Chicago's North Shore - North and Northwest Suburbs Real Estate Archive

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Square Footage – What You Need to Know

by Allyson Hoffman

If you’ve started shopping for your next home and, like many buyers, initially use the Internet as your primary source of information regarding the homes of interest, it’s important to understand the truth about square footage and how that information is obtained and derived.  Direct searching by consumers on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is not possible. Thus, the scope of the information provided on the websites you may visit where the MLS listing details are syndicated for your home search convenience, can be misleading.

While most agents try to fairly represent a property’s square footage, it can be challenging to accomplish, primarily because there are so many different sources agents can use for that information. Moreover, differing sources can have differing measurements leading to differing estimates of square footage. One of the most valuable steps in deciphering the “reality” from the number is to know what is included or excluded in that particular representation as well as whose representation it actually is. It’s important to keep in mind that statements of square footage don’t always take into account spaces you might be thinking about or not considering in the size of the house such as garages, basements or even recent additions.

Square-foot estimates can come from the tax assessor, the builder, an appraiser, floor plans, the resident, blueprints, a plat of survey or even have been estimated by an agent or owner. With that many sources for the data, there is sure to be a difference of opinion about the number of square feet in any property.

But the wrong number doesn’t change the actual size of the house. Undoubtedly, this can surely be confusing.  The best and clearest idea for understanding the size of a home is to view it, personally.  Regardless of the square-foot estimate, the space needs to work for you and the space needs to be in the right places. So don’t completely rely upon an online square-foot estimate.  Moreover, if you’ve looked that property up in the tax assessor’s website where taxes are calculated, in part, by using estimates of square footage, understand that the home owner has a reason not to report an underestimate error if they are aware of one.

When searching for a home online, the best approach is to first make sure it has all of the criteria you need and then schedule an appointment with an experienced agent who understands your space expectations.  For additional information regarding the buying or selling process, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

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Strategies for Winning a Bidding War Competition

by Allyson Hoffman

The current real estate market, has created increased demand for many homes. Homes with the greatest interest include those that are well priced, in good to excellent condition, skillfully staged, and those with professional photography to highlight the best features of the property.

Depending upon their criteria, buyers currently in the market to purchase a home may select a home with other interested buyers. This situation can lead to with simultaneous multiple bids on the same home. Should this scenario surface, here are some suggestions to enhance your offer and increase the likelihood that it will stand out from the others.

  - Price is important, but don’t forget the other terms of your offer. Have flexibility where you can. If the seller wants to move quickly or stay longer, offer to adjust your closing time to accommodate their schedule.

  - A larger earnest money deposit is another term of the contract that can make a big impact.

  - Consider including a letter to the seller with your offer. Home negotiating is relatively impersonal in today’s technology-filled world. Most offers are completed online, executed with digital signatures and submitted by email. A personal note from the buyer (even if the “letter” is emailed) can distinguish your offer from others. Share what you loved about their home and what you are looking forward to when living there. Appealing to the seller’s emotional side could be the difference in impact needed to land your offer on top of others.

  - Eliminate as many contingencies as you can from your offer. While most buyers require financing to complete a home purchase and cannot remove this condition, if you are comfortable purchasing the home “as is”, that scenario could be very appealing to the seller. This approach would typically still permit home inspections to ascertain the actual condition of the property before proceeding. Buying without asking the seller to make any repairs can be effective in a buyer becoming a multiple offer winner.

  - Absolutely include documentation showing you are qualified to purchase the home. A preapproval letter for a mortgage or proof of funds if you are paying cash is critical for sellers to seriously consider your offer.

  - Avoid requesting the seller to leave personal property not already included in the listing conveyances.

  - Don’t ask the seller to pay your closing costs. In some price ranges, asking the seller to pay part of the closing costs for the buyer is very common, but paying your own provides one more reason your offer could look better than the next one.

  - While price clearly isn’t the only factor important to the seller, it will often be a major determining criterion in choosing the successful bidder.  So if you really want the home and others do too, consider offering above the listing price. Keep in mind that if you think the home will only appraise for the price it is listed at, and not for the amount you are offering to pay, you may need to make it clear that you are willing to pay more than the appraised value.

Because there are so many variables within an offer, it can be really hard to know what is best in any given situation.  So having a trusted real estate advisor to guide you through the home buying process is critical to determining the best terms needed to secure the property when competing with other interested parties.

For additional information on submitting an offer to purchase a home, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying or selling process, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

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Pointers for Preparing Pets for a New Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Moving to a new home means there are many things to plan for as part of the moving process. With numerous check-list items to complete, don’t forget about your pets.  Moving presents challenges and can be stressful for them too. As you prepare for your move, here are some suggetions to ensure your pets make a healthy and happy transition to their new home.

