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

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

For Sale - 3935 Sunset Lane, Northbrook, IL 60062, $1,750,000

by Allyson Hoffman

Unparalleled!

Magical Originality, Exceptional Quality & Tasteful Elegance Combine on a Serene Near Acre Setting!

Defined by Distinctive Design, Decor and Details, This Stunning Custom Creation Captures the Essence of Pure Artistry and Fine Living -- Truly Transcend the Ordinary Here!

The art of living well truly becomes reality in this masterfully designed one-of-a-kind treasure! Unmatched detail, stunning mill work and high ceilings combine with exquisite decor and a fabulous setting on nearly an acre of lushly-landscaped grounds. 

This custom creation with nearly 9000 Square Feet of dramatic grandeur includes an alluring two-story foyer, king-sized formal dining room, a breathtaking 4-season sunroom, a massive family room sharing a see-through/two-sided fireplace with the island kitchen/hearth room that will anchor your family's living and entertaining needs. 

The master bedroom suite features a massive sky-lit spa bath & divided his/her custom-fitted walk-in closet. All family bedrooms, including a main floor in-law/guest suite, offer ensuite baths. 

The deep, fully-finished lower level includes a massive great room, stunning wet bar and mini-kitchen, media/recreation room, huge office and exercise room. This unrivaled masterpiece is outstanding ... exceptional in every sense, inside & out!

To view the full description and collection of photos for this home please visit www.3935Sunset.com!

Contact Allyson Hoffman for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.RealEstateNorthernIllinois.com or email [email protected]!

Shermerfest

by Allyson Hoffman

Vintage Cars at Shermfest

Village Green Park -- Northbrook, Illinois

This weekend visit Northbrook’s Village Green Park and take a step back in time.  Shermerfest, a fun-filled community fall festival, will feature old-fashioned entertainment for all ages -- children, teens and adults.

Returning for its 36th consecutive year, the wildly-popular Shermerfest event is hosted by the Northbrook Historical Society.  It’s a classic, collectible, and antique car and truck show, Classic Northbrook, where visitors can browse a spectacular assemblage of rare and vintage vehicles. This genuine community event also includes a variety/magic show and games of yesteryear such as Pumpin Baggo or Bocce Ball for children to test their skills.  From the silent auction tables filled with items to bid on, donated by local merchants, to the live music, courtesy of The Legacy Girls, and edibles from hot dogs, to chips, soups and homemade sweets, Shermerfest is a FREE event designed for the entire family.  So this Sunday, be sure to check out Village Green Park and treat your family to an old-fashioned festival extravaganza.

Where: Village Green Park, Northbrook, Illinois

When: Sunday September 21st from 12:00 PM-4:00 PM

For more information regarding the Shermerfest 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!

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.

 

Photo courtesy of Oast House Archive/geograph.org.

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
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

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

Ravina Festival at Martin Theatre

by Allyson Hoffman

Come out to beautiful Highland Park this Saturday for the Ravina Festival and Martin Theatre.

This family friendly event will have an instrument “petting zoo” from 12-1pm!

Founded in 1979 by Ravinia Festival Trustee and cellist Larry Block, the Highland Park Strings is a local orchestra with a mission to provide community concerts where families, friends and North Shore neighbors can gather for an afternoon of musical enjoyment at the highest level. Led by Principal Director Francesco Milioto, the orchestra features top-notch soloists, including members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and gifted rising stars who are given the opportunity to perform for an appreciative audience

For tickets and more information to this event in click here.

Image courtesy of nosha/Flickr.com

/kh

Packing Tips For An Easier Move

by Allyson Hoffman

There is enough to do when buying a new Northern Illinois home, so make it easier on yourself on un-packing day by organizing a packing plan so you can easily find your essentials! 

 Here are a few tips to get you started.

 Plan ahead and budget for the move. Will you be moving yourself or will you require the assistance of a moving company? If you are planning to use a moving company it’s a good idea to price this out ahead of time by using a moving calculator.

