Related: Chicago’s Top Real Estate Agents and Chicago’s Top Real Estate Teams

Jena Radnay

@properties Christie’s

How should sellers pitch their homes to gain an edge?

You want to create an atmosphere and tone for the house in your marketing. I recently listed a house that had a Las Vegas feel, so we leaned into that. You have to think, What’s the personality of the house?

What’s the oddest thing you’ve seen thrown in to close a sale?

A statue of a puma that had already been sold through the estate sale. We had to negotiate with the person who bought the statue to get it back, but we got it done.

What one small thing can turn buyers off?

Seeing pet stuff — dog bowls, leashes. I tell people, “You have to live like elves. Leave no trace, or buyers can’t picture themselves in the house because they’re picturing you there.”

Photograph: David Ward

Dave Chung


What one small thing can sellers do to make their homes more appealing?

Paint the front door! It’s so easy, but it looks fresh, crisp, and brand new. Freshen up your front step or porch, too.

What does the future hold for this market?

Demand is going to continue to overshadow supply for a while. There are no places to build. Right now there are also lots of young buyers who aren’t going to be selling for a long time.

Photograph: Alina Tsvor

Juany Honeycutt

Jameson Sotheby’s

What factor can make a house tougher to sell?

When something is renovated too taste-specific, especially in the suburbs. A lot of renovations from five to 10 years ago were extremely to the owner’s taste, which means buyers have to take on the cost of additional renovations. Keep your updates timeless.

Photograph: Juany Honeycutt

Dawn McKenna

Dawn McKenna Group, Coldwell Banker

Should sellers renovate before putting their homes on the market?

Professional staging can sometimes improve the house just as much as renovation.

Photograph: Dawn McKenna

Grigory Pekarsky

Vesta Team, Vesta Preferred Realty

What one small thing can turn buyers off?

An off smell. I just had a deal fall through because a bedroom smelled weird. Light a citrus candle.

Photograph: Heather Love