Realty Executives Midwest

Serving Darien, IL

Realty Executives Midwest


Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

(Published on - 10/3/2023 6:24:30 PM)

Just like when you meet someone for the first time, a good first impression can go a long way. The same can be said when it comes to your home. Your home’s curb appeal — otherwise known as its overall exterior attractiveness — can make a big difference in how it is perceived.

According to the 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, 55% of home buyers will visit a property after viewing it online, primarily based on its curb appeal. If you are selling your home, you want to pay attention to how your home’s curb appeal might impact its selling value.

And even if you are not ready to sell your home, boosting your curb appeal can help ensure your home gives a great first impression to any visitors or passersby.

Adding charm to your home’s exterior does not have to mean burning a hole in your pocket and spending a lot of money! There are countless ways to boost your home’s curb appeal, making it more enjoyable for you or any potential buyers without breaking the bank.

Tips for Improving Curb Appeal on a Budget

Ready to get started improving your home’s curb appeal? Here are a few of our favorite (and simple!) ways to make your home look its best.


The most noticeable aspect of your property is usually your yard. Since it is the first thing most visitors see, there are small ways you can improve your landscaping to boost your curb appeal – even with no previous landscaping experience!

If you are looking for some easy beginner projects, start with keeping the edges of your walkways trimmed, plants properly pruned and a green, weed-free lawn. You can incorporate seasonal plants to help add color to your space. Do not forget to add mulch to add contrast and freshness! You can even consider using a budget-friendly mulching alternative, like leaf mulch, made from fallen leaves.

Do a bit of research into what kind of plant varieties do best in your area, and make sure to consider things like how much shade you have in your yard and the amount of rainfall.

Front Door Facelift

As the main entryway to your home, the front door can really set the tone for the rest of your home’s curb appeal. It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint in a vibrant color can do to improve and upgrade your home’s overall look and feel. You can affordably improve your home’s curb appeal with just a gallon of paint and some paint brushes.

Looking to take it to the next level? Try adding a kick plate or installing a new, modern door handle for an upgraded look. These small differences are also relatively affordable and simple to do with tools you likely already have lying around!

Outdoor Lighting

A well-lit pathway and front porch can dramatically change your home’s appearance. One way to improve the appearance of walkways and shaded areas without increasing your electricity bill or cash out of pocket is by installing solar-powered lights. You can place these lights strategically along your walkways and underneath large trees to add a touch of brightness and safety to your outdoor space.

You can also purchase smart outdoor lighting that works on a timer to save you the hassle on turning it on every evening — and save a little money on your electric bills, too!

Mailbox Makeover

Looking to upgrade the appearance of your mailbox? There are plenty of budget-friendly options to give it a fresh look. Consider applying a new coat of paint, adding some beautiful greenery and plants around it, or even replacing it entirely. You can find a mailbox that compliments your home’s style and color to add to your home’s overall exterior appearance.

With these simple modifications, your mailbox will be transformed, elevating the overall curb appeal of your home. Give it a try and see the difference it makes!

Exterior Upgrades and Improvements

You would be amazed how even the smallest cleaning and tidying up of your home can make a difference in improving curb appeal. Even something like cleaning your windows or keeping your lawn mowed can make your home sparkle and look its best.

If you are looking to take on a slightly bigger project, try installing shutters or window boxes with flowers to bring a well-rounded and unique style to your home. You can find shutters with unique colors or select window boxes to decorate seasonally with flowers and greenery.

Want to improve your curb appeal? The key is maintenance!

Do not forget that maintaining and improving your curb appeal is an ongoing process. Each season will bring new opportunities to improve or follow the latest exterior home improvement trends. Make sure to keep regularly checking in on your landscaping, front door, and mailbox to keep your house looking its best year-round.

Regular touch-ups like pruning, power washing the exterior, cleaning the gutters, and maintaining the walkway will also ensure your home continues to be a great addition to the block and neighborhood.

You can also always have fun with seasonal decorations like pumpkins in the fall or a wreath during the holiday season. Do not forget your home is yours to make unique and reflect your personal style!

It does not take much to make your home inviting and appealing!

The real estate saying, “curb appeal sells homes,” is a popular saying for a reason!

Your home’s exterior is often the first impression people have, and you want to make it a good one — whether you are selling your home or just enjoying it. By applying these tips to spruce up your landscape, front door, outdoor lighting, mailbox, and windows, you can dramatically improve your home’s curb appeal without busting your budget.


Are More Homes Coming onto the Market?

(Published on - 9/23/2023 7:18:54 PM)

An important factor shaping today’s market is the number of homes for sale. And, if you’re considering whether or not to list your house, that’s one of the biggest advantages you have right now. When housing inventory is this low, your house will stand out, especially if it’s priced right.

But there are some early signs that more listings are coming. According to the latest data, new listings (homeowners who just put their house up for sale) are trending up. Here’s a look at why this is noteworthy and what it may mean for you.