Make sure you have plenty of the following: strong packing boxes (more than you think you will need), markers and tags to label boxes, rolls of packing tape, bubble wrap for fragile items, packing paper, scissors and a knife for opening boxes.  

  • Pack room-to-room keeping similar items together. 
  • Use smaller boxes for heavier items so it is easier to lift. 
  • You can use towels, linens and curtains to line the bottom and sides of boxes with fragile items. All fragile items should be individually wrapped. Clearly mark these boxes FRAGILE. 
  • Make sure that any opened boxes or jars are tightly sealed before packing them. 
  • Use colorful tags to identify the contents of the box and which room it will be taken to in your new home. 
  • Pack any rugs last so that they will be the first thing unpacked and placed in the home. 
  • Make a master list of all household items and personal belongings. 
  • Finally pack a box with all the essentials and mark it “Open Me First”. This box may contain items such as: a few basic tools (flashlight, pocket knife, masking tape, light bulbs), bathroom essentials (toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes & paste, hand towel), Kitchen items (paper towels, coffee maker & filter, paper plates, cups, utensils, pet food, trash bags).

Do your research and plan ahead so that your packing strategy makes  unpacking in your new home  much less stressful!

Image courtesy of Joanna Bourne/Flickr.com

 

/kh

Selling Your Home: 10 Tips for Choosing a Real Estate Agent

by Allyson Hoffman

Before you sell, it's a good idea to interview at least two or three different real estate agents. Meet with them individually, and handle each meeting as if you were conducting a job interview (selling your home is an important job, after all!). This checklist will help you evaluate and compare the agents you meet:

1 --Professional

Once you've established the basics (licensing status, etc.), look for other indications that the agent will handle your home sale professionally. Does he or she belong to any local real estate organizations? In Manhattan, for example, The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) tracks credentials and continuing education of its members, and provides many valuable resources for members, sellers, and home purchasers.

What sort of training did the sales agent receive? You'll find that this may range from the minimum required for licensing, to a full-time company training program of six weeks or more. Also ask if the agent has done any advanced training. Perhaps he or she has taken extra courses and exams to become a licensed broker, an accredited home-staging specialist, an appraiser, etc.

Do a bit of research, too, in order to learn as much as you can about the company the agent works for. Is it a company with a strong reputation in your area? Does it specialize in your neighborhood, or your type of property? Does the company provide its sales agents with the most up-to-date technology?

2 -- Knows the Market

In order to price and market your home effectively, your real estate agent will need to have a thorough understanding of your neighborhood in particular, and state of the real estate market in general. Expect to see "comps" (comparable properties) of similar homes that have sold recently, as well as those that are currently on the market. And find out what other techniques the agent will use to determine the best price -- and best marketing strategies -- for your home.

Has the agent sold in your neighborhood? Has he or she sold similar types of homes, perhaps in another neighborhood? Has the agent ever lived in your area? Is he or she familiar with the neighborhood schools? Restaurants? Museums? Ask lots of questions to find out how well the agent will be able to represent you, and your home, to prospective purchasers.

3 -- Accessible

Buyers will want to see your property at all times of day -- daytimes, evenings, and weekends. So be sure you hire an agent who is available full time, and accessible to you virtually around the clock to handle any questions you may have, or issues that may arise.

And remember, accessibility is a two-way street! Be sure to support your agent by making your home as accessible as possible for showings -- even when it feels a bit inconvenient to you.

4 -- Good Listener

When you interview real estate agents, give extra points to those who ask as many questions as you do. Did the agent arrive with a 'standard' presentation, or is he or she able to make -- or adjust -- his or her recommendations based on what comes up in your conversation?

How interested is the agent in learning your point of view? How many questions does he or she ask about your personal goals and needs? After all, pricing and sales strategies could vary substantially based on what you're looking to accomplish (for example, you may need to sell quickly to meet a job relocation deadline, need to work around an existing tenant, or simply want to make the most profit no matter what the timeline).