1. Secure copies of your pet’s records to have on hand for your new veterinarian.

2. Pre-move, research veterinarians to be prepared for an unexpected emergency. If you are unfamiliar with the area, ask your real estate agent for good recommendations.

3. Pack your pet’s food, medicine, leash, favorite toys and/or crate where they can be easily reached.

4. If travelling long distance, plan time for stops to let pets to get out and move around. It will help them to remain comfortable.

5. If you aren’t travelling by car, plan well in advance for any necessary special requirements for your pet to travel by plane or train.

6. Upon arrival, check your new home to assure its safety for your pet.  This should include the yard and fence, if any.  Make sure there aren’t any openings where pets can escape.

7. Introduce yourself and your pet to your new neighbors. It will help to assure a safe return more quickly if your pet should escape.

8. To ease the stress of the move, unpack your pet’s things promptly with ready access to their food, water and bed.

9. Make sure your pets are wearing a collar with tags that are updated with your new information.

10.  Try to retain a pet schedule similar to your old location in the new location to minimize the adjustment required.

11.  Make sure to relax and play with your pet. Even short walks will benefit pets as well as family members and lower stress levels for all.

For additional information or downloadable e-books on moving with pets, moving with children or moving in general, please feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying or selling process, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

Image courtesy of rogerio/pixabay.com

Smart Home … Smart Move!

by Allyson Hoffman

Smart home technology once belonged in the realm of fantasy – but today it is a top feature that buyers are looking for in a home. This feature is exciting and can help with the marketing of your home. Smart homes are here, and homeowners are often surprised at how affordable it is to convert an existing traditional home into an innovative smart home.

Integrating smart technology into your home can improve your quality of life, and it could also improve the resale value of your home if you ever decide to sell. Anything that sets your home apart in a positive way is potentially beneficial. So, given that the cost is relatively small as compared to the possible return, why not take the initiative and smarten up your home?

Previously, smart homes were beyond the budget of the average consumer, but with advances in technology, and the fact that nearly everyone has a smartphone or tablet, the cost of integrating smart technology into the home has plummeted. Before long, smart-technology integration may be a requirement rather than a bonus feature, especially in the luxury real estate market.

To get ahead of the curve and make the transition now rather than later, here are a few things you can do today for a relatively small investment.

Smart Interior and Exterior Lights

For a long time, and with limited success, people have been trying to figure out how to turn off the lights without the need to get off the couch or out of bed. Now, using just a screwdriver and a few spare minutes, almost anyone can install smart lights switches throughout a home and control them via a smartphone app or by voice command. These lights can be set to turn on or off at preset times or when the sun rises and sets. Smart light switches cost about $50. For those not wanting to install new switches, or with a healthy fear of electricity, choosing to install smart light bulbs by Phillips can be a path to savings. Each bulb can then be controlled through a smartphone and no screwdriver is required.

Smart Door Locks

Have you ever lost your keys, had to rush home to let in a visiting friend or open the door for a handyman? With the addition of a new Smart Lock System, these worries can be a thing of the past.  An example of the technology includes the August Smart Lock which unlocks as soon as an authorized person approaches the door. Doors can also be unlocked and relocked remotely. Temporary keys can be issued to people such as contractors or short-term guests. Smart locks similar to the August Smart Lock typically cost between $150 and $250 and can be installed in just a matter of minutes.

Smart Thermostats

One of the most popular thermostats currently on the market is the Nest Thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat eliminates the need to program because it programs itself. Simply set it and adjust it as you normally would throughout the day. It will remember and begin to adjust itself in the future. The Nest Thermostat also provides the ability to set and monitor temperature via a smartphone or tablet. A Nest Learning Thermostat costs only $249 and can be installed in under an hour.

Smart Appliances

Finally, there are the new smart appliances. These are the most expensive upgrade to a home, because there is no way to turn a traditional appliance into a smart one. Buying new appliances is necessary. So if you are already in the market for a new refrigerator, dishwasher, coffee maker or washer and dryer, going the smart route is something to consider. Imagine a refrigerator that alerts you via text if you are low on milk or a coffee maker that cleans itself. Or how about a washing machine that tells you if there’s a problem or an unbalanced load?

Turning your house into a “smart home” is a great way to boost your home’s value with a relatively small investment, and make life a little more convenient in the process. For additional ideas on how to improve the value of your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property


 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE
/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.   