More Homes Are Coming onto the Market than Usual

It’s well known that the busiest time in the housing market each year is the spring buying season. That’s why there’s a predictable increase in the volume of newly listed homes throughout the first half of the year. Sellers are anticipating this and ramping up for the months when buyers are most active. But, as the school year kicks off and as the holidays approach, the market cools. It’s what’s expected.

But here’s what’s surprising. Based on the latest data from, there’s an increase in the number of sellers listing their houses later this year than usual. A peak this late in the year isn’t typical. You can see both the normal seasonal trend and the unusual August in the graph below:As explains:

“While inventory continues to be in short supply, August witnessed an unusual uptick in newly listed homes compared to July, hopefully signaling a return in seller activity heading toward the fall season . . .”

While this is only one month of data, it’s unusual enough to note. It’s still too early to say for sure if this trend will continue, but it’s something you’ll want to stay ahead of if it does.

What This Means for You

If you’ve been putting off selling your house, now may be the sweet spot to make your move. That’s because, if this trend continues, you’ll have more competition the longer you wait. And if your neighbor puts their house up for sale too, it means you may have to share buyers’ attention with that other homeowner. If you sell now, you can beat your neighbors to the punch.

But, even with more homes coming onto the market, the market is still well below normal supply levels. And, that inventory deficit isn’t going to be reversed overnight. The graph below helps put this into context, so you can see the opportunity you still have now: 

Bottom Line

Even though inventory is still low, you don’t want to wait for more competition to pop up in your neighborhood. You still have an incredible opportunity if you sell your house today. Connect with a real estate agent to explore the benefits of selling now before more homes come to the market.


Source: Keeping Current Matters

Realty Executives Midwest
1310 Plainfield Rd. Ste 2 | Darien, IL 60561
Office: 630-969-8880

Real Estate Pros’ Staging Checklist for Sellers

(Published on - 9/16/2023 3:24:44 PM)

Some home improvement projects should take precedence over others when selling your home. Here are the most recommended and their associated costs.

When you’re ready to sell your home, you’ll want it to sell as quickly as possible for the maximum amount of money. To that end, most homeowners will undertake some type of home improvement project, whether it's simply cleaning and depersonalizing or something more involved. But determining and prioritizing what needs to be done and what it will cost can be overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the home staging projects real estate professionals recommend before placing your home on the market. We’ve organized these projects by cost, so you can prioritize what best fits your budget. Using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Home Staging 2023 and the latest costs from cost guides, you can make an informed decision about how to best prepare your home for selling.  

5 Most Recommended Projects for Selling a Home in 2023

Real estate experts and home staging professionals advise their clients on what their home needs in order to increase the chances of attracting buyers. Here are the 5 projects that they most recommend. 

1. Professionally declutter

An overwhelming majority of 96% of real estate experts advise that home sellers should have their homes professionally decluttered before inviting potential buyers for viewings. Decluttering a home helps make the space look larger and cleaner. Trying to ignore a lot of items makes it difficult to focus on the home's potential and can often make rooms feel cramped. To have a professional come and declutter your home will cost in the region of $450

2. Entire home cleaning

One option most homeowners will want to consider is the second most recommended project. Having a professional clean the entire home is what 88% of real estate experts say is advisable when staging a home. It is also one of the most affordable projects listed at an average of $221. Having a clean home gives off a good first impression and allows the buyer to have a pleasant experience viewing the home. It also gives the feeling of a fresher, newer space. 

3. Repair drywall

72% of professionals tell their clients to repair any minor damages. One common minor damage around the home is wear and tear to the drywall. This could include dents, holes, and scratches. Having this type of damage highlights how much the home has been lived in, giving it an older appearance than it may actually have. Repairing drywall carries an average cost of around $350, one of the cheaper projects on our list. 

4. Repair damaged shingles

Replacing or repairing damaged shingles is another minor repair that 72% of pros recommend. First impressions are vital when selling a home, and although curb appeal, in general, is not listed, it is a vital part of selling a home. The roof forms a huge part of curb appeal, and this is a minor repair that has a significant impact on buyers. The extent of the roof damage will affect the cost, but homeowners can expect to pay around $500 to repair damaged shingles

5. Carpet cleaning

Having the carpet professionally cleaned gives it a new lease of life, leaving it smelling nice and looking fresh. A worn-down, dirty carpet can let the whole interior design of a room down. This is why 71% of experts say they recommend this project. Cleaning the carpet in 2 bedrooms is the most affordable project listed, costing around $180 on average, making it a desirable option for home sellers. 

Weighing Up Expert Recommendations vs. Cost

While some projects may be advisable, they may also be costly. Depending on the budget you set yourself for sprucing up your home for sale will dictate which home improvements you prioritize. For example, entire home cleaning will probably get you the best bang for your buck due to its relatively low cost but high recommendation. 

If you want to spend less than $500 on a single project, it would be wise to rule out regrouting the shower, which costs an average of $700, and only 30% of real estate pros recommend it. If you believe your home desperately needs landscaping but only want to splash out on one area, then the front yard would be a better option. It costs an average of $5,000 to complete, whereas the backyard is around $9,000, but both are recommended by 50% of experts. 

