Monday, April 30, 2007

The Move Date

RE/MAX At Home is excited to announce our big move date will be Wednesday, May 9. We will relocate from our current address at 2849 Kirchoff Road to our newly renovated building at 3215 Algonquin Road (less than 3 miles away!). While it will take some time to move in and get reorganized, we are looking forward to giving all of our clients the grand tour!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Agents to Introduce

We have to apologize that so much time has lapsed since our last post. Preparing for our move has become our main concern, and we are excited to announce that we will officially be moving during the second week in May! We cannot wait to introduce to you (either in person or through photos) our new office.

Over the last couple weeks, RE/MAX At Home welcomed three new agents to our office. Here is a brief introduction for each of the exceptional agents:

Born and raised in Palatine, Amy Adams is very familiar with the immediate area and conducts her business throughout the northwest suburbs (stretching all the way out to Algonquin). Licensed in 2001, Amy reflects that her favorite part about the real estate industry are the contacts and relationships she builds with her clients. She says, "I have had some great experiences, which have developed into lasting friendships."

Donna Crespo, originally from Chicago and now residing in Elgin, entered the real estate business in 1984. Twenty-three years later, she credits her loyalty to work to the opportunity to interact with people on a daily basis. Gratification for her comes from the level of client satisfaction that she achieves, which allows for future opportunities. Donna especially appreciated having the flexibility to put her family first during her child-raising years. And now she continues to approach work with the same enthusiasm as she did when she began.

Viji Devarajan started her real estate career with RE/MAX in Atlanta, GA. After four years in the industry, she moved to Chicago in 2004. She considers this area a wonderful place to reside, and specializes in working in the northwest suburbs. Viji also speaks five languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, and Marathi. Viji says, "Homes all have one thing in common - people living in them, and people are my specialty."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Top 5 Ways to Sell Your Home Fast! published this article by Stacey L. Bradford on March 30, 2007 naming the top 5 ways to sell a home fast in today's market. Here are the top 5:

"1. Price it right
It's stressful trying to sell your home when new home sales are slowing and prices are falling. Home prices across the nation fell nearly 1% in January from one year ago, according to the Standard & Poor's housing index. Growth hasn't been this slow since 1994. So setting the right price for your home is more important than ever....By shaving just a few thousand dollars you can generate more foot traffic and create a buzz.

"2. Make it inviting
There's no faster way to turn off a potential buyer than to overwhelm him [or her] with a home stuffed with kids' toys, family knickknacks and a stinky kitty litter. Even stodgy furniture can make a property more difficult to unload. That's why many high-end real estate agents employ professional home stagers when they want to guarantee a quick sale...For anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, these folks will do everything from remove clutter and rearrange furniture to rent all new furnishings.

"Fortunately, there are some inexpensive things homeowners can do on their own to attract a buyer. Whether you live in a cozy Cape Cod or a 4,000 square foot McMansion, make your space feel as open and clean as possible. Get rid of clutter, organize the closets and remove all personal items that may make it more difficult for someone to imagine living in your house, says Michael Corbett, author of 'Ready, Set Sold!'

"3. Minimize surprises
A home that's in good working order will always sell faster than one that needs pricey repairs. That's why Corbett recommends having your property inspected before you put it on the market. The benefits are twofold. First, it's always cheaper and faster to make your own repairs rather than having a buyer drag out the negotiating process to accomodate any necessary work. Second, you'll also avoid any nasty last-minute surprises that could derail a deal should the buyer's inspector discover you need, say, to replace the roof.

"4. Get the word out
...80% of people start their real estate searches online, according to the National Association of Realtors. While it used to be enough to simply slap up one or two blurry photos, buyers now prefer a slew of pictures so that they don't waste their time touring a home that doesn't meet their requirements.

What should your listing include? If you really want to stand out from the competition consider hiring a professional photographer or finding a broker who uses one. [Basel uses one!]

"5. Throw in a little something extra
As home sales have stalled, we are once again seeing motivated sellers offer traditional incentives, including paying for closing costs or points on a mortgage, says Walter Molony, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors. Such tactics are especially attractive to first-time shoppers who can afford mortgage payments but struggle to come up with the down payment and closing fees. Here are a couple more ideas. If you installed a 40 inch plasma TV with a surround-sound stereo system in the living room, offer to include it with the house. Chances are you won't be able to take it with you anyway. If you're selling a second home on the water, throw in the jet-ski and dock rights. If you pad the asking prices by just a couple of thousand dollars, you'll still come out ahead, says Corbett."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Chicago Housing Market Shows Signs of Strength!

There was an increase in home sales in the suburban communities and Chicago neighborhoods in January and February of this year when compared to the same two-month period in 2006. The RE/MAX Northern Illinois regional office released these results based on research from the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois (MLSNI).

114 out of 207 monitored suburban areas revealed equal to or greater sales in January and February 2007 than the first two months of 2006. The suburbs with the most improvement were located in northern Cook County and Lake County, including Libertyville-Green Oaks, Grayslake-Hainesville, Wauconda, Calumet City, Lemont, Huntley and Yorkville.

The city of Chicago reported 32 of 77 neighborhoods with home sales equal to or greater than last year. The biggest gains were reported in the Loop, Kenwood, Logan Square and Uptown.

Additional positive news this February was that average sales prices were up 3% when compared to the same month last year. Unfortunately, the total number of homes sold decreased by 13.3%.

When comparing the months of January and February 2007, the length of market time for homes increased in February. The average amount of days was 135 for detached homes, and 121 days for attached (including condominiums and townhomes).

RE/MAX Northern Illinois Regional Director Jim Merrion reflected that, "The cold weather that set in at the end of January and held on into early March probably has slowed the market a bit for the moment. However, given the geographic broadening of the market that we see occurring, I believe there could be a real improvement in sales activity this spring."

Merrion added that, from a buyer's perspective, the selection of homes available on the market has not been better in years.

In other words, if you are looking to buy, your timing could not be more perfect!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fresh Faces

In the past six months, Basel welcomed several new agents to our office. The fresh faces are a mixture of brand new agents and experienced professionals from other offices. The agents include Brian Binetti, Daniel Grkovich, Michael Krug, George Papadopoulos, Patrica Patrick and Bernice Spiller (pictured). They each bring unique skills and backgrounds, and it is our pleasure to add them to our roster of talented agents.

Once the new office opens, we look forward to adding several more agents to our office. The new office will have the office space and technology to accomodate over 75 agents. Interviews are currently being conducted and agents have the choice to postpone their move until we are in our new building. If you or someone you know would be interested, you can reference our office website at, or contact Basel directly at (847) 255-1970 to arrange a confidential meeting.