Image courtesy of Grant Sewell/Flickr.com

Home Warranty Highlights

by Allyson Hoffman

More sellers are now including home warranties with the sale of their homes to comfort buyer concerns. Ideally a home warranty provides some assurance to the buyer regarding systems, appliances or other failures within the first year of ownership by arranging for repair or replacement with only a minimal service call fee. Keep in mind that homeowners, themselves, can also purchase a home warranty at any time. Prior to purchasing a home warranty, homeowners should understand what they are and when they are most needed.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty generally covers the major components of a home, such as heating and cooling systems, appliances and water heaters. Typically, minor repairs such as plumbing leaks are not included in coverage. It can be purchased for any age home, though the cost may increase with older properties with additional expense for larger homes or slightly lower costs for condominiums.

With some warranties, owners pay only a set amount regardless of the cost of the repair or replacement. With other programs, payment of a portion or percentage of the cost may be required. So it’s important to read the fine print before selecting a warranty. Know what is included and what can be added for an extra price.

The Benefits

For the buyer, a home warranty provides peace of mind by eliminating the possibility for hundreds of dollars in repairs or exhausting emergency funds for major issues during the first year of ownership. Even one repair can exceed the entire annual cost for the home warranty.

For the seller, a home warranty may attract additional buyers, especially if the home being sold is older with older systems and appliances. Because many first-time buyers may have limited funds to invest into the property, and a warranty can be an attractive asset.

The Downside

Paying for a warranty for years and never needing to use it for repairs may make the proposition appear as a useless cash drain with no rewards. This case is often seen with newer homes when a special home warranty may be unnecessary if the home is still covered under the builder’s warranty. For example, most appliances come with a two- or five-year manufacturer’s warranties, so you wouldn’t need a separate home warranty during that time.

In the end, the decision to buy or not to buy boils down to you and how prepared you are to pay for unexpected expenses. It also clearly depends on the age of the home you’re buying or selling. For additional information regarding home warranty options, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to help you determine the value of your home, or find your next dream home.

 


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets. 
  

Image courtesy Valerie Everett/Flickr.com

Downsize Your Life in Five Easy Steps

by Allyson Hoffman

If you’re planning to move to a smaller home, you’ll need to also scale back your belongings – undoubtedly a challenging task, especially for collectors of memories or memorabilia.  To make the process less painful, here are a few tips to streamline the job and increase the likelihood of enjoying your new home.

1. Start with the Less Sentimental Items

Begin with belongings that allow you to remain objective. It could be clothing, linens or kitchen cookware. Once you’ve pared down these practical items, it will be easier to work on your sentimental pieces.

2. Work with the Big Stuff

Rather than sorting through boxes and not truly impacting your living space, instead select large items that matter, such as furniture. Once you know where you’re moving, try creating the floor plan to help determine what truly suits that space. By choosing the most important and appropriate pieces, you’ll be able to decide what can be eliminated.

3. Have a “Just In Case” Box

To deal with items that truly tug at your heart strings, regardless of whether or not you need them, allow yourself to keep a few of these special pieces in a box reserved for “just in case.” Plan a location to store that box as well as a timetable for retrieving it for a second look.  By having that box to store those selected items, it should make it easier to part with rest of the “unnecessary”.

4. Give It Away

It’s often easier to eliminate items when they’re specifically going to someone else. If your family members know you’re downsizing, try inviting them to select things they’d want. That way those sentimental items will continue to have a loving home while you’ll benefit from additional space. For other useful, but less personal articles, consider donating them to charities.

5. Sell It

It can be easier to eliminate belongings when you benefit monetarily.  Yard sales, garage sales or selling online through Etsy or eBay could be a good choice. Depending on what you’re discarding, you might recoup several hundreds of dollars which could make the “parting” much less painful.

Successfully working through these steps will inevitably increase your ability to enjoy that new and smaller home without the distraction of clutter. For additional information on how to make to move from a larger to a smaller home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about selling your home, and/or help you find your next dream home.

 


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets. 
 

Image courtesy of Nicolas Huk/Flickr.com

Understanding the Importance of Real Estate Contract Contingency Clauses

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it’s important to understand each contingency clause in the contract. Buying a home is a big commitment, and it is important that you do everything possible to protect yourself when making this investment.

Contingency clauses are one way that buyers can build additional protections into the sales contract. They allow a buyer to cancel a sales contract with no penalty or loss of earnest money if certain conditions are not met prior to closing.

Contingencies clauses can alter the terms of a contract significantly, so don’t forget to read each contingency carefully. Here are the five common contingency clauses you may find in a real estate sales contract.

Attorney View Contingency

In the Chicago metro area, contracts are typically subject to a five-day period where attorneys for both the buyer and the seller can review and suggest modifications to the legal aspects of the contract.  Modifications to critical components of the agreed terms, such as the price to be paid, are not included in the scope of the attorney view.

