Want to know what it takes to sell a luxury home in a softening market? Ask Anh-Tuan and April Truong.

Chef’s kitchens, retractable glass walls, spa bathrooms and other amenities that help sell luxury homes./The Wall Street Journal


By Amy Gamerman | The Wall Street Journal |

In the fall, Dr. Truong, a cosmetic surgeon, and Ms. Truong, a stay-at-home mother to their two children, sold their 3,200-square-foot townhome in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood for $1.175 million after just 40 days on the market—while similar homes in the same condominium development languished for months.

What gave the Truongs the edge? New quartzite countertops, new hardwood floors and a neutral, uncluttered décor—all part of a $30,000 upgrade in 2014.

“Sales have been slow over the last six months—you really have to stand out. Their place showed like a model unit,” said Lauren Schuh-Dayton, the couple’s real-estate agent and vice president of sales for Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty. Within weeks of accepting the winning bid on their townhome, the Truongs bought an updated 1888 greystone house in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood for $1.5 million—$49,000 below the asking price.

Wall Street’s big landlords are so hungry for houses they’re building them

Companies that once gobbled up foreclosed suburban homes are now acquiring new ones for the rental market.

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