Chicago Illinois Real Estate Blog and News

Don’t Miss This Chance To Buy a Home

Now is a great time to invest in real estate.

Are you struggling to find a home in the market right now? I have great news for you! We are starting to see an increase in inventory, so you’ll have more options when choosing your home. You can negotiate more easily, and you won’t feel like you’ve overpaid.

Buyers should get their credit checked to verify what they qualify for. Start looking at neighborhoods you’re interested in. Interest rates have stabilized recently, and with inventory increasing, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to find the dream home you always wanted.

Now is still a great time to invest in real estate. If you buy a property today, it will be worth 50% more in 10 years. If you need more help with your real estate concerns, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I look forward to hearing from you.

...

It's Always a Good Time To Buy

Here’s why it’s never really a bad time to buy in real estate.

One of the biggest questions we are asked in today’s market is, “Are we in a real estate bubble?” Back in 2007, home values dropped after the last bubble burst. However, current prices are higher than they were before the last crash.

That’s my key point for you today. If you buy real estate as a long-term investment, your value will increase to a higher level than it is today. It doesn’t matter when you buy; over time, values increase. That’s why real estate is considered such a great investment. 

So should you buy right now? Absolutely; rates are slightly higher now, but they will come down eventually and allow you to refinance. 

If you have any questions about buying a home or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

...

Is It Still a Good Time To Buy and Sell?

Here’s what buyers and sellers need to know about our housing market.


The latest numbers from April just came in, so today, let’s take a look at them to see what’s going on in our housing market.

The average sales price in March was $395,000. In April, that number climbed to $412,000. Meanwhile, the average number of days on market decreased to about 40 in April. This is a normal trend for this time of year. 

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know that interest rates continue to increase. This means it’s becoming more expensive each month to buy a home. 

Is it a good time to buy or sell? The answer is still yes. Sellers should list their properties before rates get too high and buyers’ purchasing power decreases. For the same reason, you should buy as soon as you can. The higher rates get, the less home you can afford. 

If you need help buying or selling or have any questions, please call or email us. Our team is always willing to help!

...

Questions You Should Ask in Agent Interviews

Four great questions to ask when you’re interviewing listing agents.


If you’re interviewing agents to sell your home, what questions should you ask? Of course, you want to ask about what’s important to you in an agent, but there are a few ideas you might not have considered.

One of the most important questions is, “How many homes have you sold personally?” New agents are trained to say how many homes the office has sold instead of their personal count. You want to figure out whether you’re working with an experienced agent or not.

Another great question is, “What’s your average list-to-sales price ratio?” If someone has a low ratio, that means they’re listing your property too high and selling it for too little. The average list-to-sales price ratio is 97.4%, so if they have a ratio of 95%, for example, that means their pricing strategy is less than ideal.

"Experienced agents will always get you more money."

You should also ask, “What type of marketing will you do to sell my home?” Most agents just put your home on Zillow or social media, but understand that these methods are pretty basic. You’re looking for someone who will do more to help drive people to your home.

Don’t forget to ask, “Who will I communicate with?” You won’t always connect with the person you’re hiring, and you might not always communicate as often or in the way you would like....

What’s Happening in Chicagoland Real Estate?

Here is your march 2022 Chicagoland real estate market update.


Let’s talk about the March 2022 real estate market in Chicagoland.

Our average sales prices went up significantly last month, almost 10%. The peak last month was $395,000. In February, the average sales price was $368,000. Our highest ever sales price was just over $400,00 in June 2021, so we are almost back to that same number.

This increase might seem weird since our interest rates just increased so much. However, understand that this average sales price is from properties put under contract 30 to 60 days ago, so they weren't affected by the increased rates. We anticipate that the average sales price will fall over the next few months.

"Our market should adjust over the next few months. "

The average days on the market went down to 58 from 66 in February. This is normal; the days on market always increases in January and February and decreases in March. It will probably continue decreasing as we head into summer.

The number of homes for sale is just over 12,000. A year ago, that figure was about 18,000. We have about a third fewer homes for buyers to buy. 15,000 new homes went on the market, and just over 12,000 properties went under contract. We’re putting inventory on the market, and it’s almost all selling immediately. Right now, we’re living in a low-inventory market, but that should change soon. There are fewer buyers...

Buying and Selling at the Same Time

Here are six options when buying and selling a home at the same time.


Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of sellers are excited to sell their homes, but they’re less enthused to buy. Since inventory levels are so low, I understand the concern. Don’t worry; if you’re looking to sell your home and buy a new one, you have options, and I want to go over a few of them with you today: 

1. Negotiate a long closing with your buyer. Instead of a typical 30-day close, try and have a 90-day one. In this seller’s market, many buyers are willing to accommodate this need. With such a long close, you should have plenty of time to find a new home.

2. Use a reverse contingency. In this scenario, you would insert a clause into your purchase agreement that makes your sale contingent on finding another home to buy. This is very convenient, but some buyers may not be interested in a house with one in place.

3. Negotiate a rent-back agreement. In this situation, you close on the house as normal, then rent the property back from your buyer while you look for a new home. These are increasingly popular, but some mortgages limit the amount of time you can rent the property from your buyer.

"Each option has its pros and cons. "

4. Find temporary housing. After your home sale, you could rent for a year and give the market time to settle. This option is popular with people who don’t know if they want to stay in their area since there...

How Has the Pandemic Affected Us?

Comparing the market from before the pandemic to the current situation.


Have you forgotten what the market was like pre-pandemic? Let's talk about what's changed over the past couple of years and how those changes benefit you.

Before the pandemic, interest rates were higher. At one point, they were as high as 5%. Today they're still down in the 3% range, although we anticipate that they will go up this year. Interest rates during the pandemic have been fabulous. At some points, they were in the 2% range. The average sales price has gone up 24% since January 2020. The $293,000 house you bought is now worth $363,000. Appreciating $70,000 in two years is huge!

"Interest rates are still low, but they will likely increase soon."

The amount of time it takes to sell a home has decreased. Before the pandemic, it could take as long as 100 days to sell a home. Since then, days on market has gotten as low as 35 days. Right now, it’s about 60 days.

In terms of pre-pandemic inventory, there were 30,000 homes for sale in our area. Now there are only 15,000. With 50% less competition, you can expect more money when you sell. That's exactly why prices were driven up during the pandemic.

If you have any questions or are interested in buying or selling, I'd love to help you. Reach out to me by phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.

...

Your February 2022 Chicagoland Market Update


Let’s take a look at the market stats for our February 2022 market.


Today I’m going to go over what happened in the Chicagoland real estate market in February 2022:

  • The average sales price last month went up 2% to about $370,000. If we compare February 2021 to February 2022, sales prices have gone up 10%. That’s great for sellers.
  • The average days on market went up to 66. This is normal; we usually see the days on market increase between December and February. Next month, we should see this number drop.
  • The average number of home sales is down 33% from February 2021 to just under 12,000. There aren’t a lot of homes out there to buy, but great buyers are still winning properties. It’s a good time to look for a house before interest rates increase.
  • The list to sales price is up to 98.5%. That means when a property is listed, it sells for 98.5% of its asking price on average. Keep in mind that this only applies if you price your property reasonably.

If you have any questions about these stats or real estate in general, feel free to call or email me. I would love to help.

...

How Our Commission Rate Works


How is an agent’s commission determined on the Kite Team?


People often ask us how our commission right works—I mean, who wouldn’t want to know? Today I’ll quickly cover a couple of things to note about commissions here at the Kite Team.

We can help you sell your house starting at a 1% commission rate that increases based on the services you want. We only charge 1% commission in cases such as when you find your own buyer (like a tenant or family member) and you just need us to walk you through the contract, disclosures, etc.

For the listing side, the commission covers professional photography for your home, signs, and other services to expose your listing to the most possible buyers. Remember that there is a commission for marketing on the seller’s side as well as for the buying side. Agents and sellers need to be mindful about what they tell buyers concerning the commission rate because that can affect the number of showings you receive.

If you have any questions or would like to speak in more detail about our commission rates, don’t hesitate to call or email us. We’d love to have a conversation with you.

...

Are You Struggling To Pay Your Mortgage?

Those who are struggling with paying a mortgage have options.

Recently, I've started getting questions about being late on mortgage payments and whether you need to sell your house.

There's a lot of fear around this because people have been in forbearance for quite some time, and all of a sudden, they're now forced to come up with the money despite their situation not having changed. If you or somebody you know is behind on payments, I have options for helping those who are struggling to pay their mortgage. I’m happy to discuss and walk you through all your options so you can make the best decision.

If this doesn’t apply to you, please pass this information on to somebody who may need it. If you have any questions, please give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you.

...

The Market Numbers You Need To Know

These are the January numbers from our market that you should know.