5 -- Tells the Truth (even when you don't want to hear it!)

Expect that a good real estate agent will challenge you once in a while, ask the tough questions, and yes, even disagree with you occasionally. When he or she makes a recommendation that seems off-base, give your agent the opportunity to give you the facts -- and share his or her knowledge and experience -- before making a final decision. Learn to trust your agent's intuition, insights, and perspectives; they'll often lead you in the right direction.

6 --Team Player

Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a great team of professionals to support your sale -- from mortgage brokers and appraisers, to cleaning services and real estate attorneys.

Be sure, also, that your real estate agent enlists the help of other agents in your area in order to bring you the best buyer. In Manhattan, for example, more than 95 percent of sales are co-broked (one sales agent representing the seller, another the buyer), so it's especially important to work with someone who actively markets to other agents, and other real estate companies.

7 -- Helps Prepare Your Home for the Sale

There are entire books written on how to get your home ready for a sale, so we won't go into great detail here. Be sure to ask your real estate agent whether renovations -- particularly to the kitchen or bathrooms -- make sense. Decide if any re-painting -- or paint touch-ups -- may be necessary to make your home more attractive to buyers.

However you decide to proceed, be sure to follow these four basic steps before inviting buyers in to see your home: 1) de-clutter, to make your rooms seem larger; 2) de-personalize, to keep prospective buyers' attention on your home, rather than on your 'stuff;' 3) repair everything that's not in good working order, from re-caulking to replacing light bulbs; and 4) clean, clean, clean -- until your home literally shines!

8 -- Buyer to Closing

Remember that finding an interested buyer is only the beginning. Be sure your real estate agent is well prepared to qualify the buyer, negotiate aggressively on your behalf, and assist the buyer in finding financing, if necessary. Your agent should be ready to follow through with banks and mortgage brokers, any other agents involved in the deal, and with the real estate attorneys, until the sale is complete.

And if you're selling a home in Manhattan, be sure you have a real estate agent who is adept at preparing the materials necessary for the board application package, following through with the management company, and if it's a co-op sale, preparing the buyer for the board interview.

9 -- Gives Timely Updates

Throughout the sales process, ask that your real estate agent stay in touch with you regularly, in the way that's most comfortable to you (in person, or by phone, email, or text messages). He or she should give you regular progress updates, and timely notice of any issues that may arise -- along with potential solutions, of course.

It's also likely that a good real estate agent will suggest changes to sales and marketing strategies along the way. These minor course corrections will help eliminate any less effective efforts, and capitalize on what's working best. The result? Finding the buyer you're looking for, more quickly.

10 -- The Relationship

Don't underestimate the importance of your real estate agent's personality when you choose your selling partner. You'll be spending a lot of time with them -- and entrusting them with one of the most important transactions of your life. So be sure to find someone you not only trust and respect, but also look forward to working with.

Chances are, your home represents the largest purchase you have ever made. What's more, your home is not just a financial investment, but an emotional investment as well. When you decide to sell, be sure to enlist the services of a real estate agent who has the knowledge, experience, and understanding that will be necessary to navigate you safely and securely through every aspect of the selling process.

Image courtesy of KERBSTONE/Pixabay.com

Buying a New Home: 10 Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent

by Allyson Hoffman

Why, then, should a buyer enlist the services of a real estate agent? Here are ten reasons that I think make a lot of sense. After reading them, see if you agree:

1 -- Experience

Purchasing a new home may well be the largest expenditure that you ever make. So it simply makes good business sense to enlist all the help you can get.

A seasoned real estate agent has completed more real estate transactions already this year than you'll likely make in your lifetime. That adds up to a whole lot of knowledge and experience. Experience that can help navigate you safely and securely through every aspect of the buying process.

2 -- Knows the Market

A real estate agent will know what's happening in a particular area, or neighborhood, and help you decide if a home you find is a good value. Once you find a property that interests you, your agent will show you "comps" (comparable properties) of similar homes that have sold recently, as well as those that are currently on the market.

