Real Estate Advice

All about navigating the real estate market. 

Found 17 blog entries about Real Estate Advice.

Did you know? According to the most recent  National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers study, Realtor®-listed homes have sold on average for 40% more money than For Sale By Owner homes.

How you go about selling your property can really impact how much money ends up in your pocket when all is said and done. Things like marketing price, time on the market, and staging can have a tremendous effect on how much you sell your property for.

For example: if you were to market your home at a too high price, you will likely not see a lot of activity because surrounding homes at similar price points will have better features and options. This will cause market time to run on the clock, and precious sale time to slip away. In the

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In other words: How to get a higher price for your home. It's true - if your home stands out (in a good way), it attracts more buyers, gets more traffic, and that typically results in more interest, more offers and a higher end sale. It's important to make sure your home is truly ready for a home sale, to make the most of its market debut and get more buyers to fall in love with it. And while we generally don't recommend any major projects (exceptions abide - ask an arhome agent for the most profitable approach), the good news is there's a lot that you can control when it comes to making your home above-average. 

1. Maximize Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is one of those obvious checklist items that somehow gets overlooked in the end. Of course, it's

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The average rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans hit record lows this week. Mortgage News Daily reports that the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate loan is just barely above 3%; for FHA loans, its dropped all the way to 2.75%.

That’s lower than we’ve seen in many, many years.

Why are rates dropping so low?

Of course, we know the COVID-19 pandemic is involved. But according to Fed chairman Jerome Powell, this has hit the economy in ways that are worse than any typical recession. Powell stated recently: ”The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent and are significantly worse than any recession since World War II.” That’s powerful.

With predictions that our economy may not recover until the end of next year, the

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Ever since COVID-19 news hit the world, the real estate market met a significant crossroads: many people were questioning if it was a good time to sell, for safety, and what would happen to our still-strong prices. Data now backs up that we did, in fact, see a halt in the market. Especially towards the end of March, there was a drastic drop in newly listed properties - less than half of the amount listed that week last year (keep in mind, before the pandemic hit, 2020 numbers were exceeding 2019 numbers). So yes, the response was strong.

There is still good news in all of this: first off, our data shows that as of May 4, 2020, median sales prices are still higher than 2019, and haven't seen any huge shifts aside from a small dip 2 weeks ago (see

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As the world is feeling the COVID-19 impact, it seems no industry is immune. Real Estate, above anything, is getting hit with the "worry" impact more than a physical industry disruption. Buyers nervous about job security are nervous about future mortgage payments. Sellers are nervous to let viewers inside their homes. Investors are nervous about future property values. Nervous, nervous, nervous.

But for those in search of the silver lining during these trying times, here's some good news: despite the Illinois mandatory shut down, the real estate industry is keeping up at a steady pace so far — and we have facts to prove it. For all those who need some industry encouragement, we've put together a list of positive local real estate news for our

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What will 2020 look like for the housing market? Chief Economist Danielle Hale of®. says we should expect low inventory and a steadying of prices. Two things are fueling the inventory competition, Hale states; first, "Millennials are in a major home-buying phase," creating a demand for properties - especially since they are the largest group of buyers in US history. But, "we are not seeing a lot of sellers coming to market for various reasons." Gen X (homeowners who bought before Millenials), for example, seem content to stay where they are. And baby boomers are also not finding a any good reasons for selling - "they are living longer healthier lives and aren’t rushing to downsize right now,” Hale comments.

What about prices?

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Why It's Still a Great Time to Buy

Mortgage rates have hit historic lows this month, unlike anything we've seen since 2016. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.64% last week, and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to an average of 3.16%. Freddie Mac reports that during 2019, there were only 11 weeks where mortgage rates actually increased - the rest of the year, they kept dropping.

“With both the unemployment rate and mortgage rate below 4% and near historic lows, it is no surprise that the housing market regained momentum with home sales and construction at or near decade highs,”says Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

This good news does come with an exception - according to the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, we are

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3 Secrets to Selling Your Home Fast

1. The Right Price

Although this may seem like an obvious part of the plan, the figuring out the "Right" price isn't always as clear. Pricing a home correctly has just as much to do with not pricing it too high as it does with not pricing it too low.  A too low price can waste your time with potential low-ball offers, not getting you the price your home is really worth. A too high price might not match the competition you have with other sellers, and make your home stand on the market unobserved. According to Danielle Hale, chief economist at, this is especially important for 2019: "It’s still a very good market for sellers," but they "will need to consider the competition" due to the high

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3 Questions To Ask Before Selling Your Home

1. What is my home’s value?

This seems like an obvious question, but it is often overlooked in importance. It’s the first question you need to ask because you need to stack up your home’s potential sale value against your loan payoff and costs. If your payoff and expenses exceed value, your plan might change a bit.

There is no need to stress - talk to one of our professionals first. It’s important to get an accurate market analysis from us, because an online, computerized estimate is often unreliable. Once you get a professional evaluation, we can help guide you through your next steps.

Keep in mind that the right professional can sell your home faster and for a higher price with the right marketing and

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First things first: the housing market is still strong, according Daniel McCue, senior research associate at Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. But a housing shortage has led to big competition and higher prices, bringing down affordability, and generally putting a slowdown on the speed of the market. So If you’re planning to buy or sell this year, here are 2 the main takeaways:

1. Home Sales Are Slowing

The number of home sales has been steadily falling. It could be due to a small inventory, an increase in prices, and the intense home buying competition that goes along with that. The decline was most notable at the end of 2018, when the mortgage interest rates increased.

The amount of homes for sale is rising now, but sales are

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