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

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Timing the Sale of your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

When is the best time to sell your home? Understanding the right time to list your home for sale could ultimately mean a higher sales price as well as less time on the market.

Spring is typically the best time for real estate. Overall, sales tend to peak between April and May; however, they also remain strong throughout June and July in many areas. One of the reasons for this is that this time of year is often the best time for families to move while the weather is pleasant and school is between terms. Also since many people have often received their tax refunds by this time as well, the funds can be applied toward down payments or moving expenses. Estimates indicate that approximately 60 percent of all moves take place during the summer. It is important to keep in mind that even if you get an offer right away, closing the sale of your home can take a few weeks to months with averages running about sixty days from contract to closing, particularly when mortgages need to be obtained. For this reason, it is important to list your home somewhat earlier rather than later in the season.

Sales tend to begin slowing in August as many people decide to travel before the end of summer or begin to shift their attention to the new school year. During the fall, many areas may see a brief surge in sales, but by winter, most prospective buyers are focusing on the upcoming holidays rather than buying a new home. Exceptions include highly motivated, ready and able families who are relocating in a job transfer or those whose homes have just been sold and now need to secure that next location.  So while the market typically picks up again right after the New Year with many buyers venturing out once again, the late fall buyers and those on the hunt in the dead of winter or holiday period, will often be high quality purchasers with an immediate need to fill.

Hence, it is a good idea to try to list your home during the peak season, but if that is not possible, listing in the winter may actually be beneficial. Despite the smaller pool of active buyers during the winter, the upside is that your home is likely already cleared and decorated for entertaining and the holidays. Additionally, you may also have distinctly less competition during this time of year.

Keep in mind that when it comes to seasonal buying trends, there are no absolutes. Every market is unique. Pay attention to the local housing market and what is taking place in nearby areas. Any number of factors could result in a sudden glut of homes on the market or an influx of buyers regardless of the time of year.

If you are considering selling your home and would like a market update for your area, please contact me.  We can review the inventory levels that specifically pertain to you and your home, the statistics that come directly from your area and create a plan that is designed specifically with you and your home in mind.

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
[email protected]

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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 renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Theatre in the Woods Presents Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

by Allyson Hoffman

Bring the kids to an inside look at a different kind of play with Theatre in the Woods’ presentation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This performance is unique in that it is interactive. Other than the characters of Snow White, the Wicked Queen and a Stage Manager, all other parts are played by the audience! Children in attendance will have a chance to participate during the play.  This gives them an opportunity to learn about what goes into putting on a theatrical performance. The play will last about 45 minutes and will take place outside if weather permits.

When: Saturday, October 26, 4:00 PM

Where: Riverwoods Village Hall, 300 Portwine Rd, Riverwoods 

Admission is free.

For more information, click here.

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
[email protected]

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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 market.

Photo courtesy of Theatre in the Woods-Riverwoods Facebook page.

Prepare Your Home for Winter with These Fall Maintenance Tips

by Allyson Hoffman

Fall is in the air and the weather is beginning to change. You should have already noticed crisper days and cooler nights. With this seasonal change already upon us, it’s time to start preparing your home for winter. Just like the sweaters and fall coats you’ve likely begun to wear and have probably moved to the front of your closet, to be set for these cooler months ahead, you’ll also need to get your home ready for this change in seasons.

There are a few tasks every homeowner should schedule in the fall in anticipation of cooler months ahead. Using this checklist to help you plan your fall home maintenance will ensure that you and your home are ready for winter.

Outside Your Home

  • Check your gutters and make sure they are still securely fastened. Once all the leaves have fallen off the trees, be sure to remove any debris that has accumulated so they can easily drain.
  • Visually inspect your roof and fix any small issues such as broken shingles or minor leaks before they become big problems.
  • Check the siding on your home and caulk any visible cracks. This helps to prevent water penetration that can lead to deterioration.
  • Clean your patio furniture and barbecue grill. Consider storing them away in your garage, shed or basement (if you have one) to reduce the possibility of damage caused by cold and moisture.
  • Seal your wood railings and deck.
  • Drain and bring all hoses inside. Also turn off the water supply to exterior spigots.
  • Lawn sprinkler systems, outside pools and hot tubs, should you have one, need to be professionally closed down for the winter to avoid serious damage to lines and equipment.
  • Clean up yard leaves, trim trees and/or bushes away from the house so they won’t damage siding – you can do this yourself or hire a landscape service to handle this task.

Inside Your Home

  • Check the weather stripping around doors and windows and replace as necessary. By sealing these areas you can save up to 20% on heating costs over the winter months.
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This should be done at least once a year to keep them functioning properly.
  • Have your furnace and humidifier inspected by a HVAC professional, before it turns cold.
  • If you have a wood burning stove or use your wood burning fireplace extensively, consider having the chimney inspected, cleaned and checked for damage.