And if your real estate agent works with an established firm, he or she will have instant access to a host of proprietary tools -- and property information -- that may be difficult, or even impossible, to find on your own. All this information will help you make a well-informed decision.

3 -- Saves Time

A good real estate agent is an organizational genius. He or she will manage to get you in to see new properties as soon as they become available -- and arrange the most appointments possible within your available time slots, no matter how limited.

But remember, accessibility is a two-way street! Be sure to support your agent by being as flexible as possible -- especially when your time is very limited.

4 -- Good Listener

If you decide to use a real estate agent, look for someone who asks as many questions as you do. When you mention a price range, does the agent give you a 'standard' list of available properties, or is he or she able to make -- or adjust -- his or her recommendations based on what comes up in your conversations?

How interested is the agent in listening to your point of view? How many questions does he or she ask? After all, your real estate agent's recommendations should vary substantially based on your personal needs and goals (for example, you may be starting a family, need to configure your new home to accommodate an office, need space for your son's new car, or be downsizing).

5 -- Tells the Truth (even when you don't want to hear it!)

Expect that a good real estate agent will challenge you once in a while, ask the tough questions, and yes, even disagree with you occasionally. When he or she makes a recommendation that seems off-base, give your agent the opportunity to give you the facts -- and share his or her knowledge and experience -- before making a decision. Learn to trust your agent's intuition, insights, and perspectives; they'll often lead you in the right direction.

6 -- Respects Your Budget

One of the most important things that your real estate agent will do is help you determine how much you can afford to spend. He or she may well ask you to consult with your accountant, financial planner, and/or mortgage broker before you make this important decision.

In some markets, there's a lot more to purchasing an apartment than having cash for the down payment, and securing financing. For example, most Manhattan cooperative buildings ('co-ops'), which account for about 75 percent of the properties in the city, will also look at your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), and your post-closing liquidity (yes, it can be a bit complicated!).

A good real estate broker will understand the particulars of your market, and help you find a terrific housing solution that you'll be able to qualify for financially -- and that will be possible within your budget.

 7 -- Team Player

Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a great team of professionals to support your purchase -- from mortgage brokers and appraisers, to contractors and designers and real estate attorneys.

8 -- Getting to Closing

Remember that finding the right property is only the beginning. Be sure your real estate agent is well prepared to negotiate aggressively on your behalf, and assist you in finding financing, if necessary. Your agent should be ready to follow through with your bank or mortgage broker, any other agents involved in the deal, and with your real estate attorney, until the purchase is complete.

And if you're purchasing a home in Manhattan, be sure you have a real estate agent who is adept at helping you put together the materials necessary for the board application package, following through with the management company, and if it's a co-op purchase, preparing you for the board interview.

9 -- Gives Timely Updates

Throughout the buying process, stay in touch with your real estate agent regularly. He or she should give you regular updates on new properties, any changes in the local real estate market, mortgage rate changes, and so on. And you should update your real estate agent right away should any of your priorities change, or if your research turns up a property you may be interested in seeing. The result of working together closely? Finding just the home you're looking for, more quickly.

10 -- The Relationship

Don't underestimate the importance of personality when you choose your real estate agent. You'll be spending a lot of time with them -- and entrusting them with one of the most important transactions of your life. So be sure to find someone you not only trust and respect, but also look forward to working with.  

Many home buyers try to find the perfect property on their own. No surprise, actually. With internet access to more real estate information than ever before, it's fairly easy for anyone who's computer literate to access a list of available properties in every part of the country.

Image courtesy of ClkerFreeVectorImages/Pixabay.com

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Contact Information

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

Listing Alerts

Be the first to know what's coming up for sale in the Chicago Illinois real estate market with our New Property Listing Alerts!

Just tell us what you're looking for and we'll email a daily update of all homes listed for sale since your last update. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Get Notifications

Quick Search

Contact Us

There are several ways to reach me. Call me at the number below for the quickest response or click the Contact us Online button. Thank you.

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

(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

Contact Us Online