Appraisal Contingency

If a home does not appraise at or above the sale price, the prospective lender will generally not proceed with the loan unless the buyer raises their down payment to make the numbers comply with lender expectations. An appraisal contingency often permits the buyer to back out of the contract with no penalty if the house does not appraise at or above the sale price. Alternately, the appraisal contingency can state that if the appraisal is below the sale price, the seller has the option to lower the sale price of the home to the appraised price. Terms of the appraisal contingency and what is acceptable to the parties is typically negotiated to arrive at mutually acceptable result.

Mortgage Contingency

The mortgage or financing contingency specifies that the buyer has the right to back out of the contract with no penalty if he or she is unable to obtain financing as specified in the contract.  These terms often include the date the buyer must secure financing, the amount of the loan, and the type and the interest rate of the loan.

Home Sale or Home Close Contingency

This contingency allows a buyer to back out of a contract with no penalty if he or she cannot sell and/or close on their current home before a set date. This prevents buyers from potentially owning two homes at the same time with the obligation to pay two mortgages simultaneously.  Sellers are much less likely to accept these conditions unless there is an abundance of inventory with longer market times when this highly competitive environment is characterized as a buyers’ markets rather than sellers’.

Inspection Contingency

The inspection contingency allows the buyer to perform many inspections as deemed necessary during a set period of time.  In the Chicago metro area, this is typically five business days. If the property does not pass inspection and major issues are revealed, the buyer has several options which include cancelling the contract without penalty.  More frequently, sellers and buyers resolve the concerns revealed in an inspection by sellers performing repairs or crediting buyers for the defects to allow them to address those post-closing.

Contingency clauses in a contract should not be glossed over amidst the legalese and boilerplate language. Doing so could be a costly mistake.  For additional information, please feel free to contact me today for a consultation.  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about selling your home or finding your next home..

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets. 
 

Photo courtesy Flickr.com/mmoz 

How to Feel Like Home in Your New Community

by Allyson Hoffman

Starting over in a new community can be stressful.  It requires effort to make new friends, find the best places to eat, and to learn your way around. But, if you are to willing venture out and explore, integrating into your new city doesn’t have to be daunting.  Here are a few tips to help you with the process:

  • The Essentials

Depending on your age and interests, what you consider essential will vary, but virtually everyone should know where to shop for groceries, pick up a prescription or get a good meal.  Beyond the essentials, what is important will certainly differ and finding these places is not really all that challenging.  We live in the internet age where a wealth of information on just about everything, including your new city, should be right at your fingertips.  So, initially, let your fingers do the walking.

  • Using the Internet

Start by checking out Google Maps. If you enter your address, a map of your area will pop up.  Type an asterisk (*) into the search field to find everything of interest in the area. For a more specific search, enter the information you are seeking, such as “Thai Restaurant”, “Pharmacy” or “Furniture Store”.  Matching results will display on the map and sidebar. The side bar will also show a star rating and contain a link to written reviews and the business’s website.  In addition, you can easily map a route from your home to any of these locations and to your place of business.

  • Ask for Advice

While the internet is great, it cannot replace the actual recommendations of people you trust. So if you know anyone in your new town or city, consider checking with those folks for information that the Internet cannot provide.  Also consider a social media shout out for local input on Facebook and/or Twitter asking for recommendations and advice about your new city. This will combine the power of the Internet with important native insights from those in the community.

  • Meet New People

While you can certainly discover great restaurants, entertainment venues, local parks and night spots in the city, nothing can replace having friends to share good times, increase your fun, and help to ease your adjustment to a new home and location.  So, make that concerted effort to personally connect with locals in your new city or town. 

  • Use Your Hobbies

Many friendships are rooted in shared interests. So, if you have a hobby, sports you enjoy, or other activity that drives your pleasure and time, use it to meet new friends. Whether it’s your golf game, children’s activities, or your love of music or painting, undoubtedly there are others in your new city with similar tastes and affections.  An easy way to connect with people in your area whose interests mirror your own is through local Facebook groups and the site Meetup.com. So try to find a group of people who share your interests and consider trying a meet up.

  • Help Out in the Community

Community service is an excellent way to meet some great, civic-minded people. When you take initiative and do some good within your community, it becomes more than just the place you live and work. So consider volunteering time to municipal activities for another path to a quickly acclimate.

If you try these ideas, you’ll inevitably meet new people with common interests, learn about your new town and neighborhood, find things to do with people you enjoy, and feel a sense of real comfort in your new surroundings. 