Some good intermediate projects that 65% of home stagers suggest are paint touch-ups and depersonalizing the home. At the lower end of the cost scale, getting a professional painter to touch up necessary spots around the home will set you back around $200. Having a home stager/organizer come and depersonalize your home costs in the region of $500. 

Here is the complete list of projects, in order of most recommended: 

Project % of Experts that Recommend Cost
Professionally declutter 96% $450
Entire home cleaning 88% $221
Repair drywall (minor repairs) 72% $350
Repair damaged shingles (minor repairs) 72% $500
Carpet cleaning 71% $180
Paint touch-ups 65% $200
Depersonalize home 65% $500
Painting walls 57% $8,700
Landscape front yard 50% $5,000
Landscape backyard 50% $9,000
Regrout shower 30% $700

 Listen to Advice to Sell Your Home

Ultimately the decision is yours when it comes to making improvements in order to sell your home. The projects listed are the most commonly recommended by real estate professionals whose experience and know-how can help guide you. The costs of each project can further help you determine which are the best fits for your budget. 


We took statistics from NAR’s Profile of Home Staging 2023 and combined the percentage recommendations with average costs from cost guides. For some projects, we broke them down into more specific home improvements in order to assign a specific project cost. For example, NAR’s report lists ‘landscaping,’ which we split into the front yard and backyard landscaping. For ‘minor repairs,’ we listed drywall repair and repair broken shingles. For ‘grouting,’ we opted for ‘regrout shower’. 


Why It’s Still a Seller’s Market Today

(Published on - 9/9/2023 6:41:00 PM)

Why It’s Still a Seller’s Market Today

Even though activity in the housing market has slowed from the frenzy that was the ‘unicorn’ years, it’s still a seller’s market because the supply of homes for sale is so low. But what does that really mean for you? And why are conditions today so good if you want to sell your house?

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows housing supply is still astonishingly low. Housing inventory is measured by the number of available homes on the market. It’s also measured by months’ supply, meaning the number of months it would take to sell all those available homes based on current demand. In a balanced market, there’s usually about a six-month supply. Today, we have only about 3 months’ supply of homes at the current sales pace (see graph below): 

As the visual shows, given the current inventory of homes, it’s still a seller’s market.

Today, we’re nowhere near what’s considered a balanced market. In fact, the current months’ supply is half of what’s typical of a normal market. That means there just aren’t enough homes to go around based on today’s buyer demand.

As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NARsays:

“There are simply not enough homes for sale. The market can easily absorb a doubling of inventory.”

How Does Being in a Seller’s Market Benefit You?

Sellers, these conditions give you a real edge. Right now, there are buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. And, because there’s a shortage of homes up for sale, the ones that do hit the market are like magnets for those buyers.

If you work with a local real estate agent to list your house right now, in good condition, and at the right price, it could get a lot of attention. You might even end up with multiple offers.

Bottom Line

Today’s seller’s market sets you up with a big advantage when you sell your house. Because supply is so low, your house will be in the spotlight for motivated buyers who are craving more options. Connect with a local real estate agent so you understand what’s happening in your area as you get ready to enter the market.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Realty Executives Midwest

1310 Plainfield Rd. Ste 2 | Darien, IL 60561

Office: 630-969-8880

Buyer Traffic Is Still Stronger than the Norm

(Published on - 9/2/2023 6:55:27 PM)

Buyer Traffic Is Still Stronger than the Norm

Are you putting off selling your house because you’re worried no one’s buying because of where mortgage rates are? If so, know this: the latest data shows plenty of buyers are still out there, and they’re purchasing homes today. Here’s the data to prove it.

The ShowingTime Showing Index is a measure of buyers touring homes. The graph below uses the latest numbers available and compares them to the same month in the last normal years to show just how active today’s buyers still are:

As you can see, when June 2023 numbers are stacked alongside what’s typical for the housing market at this time of year, it’s clear buyers are still active. And, they’re actually a lot more active than the norm.

If you’re wondering how this could possibly be true, it’s because buyers are getting used to higher mortgage rates and accepting them as the new reality. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, Realtor.comexplains:

“Interest rate hikes continue to further cut into buyers’ purchasing power, although they appear to have adapted to the higher mortgage rate environment . . .”

It’s simple. Buyers will always need to buy, and those who can afford to move at today’s rates are going to do so.

The Key Takeaway for You

While it’s true things have slowed down from the frenzy of the last couple of years, it doesn’t mean today’s market is at a standstill. The reality is: buyer traffic is still strong today. Even with today’s mortgage rates, plenty of buyers are still making their moves. So why delay your own move when there’s clearly a market for your house?

Bottom Line

Don’t put off your plans because you’re worried no one will buy your home. The opposite is true, and more buyers are more active than the norm. Connect with a real estate agent to get your house ready to sell, so it makes the best first impression possible on those eager buyers.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Realty Executives Midwest

1310 Plainfield Rd. Ste 2 | Darien, IL 60561

Office: 630-969-8880



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