Welcome to our recap of the January 2022 real estate market stats for homebuyers and sellers. If you’re a seller, I’m going to guess that you’re interested in the average sale price. Over the last six months, it has hovered right around the $360,000 range after peaking at around $400,000 last June. We have seen a 10% adjustment, but that adjustment has been stable.

You might also be wondering how much inventory we have. There is just 1.1 months’ worth of inventory right now, which keeps us in a strong seller’s market.

With such low inventory, things are a little more difficult for homebuyers.

The average price has flattened out, but what about the list-to-sale price ratio? Right now, sellers are getting 97.4% of their list price on average. This peaked at 100% last June. The average days on market has increased from a valley of 35 in August to 61 days in January.

Homes are taking slightly longer to sell, and price growth has slowed down a bit. However, we’re still seeing multiple offers, and we’re still in a strong seller's market.

If you have questions about today’s market, what you need to do to successfully buy or sell, or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

...

How Interest Rates Affect Both Sellers and Buyers

This is how rising rates will affect both sellers and buyers.

Are you looking to buy or sell a home this year? If so, have you wondered how interest rates will affect you? Most of the time, we think that interest rates are only crucial to buyers, but they're also important to sellers.

If you want to sell your home and interest rates rise 1% this year, buyers will be able to afford less. Therefore, sellers may see their values fall and attract fewer buyers. As a buyer, if interest rates rise 1%, you can afford 10% less. If you qualified for a $300,000 mortgage in December, a 1% rise in rate would mean that you now only qualify for $270,000. If you were looking for a $300,000 home and couldn't find something that made you happy, you’re not likely to find an ideal home for $270,000.

Interest rates will increase this year, so if you have any interest in buying or selling, you should get in the market soon. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.

...

Are You Looking To Sell This Spring?

Here are a few ways you can prepare your home to sell this spring. 

Are you thinking about selling a home this spring? If so, now is the time to prepare. Today I want to go over a few things to consider to get your house ready to sell this spring.

First, consider the exterior maintenance of your home. Every year, someone calls my team in April wanting to sell, but we have to wait for the weather to break so that they can do the necessary outside maintenance. What does this maintenance look like? You should seal your driveway, paint if you need to, seal your windows, and tidy up your landscaping.

Once you get the outside taken care of, it’s time to start thinking about the interior. This means it’s finally time to declutter. Create separate piles labeled donate, trash, give away, and keep. There’s no sense in hauling around something you don’t want or use, so the sooner you do this the better.

Finally, talk with an agent so that you know exactly what you need to do to sell your home. If you’d like someone on the Kite Team to be that agent for you, give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to talk with you!

...

Understanding Illinois Transfer Taxes

Transfer tax amounts and who pays them vary based on location.

Today I’ll talk about closing costs, particularly transfer tax. When you sell a property in Illinois, you will have a state transfer tax of $0.50 per $500 of the sales price. Every county in Illinois also charges you $0.25 for every $500 of the sale price sales price. Some villages will also charge you.

80% of the time, these transfer taxes are paid by the seller. If you’re a buyer, be prepared to face the uncommon situation where you’ll need to pay instead. For example, Harwood Heights charges the buyer $10 per $1,000 of the sales price as a transfer tax while Cicero charges the sellers that same amount. Chicago actually charges both parties.

If you're interested, I have a list of transfer tax charges by location, and I’m happy to send that to you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I look forward to hearing from you.

...

How Has the Market Changed in the Last 4 Years?

Here’s what you need to know about the latest statistics from 2021.

 

It’s hard to believe we’re already in 2022! Many people take the new year as an opportunity to reflect, and we want to do the same. We’ve pulled three important market statistics from 2021 so we can do year-over-year comparisons all the way back to 2018. 

 

The first stat we want to look at is the months’ supply of homes. This number measures inventory, and it refers to the number of months it would take for every home currently listed to sell. In 2018 we had 3.2 months’ supply of homes, in 2019 we had 3.2, in 2020 we had 2.1, and in 2021 we had 1.2. Keep in mind that six months of supply is considered a balanced market, so these numbers are crazy. We expect these numbers to climb slightly soon since people will be preparing their homes for the spring. 

We can see a big difference between our pre- and post-pandemic markets.

Next, let’s take a look at the average sales price. In 2018 it was $290,000, in 2019 it was $299,000, in 2020 it was $336,000, and in 2021 it was $366,000. Just like with months’ supply of homes, we can see a big difference between our pre-and post-pandemic markets. It will be interesting to see how much homes appreciate this year. 

