present your home in the most appealing and attractive light. During these times, in particular, the ability to offer virtual tours can also be a critical component of your listing strategy.

A reputable listing agent should also offer to pre-market your home to build anticipation while you’re getting ready to list on the MLS. In some cases, you might even go under contract before you list your home for sale, which would normally mean a full price offer before print. At Z Chicago, we use the Private Listing Network (PLN) and Compass Coming Soon to premarket our listings. Top Agent Network, available only to the top 10% of agents in Chicago, is another database we use to share upcoming listings with other brokers in our market without increasing our time on the market and hurting our negotiating power. These three tools allow us to test out elements of the listing such as price, staging, and photos with lesser risk. Plus, we can get a pulse on buyer demand in general at any given time, again prior to being exposed to the general public. The pre-market history is not recorded on the big real estate search websites.

Compass Concierge

While that may sound like a lot, getting your home in the best position for a higher sale price and shorter time on the market can be made simple through Compass Concierge.  This innovative and hassle-free program facilitates renovations, repairs, and other work that can help your home sell fast, while not requiring any up-front expense on your part. Here’s how it works:

  1. We work together to decide which services can increase your home’s value the most and set an estimated budget for the work.
  2. When you’re ready to start, we will be by your side as you engage vendors and commission work.
  3. Once the transformation is complete, we put your home on the market.
  4. You’ll pay for the services when one of the following happens — your home sells, you terminate your listing agreement with Compass, or 12 months pass from your Concierge start date.

With Compass Concierge, the waiting can actually be the easiest part of selling your home. Contact us today to learn more about Compass Concierge and all of the ways that we can help get you to closing as quickly as possible.