All about navigating the real estate market. 

photo of home in spring

preparing your home for a spring sale: a checklist for sellers

If you're planning to sell your house this spring, now is the time to start preparing. From curb appeal to decluttering, there are several steps you can take to ensure your home stands out and attracts potential buyers. Read on to get a comprehensive checklist that will guide you through the process of getting your home ready for a spring sale.

1. boost curb appeal.

First impressions matter, and the exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see. Enhance your home's curb appeal by making sure the landscaping, walk up and entry way is cleaned up; and make sure to have an experienced agent review your home's exterior to advise on any upgrades. Remember --…

6 Views, 0 Comments

photo of downtown chicago

buying vs. renting: making the right decision for you

Deciding whether to buy or rent a home is a significant financial choice that can impact your lifestyle and long-term goals. In this blog post, we'll review the pros and cons of both buying and renting to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your unique circumstances.

1. financial considerations.

When it comes to finances, buying a home often involves a substantial upfront investment, including a down payment, closing costs, and potential taxes. On the other hand, renting oftentimes requires a security deposit and the first month's rent. Before making your decision, it's crucial to compare monthly mortgage payments to rent costs while also considering additional expenses…

84 Views, 0 Comments

photo of downtown chicago

2024 housing market outlook

As we step into the new year, the real estate market continues to evolve, presenting both challenges and opportunities. Below are key factors shaping the 2024 housing market and what they mean for those looking to buy or sell their homes.

1. low inventory levels.

Looking forward, demand will most likely continue to exceed supply. Illinois specifically has a slow growth in the number of homes being built compared to the rest of the country. Predictions of slight mortgage rate declines would help bring more home sellers into the market and increase the amount of inventory, however, it is unlikely that we'll see a drastic change from the status quo. 

2. mortgage rates could decrease.

While mortgage rates have…

96 Views, 0 Comments

home couch with pumpkin decor and a hot drink

why fall is a great time to sell your home

While spring often takes the spotlight, there are compelling reasons why fall is a great time to sell your home. Fall often has more serious buyers, unique staging possibilities, and many other advantages. Read on to learn more on how to embrace the fall market.

1. less competition in the market.

While spring might be the most popular time to list homes, fall sees a decrease in the number of homes available for sale. Even with an already low number of homes available, this decrease can be an ever greater advantage for sellers. The fewer the options on the market, the more your home can stand out and attract more potential buyers. 

2. homebuyers are typically more serious.

During the fall,…

403 Views, 0 Comments

photo of woman looking at computer

where is the market moving?

With high interest rates, low inventory, and competition in the market not letting up, what should buyers and sellers really be doing now? Here's our analysis for approaching the market with what's best for you.

the unpredictability of interest rates

Even though we see extensive forecasting and analysis on interest rates from experts, nobody truly knows what lies ahead. Time and again, predictions have been made, and the outcomes have not matched expectations. Recently, economic strategists have mentioned the possibility of an intentional pushing of rates to generate a controlled recession. This strategy aims to prevent inflation from spiraling out of control. While this would mean rate could remain higher for the…

400 Views, 0 Comments

photo of downtown chicago

A look at the summer real estate market

The housing market is a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape, influenced by various factors such as economic conditions, demographic shifts, and buyer/seller behaviors. As we look ahead to the summer, it's natural to wonder what lies in store for the real estate industry. In this blog, we delve into some of the predictions and insights offered by experts in the field, to gain a glimpse into the possible trajectory of the housing market in the coming months.

1. continued demand and tight inventory.

One key trend anticipated in the housing market is the continuation of buyer demand, even if it's lower than the previous year. The supply of available homes is expected to remain tight, which still creates…

399 Views, 0 Comments

sofa in home

5 simple ways to increase your home resale value

Getting top dollar on your home is a real thing, and some mistakes can cost you tens of thousands in earnings (browse our blog for stories). Here are 5 simple ways to make sure you get it right.

1. maximize the usable value of each room.

Take advantage of every inch of your home by maximizing the usable value of each room. Consider removing bulky furniture, adding functional storage solutions, and creating multi-functional spaces that can serve multiple purposes.

2. stage through the buyer's eyes.

Stage it correctly. That doesn’t always mean renting furniture — and it definitely doesn’t mean leaving out cookies and welcome signs. What it does mean is arranging your space and decor to…

249 Views, 0 Comments

flatlay of a computer and phone and succulent on a blue background

what you get when you work with a REALTOR®

Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions you'll ever make. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, it can be a complex and overwhelming process. That's where a REALTOR® comes in. They are licensed professionals who can provide you with expert guidance and support throughout the entire real estate transaction. In fact, NAR data shows that a median REALTOR®-listed home sold for $120k more than by owner last year. Read on to learn more about all the key benefits of working with an agent.

1. experience you can't beat.

One of the main benefits of working with a REALTOR® is building your wealth with a foundation valuable of market experience.…

175 Views, 0 Comments

person at computer thinking

a breakdown of buyer closing costs

Preparing for a home purchase can be daunting - but it doesn't have to be. Know what to be prepared for so you can make a strategic plan. Don't forget to budget for extra closing costs that come on top of your down payment. Get an estimate from your lender and make sure you know what to expect before you set your home price range.

Here's what buyers should expect at a closing:

1. down payment

This is the money that the home buyer pays upfront for the property. Down payments are usually a percentage of the purchase price and typically range from around 3% to 20%, but there is no limit to how much you are allowed to put down.

2. lender fees

Lender fees are the cost of processing your loan, such as…

298 Views, 0 Comments

man thinking in front of computer

3 mistakes first time homebuyers make 

It costs an average of $25k more to buy a home today than at this time last year!  First time buyers, don’t make these costly mistakes:

1. forgetting about closing costs

Don’t forget to budget for extra closing costs that come on top of your down payment. Get an estimate from your lender and make sure you know what to expect before you set your home price range.

2. lowball offers

Low ball offers are not a good negotiation tactic. Even if you think the home is overpriced, a crazy low offer could offend the seller and hurt your position. In today’s market, where over-asking bids are the norm, this would mean not skimping when bidding on a home you love — if you do, chances are you’ll get outbid and…

291 Views, 0 Comments