Your home is, most likely, your biggest investment, and you’ll certainly want to protect it. By taking care of these basic home maintenance chores, you can make sure your home stays safe and comfortable throughout the winter. For additional information on the value of your home, homes in an area that may interest you or for any other real estate market data of importance to you, please feel free to contact me.

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
[email protected]

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 market.

Photo courtesy Julia Freeman-Woolpert, Stock.XCHNG

CROCtoberfest

by Allyson Hoffman

The Wildlife Discovery Center will host its annual CROCtoberfest, a fun-filled family extravaganza featuring the amazing family of animals called the crocodilians. Join in and meet live crocs, including BUBBA, the giant American Alligator and talk with croc experts. CROCtoberfest will be held at the Wildlife Discovery Center located at 1401 Middlefork Drive, Lake Forest. Your $5 per person recommended donation, payable at the door, helps to maintain the high-level of care needed for the animals at the WDC. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds helps to support crocodile conservation. So mark your calendar and tell your friends about CROCtoberfest!

When:  Saturday, October 19, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For more information and driving directions, please click here.

 

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
[email protected]

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 market.

Picture provided by enjoyillinois.com

NEGOTIATE!

by Allyson Hoffman

As the hot summer temperatures slowly wind down, so does the real estate market and industry.  Multiple offers are dwindling while the numbers of unsold homes for sale may be increasing competition for sellers.  This is not abnormal in the fall or as the winter season approaches.  Investment buyers, as well as home buyers, may retreat to the sidelines awaiting the return of warmer weather.  Yet, those still active in the market will likely include folks whose homes have now just closed or those relocating here with immediate need to house their families.  This can be a particularly good time of the year for a house hunter to find their ideal home and negotiate their way to a great deal.

However, before jumping into the negotiating process in a shifting market, buyers should be aware of a few key elements that can directly influence the effect of their efforts.  At this time of year buyers and sellers may view the changing market in opposite perspectives.  Sellers still think their homes are “special” and immune to the decline of the market, while buyers may think that sellers should be giving their homes away.  Neither one is correct.  Yes, the market may be changing, but it is not coming to a complete halt. Still, the ball may be more in the buyer’s court in terms of it being a negotiating season. 

To negotiate the best deal, a buyer must do some homework.  Buyers should examine the area in which they are looking for a home, the size of the home and the condition of the home amongst other variables.  Likewise, sellers should seriously consider any and all offers that are presented.  Savvy buyers equipped with comparables of recent home sales in the area will likely want to aggressively negotiate a fair, but low purchase price.  They may look to buy slightly under the price of the last comparable home sold.  Their intent, while not to offend the seller, may reflect the shifting and seasonal nature of the market. 

For a buyer to be able to negotiate the best deal, they should try to ascertain the seller’s motivation.  If a seller must sell due to, for example, divorce or job relocation, they will likely be highly motivated to negotiate a deal.  Alternately, if the seller is simply seeking to downsize or in no rush, their motivation will undoubtedly be lower and, as a result, their desire to negotiate may be limited.  Consequently, for any buyer, getting to the root of a seller’s motivation is pivotal in determining your negotiation position and strategy.  Understand, that this information will likely be difficult to obtain.  But if available, this information can lead to purchasing a great deal

Another suggestion includes tracking how long potential homes have been on the market.  The longer a house sits, the more anxious the seller may become and this knowledge provides buyers the opportunity to capitalize on the situation when submitting an offer.  A newly-listed property or one that has just reduced their price to encourage buyers more than likely not will present a less seriously-negotiable purchase environment.

Buyers looking to negotiate may also want to seek homes with as many updates and improvements at possible.  Frequently, fixer-uppers  have already been discounted to reflect their condition, and thereby limit the room to further negotiate.  Nonetheless, if you find a home that is in need of some repair or upkeep you may be able to negotiate credits for new appliances or allowances for carpeting or painting.  Keep in mind that those credits will likely need to be considered only as closing cost credits which are still acceptable to most mortgage lenders.  If there is no need for credits relating to condition, buyers can still ask sellers to provide or assist in paying some closing costs and that many sellers prefer negotiating credits as opposed to doing actual work or repairs within their homes, particularly if the time between contract and closing is limited.

So, once you have done your homework, researched the area in which you wish to live and know the most recent sale prices of similar homes, the fall season could provide some great opportunities. Working with a trusted real estate professional on your team may help to assure you the best chance to recognize and react to these opportunities, so don’t forget to call upon your Realtor for their expert guidance.

 

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
[email protected]

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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 market.

