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

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How Sellers Can Use Curb Appeal to Impress Buyers

by Allyson Hoffman

Your home’s appearance from the outside, its curb appeal, is vital when you decide to sell your house.  Keep in mind that you never get a second chance to make a great first impression.  To make the best impression with your home, invest in your curb appeal before you put your house on the market.

Start with the Basics

There are many ways to improve your curb appeal without spending a lot of money or time.

Your home should have an attractive front entry. This can be simply accomplished by cleaning your door and painting it, if necessary. Polishing or replacing any worn door hardware and installing decorative light fixtures can also be helpful.

Another easy spruce up could include your mailbox and making certain that your windows, window boxes and/or shutters are clean and in good shape.

If the season permits, consider creating an attractive, garden-like appearance in front of your home, even if you don’t have a green thumb. You might want to purchase potted plants from your local nursery or home center and position them in decorative pots arranged in front of your home for an instant makeover.

Extra Touches

If you have more time and a slightly more generous budget, consider adding decorative features in front of your home to complement your architecture. These can include a porch, decorative fence, fountain or even an arbor over the front walkway.

You might consider upgrading your flowerbeds or adding raised planting beds to attract attention. Make sure to maintain these plants so they look fresh when potential buyers visit.  Lastly, be sure to keep your lawn meticulously groomed while your house is for sale.

Home Maintenance

If you have the time and budget, consider a fresh coat of paint on the outside of your house. Maintaining the exterior of your home will send the message that the interior is in equally good shape. If a new paint job is not feasible, a less-costly alternative to consider is power washing  the exterior to remove any accumulated  dirt from the outside of your home.

Finally, make sure the front step, sidewalk and driveway are in good repair and free of cracks.

If you are you ready to sell your home, please feel free to contact me to set up an appointment for a consultation. I’d be happy to design a personalized marketing plan designed to help you sell your home quickly and for top dollar!

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 Peter Caulfield, Stock.XCHNG.

Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band Presents Lucky 13 at Their Fall Concert

by Allyson Hoffman

Enjoy an evening of music from the great old composers at the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band’s 12th annual Fall Concert. The entire family will enjoy this year’s show at Buffalo Grove High School. The concert’s theme is “Lucky 13”, which refers to songwriters born in 1813 or 1913, and music composed in those years. Wagner, Verdi, Sammy Cahn, and Jimmy Van Heusen are among the songwriters on the playlist. The band also plans a special tribute to Danny Kaye, born in 1913.

When: Sunday, November 3, 7:00 PM

Where: Buffalo Grove High School, 1100 West Dundee Road, Buffalo Grove 

Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and $8 for students and seniors.

For more information and a map to the event, 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.

Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band website 

 

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]

Get your latest Home Value
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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]

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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

Sunday Soiree Fundraiser at Metropolis

by Allyson Hoffman

Arlington Heights

September 29, 2013

5:00 PM

Plan an evening with your pals or significant other enjoying a performance from Midwest Dueling Pianos. Here is an opportunity to enjoy perfect evening together with your friends and support the Metropolis theatrical and art education programs in Arlington Heights.  Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

 Tickets $50.00

 The first 100 ticket holders will be entered for an exclusive offer.

 For more information visit their website

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
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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.

7 Tips to Make Your Household Move Easier

by Allyson Hoffman

Buying a new house can be one of the most exciting times in your life. Moving your household possessions to that new home, however, can be one of the most stressful events you’ll experience. While moving may not be pleasing, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier.

1. Start planning your move early. The earlier you plan your move, the more time you’ll have to take care of all the details and unexpected last-minute surprises.

2. Get rid of clutter. This means you’ll need to go through your belongings and sell or donate everything you don’t need, don’t want or will no longer use. Once the clutter has disappeared, packing will be easier, and you’re likely to sell your old home faster, as well.

3. Get your supplies ready. Start collecting boxes, tape, packing paper and markers as soon as possible. Once you actually start packing, you don’t want to run out of boxes.