 

The last statistic we want to talk about is the average days on market, and it measures how long it takes a property to sell. In 2018 it was 86 days, in 2019 it was 92,...

We’ll Be Interviewing Rae Kaplan on Student Loans


In 2022, we’ll be bringing on Rae Kaplan to talk about student loans.


Can you believe we’re almost in 2022? The new year is just a few days away! We’re excited about 2022, and that’s why we wanted to talk a bit about what you can expect from us this coming year.

We’re going to be interviewing a couple of people we think you should know about, like Rae Kaplan from Kaplan Law Offices. If you have student loans or will be getting them in the next few years, you need to know about Rae. She can tell you how to protect yourself in the loan process, and she’ll talk about that a bit when we talk to her.

If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to call, email, or text us. Have a great New Year’s, and I’ll see you in 2022!

...

Getting a Credit Report From All 3 Nationwide Agencies


Here’s how you can get a free credit report from three national agencies. 

Today I want to talk to you about a pretty important topic: your annual free credit report. 

With the amount of fraud and database breaches, this is something you need to take seriously. In case you didn’t know, you receive one free credit report from each of the three nationwide reporting agencies. It’s better to know you have an issue sooner rather than later, so I recommend you act fast. 

If you go to annualcreditreport.com and put in your information, you can receive all three credit reports. This is important for a couple of reasons: You can verify your information hasn’t been compromised, and you can be sure your score is accurate. 

If you are looking to purchase a home this year, my team can help you increase your score. Just give us a call or send us an email; we are always willing to help!

...

Your Chicagoland Market Update


Here’s what you need to know about Chicago’s real estate market.

Want to buy a home?
Search All Homes
Looking to sell your home? Receive a Home Value Report

What’s happening in Chicago's real estate market? Let’s take a look at the numbers.

There were 17,412 homes for sale in the Chicagoland area this November. This is a bit lower than the 21,880 homes that were for sale in October. Our inventory numbers continue to shrink, and if you’re a buyer, you’re probably feeling it.

Meanwhile, we have around 1.5 months of inventory. In case you don’t know, inventory is a measure of how many months it would take to sell all of our inventory if no new homes came on the market. A six-month supply of inventory is considered a balanced market. This number is also down from October, where the months of supply was 1.9.

The average list price was around $373,667. This number has continued to fall, but it doesn’t mean we’re heading for a crash. Instead, sellers are just running into the realization that overpriced homes won’t sell, even in this market.

"If you are a seller, this is an amazing time to list your home."

The average time a home sits on the market is 47 days. This is up from...

How to Buy & Sell at the Same Time


If you need to sell your home and buy a new one, do it simultaneously.

One of the biggest concerns that sellers have in today’s market is how to go about buying and selling a home at the same time. Luckily, we do this all the time, so today we can help you manage both transactions.

Generally, the easiest way to go about it is to list your home for sale when you get a contract, after which, you can search for a new home. Then, we’ll help you close both houses on the same day; you’ll close the one you’re selling in the morning and the one you’re buying in the afternoon. All your possessions will be loaded on the moving truck the night before so that they can begin unloading at your new home as soon as you’re done closing.

This way, you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to live between transactions. If there does happen to be a larger gap between when you close on your old home and when you buy the new one, you may be able to get post-closing possession if you and your agent negotiate for it.

If you have any further questions or need assistance juggling two transactions at once, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send an email. We’d love to help you.

...

The Latest Stats From Our Market


Here are the latest stats from October 2021 housing market.

Want to buy a home?
Search All Homes
Looking to sell your home? Receive a Home Value Report

Let’s go over what happened in the real estate market here in the Chicagoland area over the month of October 2021.

The average sales price was $358,825. That’s a 1% decline from September, which was $361,165, and an even sharper drop from when the market peaked in June at $400,109. One year ago in October 2020, the average sales price was $344,879, showing that the average sales price has increased since last year.

In October 2021, the average original list price was $381,000. The market peaked back in February when the average was $441,000. One year ago, the average was $391,000, demonstrating that homes last month were listed for $10,000 less on average.

But how long were homes spending on the market? Between 2018 and 2020, the average ranged somewhere between 60 and 105 days, meaning that it would take an average of two to 3.5 months for a property to go under contract. The average market time as of last month was 42 days, so homes are selling faster.

"You’ll make more money from your sale than you would have a year ago."

The months'...