Photo provided by flickr.com

Highland Park Arts Month Celebration Day

by Allyson Hoffman

Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Enjoy Arts Month Celebration Day at The Art Center – 1957 Sheridan Road, Highland Park.  It is sponsored by the Highland Park Cultural Arts Commission and the Highland Park Cultural Arts Network (HPCAN). Admission is free, refreshments will be provided.  This event will feature music, art, dance, theater, poetry, and storytelling by many local arts organizations. Hands-on demonstrations and workshops for ceramics, drawing, knitting and mosaics will also be offered, along with Halloween art projects. Don’t miss out on the fun!  For more information regarding this event, please click here.

 

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
[email protected]

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 market.

 

What to Expect After You Sign the Listing

by Allyson Hoffman

The decision to list your home for sale is important. Once you have arrived at this decision and actually signed the listing, knowing what to expect can help to remove some of the stress associated with the selling process and prepare you for the next steps.

One of the first things you can expect is for your agent to input your property to the local Multiple Listing Service or MLS. This listing will notify other real estate agents that your home is now for sale and increase your home's exposure. Your agent may also post a for-sale sign on your property. In many instances, a lockbox may also be installed, allowing agents to gain access to your home for showings when you are not present. Although this can be a little unsettling for sellers, it is important to understand that easy access is necessary to provide your home with the greatest amount of visibility possible.

Most sellers receive their greatest showing activity during their first three listed weeks on the market.  After this time, traffic may begin to somewhat slow. Throughout this time, it is still important to ensure that your home remains in tip-top shape even if it has not sold.  If your home has not gone under contract within a maximum of six weeks from the listing date, you may wish to schedule a meeting with your agent to evaluate your sales strategy.  In many areas of the country, it is not unusual for markets to change rapidly.  As a result, it may be necessary to discuss pricing and any possible improvements that could be considered to enhance your home's appeal to buyers.  Based upon the initial response to your home and the comments or feedback received from prospective buyers and their agents, your Realtor may suggest modifications that could increase the likelihood of future success.

If you are thinking about selling and would like to discuss the process or what you might need to consider in making and preparing to take action upon that decision, please feel free to contact me to discuss a plan designed specifically for you and your 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
[email protected]

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 phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Didier Farms Pumpkinfest

by Allyson Hoffman

RUNS:  September 21 to October 31, 2013

Bring the family out and enjoy yourselves at the Didier Farms Pumpkin Fest.  There will be plenty of great food and many fun activities for the kids.  Be sure to visit Grandma D.’s Bake Shop for outstanding pies, cookies, and fudge.  You’ll find  a nice selection of unusual pumpkins and gourds in an array of sizes and colors including white, green, speckled  and orange all waiting to be carved into your favorite Jack-O-Lantern! Sorry, no pets are allowed.

Pumpkin-fest Activities are held: Monday – Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Where: 16678 Aptakisic Rd., Lincolnshire, Illinois.

Admission is free and most rides and activities require three tickets.  Exceptions include the following: (1) Pony Ride – five tickets; (2) Exotic Zoo with Pig Races – seven tickets; (3) Camel – five tickets and (4) Sunshine Crafts – six to eighteen tickets

For more information and driving directions, please click here.  

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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
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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 market.

Safety Tips for Home Sellers

by Allyson Hoffman

 

Once you have made the decision to sell your home, it is important to take some precautionary steps to make certain both you and your home are always protected. When your home is listed for sale, the potential for it to be shown is present at almost any given time. Although most buyers present no danger, it is always important to follow some safety guidelines.

Perhaps one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your home is to work with a real estate agent. By opting not to work with a real estate agent, you could very well be putting yourself and your home at risk because you will frequently be alone during showings or open houses, should you choose to have one. By working with a real estate agent, you can ensure that all communication takes place via your agent.

 Even when working with a real estate agent, it is still a good idea to make sure that your jewelry and other valuables are secure prior to a showings or open houses. If you decide to invite the public in by hosting an open house, it’s best to have more than one host present for your own protection and so that multiple visitors can be managed with less concern for your possessions.  It is good to also let your family, friends, and neighbors know that you will be hosting an open house and the precise time it will be held. During showings and open houses, try to allow as much natural light into your home as possible. This can be a great selling point and can also serve as an important safety precaution.

Following an open house, ensure that everyone has vacated your home once the event has concluded. In addition, ensure that all of your windows are locked and that nothing is missing from your home.

Never open your home to someone who appears without notice and indicates an interest in seeing your home. A legitimate buyer should always be accompanied by a real estate agent. In addition, buyers and their agents should have scheduled an appointment with your agent ahead of time.

Ensure that all of the shrubbery near your home is closely trimmed. Any other obstacles that might block the doors and windows should also be removed. Along with boosting your curb appeal, such steps can provide a clear line of site while also eliminating possible hiding places for criminals.

If your home is going to be vacant when it is for sale, avoid publicizing that fact. Vacant homes are prime targets for criminals. Consider installing lights that are on a timer to give the appearance that the home is inhabited.   For greater peace of mind and safety, use these simple precautions in your next home sale.

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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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 scottchan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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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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1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

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[email protected]

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