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


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How to Sell Your Home Quickly in a Slow Market

by Allyson Hoffman

In a time when real estate has slowed down and the future of the market is uncertain, it is critical to be able to sell your home as quickly as possible, for the best possible price.

Peter G. Miller, Columnist for Realty Times has outlined 10 negotiating steps to follow in order to increase your chances of a quick sale for the best price. These steps include the following:

Step 1: Get a local broker.

Step 2: Read the sale agreement.

Step 3: Know the marketplace.

Step 4: Know your terms.

Step 5: Reduce deposit requirements

Step 6: Throw in stuff.

Step 7: Update MLS photos.

Step 8: Review the marketing plan.

Step 9: Visit open houses.

Step 10: Have context.

For more information and detailed descriptions of each step read Peter G. Miller's full article, 10 Steps To Sell More Quickly In Stalled Markets.

Image courtesy of Mark Moz/

The Key to Your Credit Score

by Allyson Hoffman

When it comes to purchasing a home there are few people that can afford to buy it outright while the rest of us are forced to rely on banks and lending institutions for some sort of mortgage. There are a number of factors lender's consider when qualifying you for a mortgage and one of the more important factor's is your credit score.

Your credit score is a three digit number between 300 and 850 derived from a point or scoring system called FICO. Ultimately the higher your credit score the better your credit and the more likely you will qualify for your purchase. Your FICO score is determined by a formula that factors in the following information.

  • 35% of your score is determined by your payment history.
    Are you paying your bills and are your payments on time? How many times have you paid your bills late and how late were they? Have any of your bills been sent to collections?


  • 30% of your score is based on the amount of outstanding debt you have. The more debt you have the lower your score will be.


  • 15% of your score is determined by the length of time of you have had the credit.


  • 10% of your score is based on the number of times people have inquired about your credit


  • 10% of your score is determined by the types of credit you have

Before applying for credit it is important that you are aware of what is in your credit report on the chance that there are any inaccuracies that might affect your score. You want your credit report to reflect the most recent credit activity available. There are currently three national credit bureaus that have their own scoring system based on the FICO system and you can pull your credit report from any/all of the following:

  1. Equifax
  2. Transunion
  3. Experian

All credit bureau websites have extensive information about how the scoring system works, how to read your report and identify any inaccuracies.

It's a good idea if you plan to purchase a home, or make any large purchase, to stay on top of your credit and review your report regularly.

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Staging Your Home to Sell

by Allyson Hoffman

You want potential buyers to look at your home and be able to envision themselves living there, but how do you draw these buyers into your home? With impressive curb appeal. This is where the home staging process begins. By following a few important staging tips, you will be prepared to "wow" potential buyers and create an unforgettable first impression. 

1.       Begin with your front yard. It should be inviting and clean. A good wash or fresh stain to the exterior of your home will present a fresh clean look.

2.       Your lawns, shrubs and trees should be trimmed and flower beds and pots weeded so as not to take away from the exterior view of your home.

With a well groomed exterior and front yard, buyers will want to continue inside your home. Now that you have attracted a buyer into your home, first impressions don't stop there. A buyer will know within minutes of stepping foot into your home if they want to take a thorough look through the home.

A few things to consider when staging the interior of your home include the following:

3.       Keep your home clean and free of clutter

4.       Limit the "personalization" in your home by removing any collections, knick-knacks and family photographs.

5.       Eliminate any strong scents that may be in your home (i.e. pet odors, candle scents, cigarette smells, etc.) A fresh coat of paint could help freshen and clean-up a room.

6.       Some rooms in your home may appear small to some buyers so you may want consider removing extra furniture in a room to give the illusion of more space. The same effect can be achieved by eliminating clutter from closets.

Don't miss out on a possible sale. Home staging is a growing trend that agents are using regularly with sellers to attract more buyers and sell your home faster. Visit Home Seller Tips for more home staging tips and home seller reports.

Image courtesy of Briget Murphy/

Happy 4th of July - Independence Day in Chicago

by Allyson Hoffman









Chicago will be celebrating Independence Day in many ways and I hope that you will find time join in on the many festivities around town with your friends and families. A few of the festivities include:

Many more fireworks displays can be seen across Chicagoland and are listed on Chicago's CBS 2 website.

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July.

Image courtesy of wintersixfour/

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




Contact Information

Photo of Allyson Hoffman & Paul Wells Real Estate
Allyson Hoffman & Paul Wells
RE/MAX of Barrington
306 W. Northwest Highway
Barrington IL 60010
Allyson: 847-310-5300
Paul: 847-913-6100

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RE/MAX of Barrington
306 W. Northwest Hwy.
Barrington, IL 60010

Allyson Hoffman
(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

Paul Wells
(847) 913-6100
[email protected]