4. Inventory everything you own, list serial numbers, and note the condition of each item. Make a video or take photos of your large and valuable items. This will help you keep track of your things, and will help if you have to file an insurance claim for damage or theft during the move.  

5. A handy new spiral notebook can be used to record, page-by-numbered-page, the contents of each box you pack.  Number boxes as you pack them to correspond to the same numbered page in your notebook.  That way when you get to your new location, finding what you need will be a much simpler task.

6. Start packing as soon as you can. Anything you won’t need before you move can get boxed up and go into storage. This will help you de-clutter, and you won’t have to move everything at the last minute.

7. Enlist help from your friends and family for moving day. The more people you have helping you move, the faster you will finish.

8. Consider hiring professionals. Moving companies provide many different services, including supplying and packing boxes, moving items, unpacking boxes at your new home and carting away the debris. You can select the services you want based on your budget, your available time, and how much you can physically accomplish. It absolutely costs more to hire professionals, but your time is valuable and the added expense may be the most practical and sensible solution for you and your family.

Though moving is a lot of hard work, it doesn’t have to be an awful experience if you plan ahead, enlist help, and do as much as you can in advance before the big day arrives. This will cut down on the stress and hassle of moving, and hopefully, make this your easiest move yet!

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
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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 Rachel Spaulding, Stock.XCHNG

Good News and Opportunities for You

by Allyson Hoffman

There's more very good news for the housing market. The S&P Case-Shiller index, released this week, shows house prices rising 8.1% in January, the biggest increase since June 2006. A different government report shows a decline in sales in February from the previous month, but that's still up 12% over earlier levels. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that privately-owned housing starts in February were up 27.7% over the same time last year.  Experts suggest bad weather may be responsible for the slower growth in February, and the growth trend is expected to pick up pace during the rest of the year.

Much of the growth has been in markets that were particularly badly hit during the housing bubble. Phoenix, for example, saw a 23% increase.  San Francisco, Las Vegas, Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Miami were also up more than 10%.  Chicago, in comparison, while definitely a showing positive trend, is not reporting such dramatically impressive numbers.

Related: How Much is Your Home Worth?

In the fallout of the housing bubble, seven million people lost their homes to foreclosure or in short sales.  Now, with an improving economy and job numbers, some of those families are back in the market. Veteran Administration backed loans can be obtained only two years after a foreclosure, and with the enormous benefit of having lower mortgage rates.  Extenuating circumstances like health issues, natural disasters or a layoff can reduce the wait time to three years for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Increasing employment numbers, low mortgage rates, fewer homes in foreclosure and a tight inventory of homes are all factors experts believe are behind the current boom.  In turn, the stronger housing market helps put more people to work. And it helps homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes were worth.  As they regain equity, they'll also be able to refinance at lower rates.

This recovery is an exciting time for all homeowners.  And if it signals a time for a change for your family, let me show you how I can help sell your old home and find something wonderful and new.  Working together, we can identify the best options available to you.

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.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

Hunting Easter Eggs

by Allyson Hoffman

Wolff’s Flea Market in Palatine is sponsoring a day of carnival excitement and Easter Egg fun this Saturday. The activities begin at 8:00 a.m. The Easter Egg Hunt itself begins at 11:00 a.m. and the Easter Bunny is expected to make an appearance for photographs from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Food, face-painting, games and prizes will be awaiting both old and young. The location is indoors, at 1775 North Rand Road in Palatine [map].   So stop in and enjoy the festivities!

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 markets.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

Life Lessons from the Circus

by Allyson Hoffman

Skooled: A Study in Circus is on stage for a final weekend at the Actors Gymnasium in Evanston.  Featuring the work of Chicago clown Dean Evans, Co-Artistic Directors Larry DiStasi, Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi and an amazing team of designers and performers, this circus production explores the school of hard knocks.  Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $15 to $20 and can be purchased online.

For a preview, click here for the show's official trailer.

 

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.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 152

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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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