When you are ready to make that move, feel free to contact me today for a consultation.  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about Chicago’s North Shore, North or Northwest Suburbs real estate. Alternately, if you are leaving the area and need a reference to a skilled real estate professional in that new location, I can provide a reference for you at no cost.  Don’t hesitate to ask – I would be glad to help you identify the right person in your new area.

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of Palo Dobrik Photography

Suggestions for First Time Home Buyers

by Allyson Hoffman

If you are considering buying your first home in Chicago's North Shore, North or Northwest Suburbs, there are inevitably many things to consider.  To streamline the process from start to finish, following these recommendations will help to ensure a successful adventure to homeownership:

 - Arrange for your mortgage financing up front even before you start to look for a home. The lender will focus on your ideal price range, your maximum loan value, and whether there are any credit issues you should address before buying. The lender should also prepare a pre-approval letter, which you’ll need to provide the seller when you make an offer.

 - Consider reviewing a blank contract form with your agent before you write an offer. This will familiarize you with contract details and may prompt questions.  You may also want your agent to explain the process of negotiating and counteroffers.

- Use buyer representation. It is important to have an agent who owes his or her total loyalty to you. So be sure to discuss your representation options with your agent. If you are purchasing one of your agent’s listings or their company listings, make sure you understand what your agent can and cannot do for you.

- Review the seller’s disclosure(s) before you make an offer. It’s important that your offer reflect the condition of the property. The seller could disclose a repair or condition that would affect what you would be willing to pay. So you should know this before you decide on an offer price.

- If the property has middle-age or older systems, consider asking for a one-year home warranty policy when you write the offer. Some sellers will actually offer these as an incentive to purchase to cover items that could malfunction during the first year of ownership since cash used for down-payment, closing costs, and other home necessities can deplete your cash reserves for potential repairs. A home warranty policy should reduce the risk of a future cash crunch if a warranted item needs repair that first year.

- Be sure to get the property inspected by a professional licensed home inspector who should provide you a written report documenting the condition of your new home. Follow the inspector’s advice if he recommends that you have another system specialist inspect a suspected troublesome feature.  Also ask your inspector to explain how to work or maintain appliances and unfamiliar home systems.

Have your agent prepare a market analysis of the property before you make an offer. It’s important to know what similar properties are selling for so that you don’t overpay. This process will assist you in assessing value should the seller remain firm on his/her price.

Are you a first time buyer who needs help finding your first home? Don’t hesitate to contact me to help you find the perfect home for you and your family!

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of geralt/Pixabay.com

Get the Best from Your Real Estate Agent

by Allyson Hoffman

You’ve decided it’s time to buy a new home, and you’re ready to hire a real estate agent to guide you through the process. Wise decision!

Presumably, your selected agent wants to provide you the very best service possible.  Here are several things you can do to help your real estate agent produce those results:

1Share your expectations
. Exactly what do hope your real estate agent will do for you and what are your preferred methods of communicating – phone, email and/or text?

2. Get pre-approved for a loan. Knowing your affordable price range in advance of your formal home search assures a better chance of finding and securing that ideal property because sellers typically require prospective buyers to have been pre-approved for a mortgage.

3. Be clear about wants and needs. Create a list of what you’re looking for in a home and share that with your real estate agent. Include as many details as possible – from the price range supported by your loan pre-approval to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need as well as the type of neighborhood you prefer to live in and the style of homes you like.

4. Be honest and frank. Speak up regarding homes you have viewed and share exactly what you liked and disliked about each. It will help your agent to better understand your expectations and make suggestions designed to guide you to the right property.

5. Move at your own pace. If you feel overwhelmed or tire when viewing more than a certain number of homes in one day, tell your agent so that your home tours can be designed to match your comfort level.

6. Be prepared to negotiate. While your agent will manage contract negotiations for you, be prepared to compromise. Ultimately some “give and take” will likely be your key to success when you finally select a home that you love, Offers, counter-offers and sometimes many counter-offers are necessary to reach an agreement and secure the home you want. Don’t risk losing it because you’re unwilling to negotiate.

7. Remember that you have the final word. Your agent can, and most likely will, make suggestions, but the final decisions are always yours. With your agent’s guidance when you locate the home that fits your needs, be ready to act quickly.

Just like any other relationship, a client-agent relationship, if managed effectively, should produce a more confident and relaxed setting that results in better decisions designed to help you achieve your real estate goals.

When you are ready to find the right real estate agent for you and your family, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, provide information on the buying process, make recommendations to trusted lender professionals who can assist you in determining how much you can borrow, and/or help you find your dream home.



Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
847-310-5300
Fax: 847-400-0881

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Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

(847) 310-5300
Allyson@Allyson.com

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