Chicagoland Area Real Estate Blog & News

Why Professional Photography Matters in Real Estate

Having poor-quality listing photos is a good way to kill your home sale, so it’s imperative
that you hire a professional photographer to take proper photos of your home before you list it.

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Two things can kill a home sale before a buyer ever steps foot through the front door: Having poor-quality listing photos, or having no listing photos at all.

This is why, if you plan on listing your home soon, it’s imperative that you hire a professional photographer to take photos of it. As I always say, photos are your first opportunity to sell your house.

3D virtual tours are a fantastic marketing tool.

To that point,...

Is the Increase in Inventory a Bullish or Bearish Sign for Real Estate?

Is the Increase in Inventory a Bullish or Bearish Sign for Real Estate? | Simplifying The Market

In a recent article, National Housing Inventory Crisis Reaches Inflection reported that:

  1. New listings jumped 8% year-over-year nationally, the largest increase since 2013
  2. Total listings in the 45 largest markets are now up 6% on average over last year

This increase in housing inventory has sparked two different reactions. Some are saying this is the first sign of a potential collapse while others are saying it is a welcomed reprieve from the lack of inventory that has stalled the market recently. As Zelman & Associates reported in a recent ‘Z Report’:

“With the rate of home price appreciation starting to decelerate alongside the uptick in inventory, we expect significant debate whether this is a bullish or bearish sign.”

Is this a sign the market might crash?

There are those who look at the increase in inventory as a sign that we are returning to the market we saw last decade. However, a closer look shows that we are nowhere near the levels of inventory we reached before the crash in 2008.

A normal market would have about 6-months inventory, but the latest Existing Home Sales Report issued by the ...

The Winter Is a Bad Time to Sell? Nonsense!

Don’t rule out selling this winter.

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It is officially fall! I love this time of year, with the cooler temperatures and changing leaves. It’s a shame that so many people think they can’t or shouldn’t sell their homes during the fall or winter. But today I’m here to tell you not to discount the winter as a great selling season—in fact, it could be the best time to sell. Many sellers take their homes off the market this time of year, meaning less competition for you. The winter has low supply, but there’s always demand for homes, and selling in the fall or winter could make you more money.


Baby Boomers are Downsizing, Are You Ready to Move?

Ready to move?

For a while now baby boomers have been blamed for a portion of the housing market’s current lack of housing inventory, but should they really be getting the blame?

Here’s what some of the experts have to say on the subject:

Aaron Terrazas, Senior Economist at Zillow, says that “Boomers are healthier and working longer than previous generations, which means they aren’t yet ready to sell their homes.

According to a study by Realtor.com85% of baby boomers indicated they were not planning to sell their homes.

It is true that baby boomers are healthier and are thus working and living longer, but are they also refusing to sell their homes? 

Last month, Trulia looked at the housing situation of seniors (aged 65+) today compared to that of a decade ago. Trulia’s study revealed that:

Although seniors appear to be delaying downsizing until later in life, as a group, households 65 and over are still downsizing at roughly the same rate as in years past.”

Trulia also explains that, 

5.5% of households 65 and over moved, pretty evenly split between moves...

Pre-Approval: Your 1st Step in Buying a Home

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you through this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments...

Buying a Home is Cheaper than Renting in 38 States! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Renting vs Buying

Some Highlights:

  • According to a study by GOBankingRates, it is cheaper to buy a home than rent in 38 states across the country.
  • In six states the difference between buying & renting would account for less than a $50 monthly difference, leaving the choice up to the individual family.
  • Nationwide, it is now 26.3% cheaper to buy.

The Key to Pricing Your Home Right

The key to pricing your home appropriately is working with an expert agent who knows our market.

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When listing your home, it’s important that you price it appropriately for what you’re delivering to the market.

When I talk to sellers whose homes fail to sell, I'm always curious how the listing price was determined. When I hear an agent asked the seller where they wanted to price it, I wonder why that wasn't a huge red flag. Pricing your home correctly is imperative to getting it sold and I believe that is one of the most important reasons you hire a Realtor. Overpricing it, for instance, could lead to you selling it for less than what you would have if you had priced it correctly from the beginning.

The condition of your property, the location, and what you are competing with all play into your price. The lesser known factor in determining where you should price your home is taking into account how people search for homes today. Make sure you work with an expert agent who can give you the appropriate price for your home based on the current market. Keep in mind, though, that markets shift and prices change. The price I give your home in February, before you have too much competition, will likely be different from the price I would give you in April when the inventory levels...