REALTOR® vs. For Sale By Owner


Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Why use a REALTOR® | Posted on 30-05-2017

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Reasons to Use a REALTOR® vs. Selling By Owner

Logo of the National Association of Realtors.

Logo of the National Association of Realtors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Selling a home can be a stressful, emotional and a very involved process.   There are a multitude of decisions to make and documents to complete as part of a complex and ever-changing process.  Given all the challenges and risks involved, there are a number of very good reasons to consider hiring a REALTOR®  to help with the important financial decision to sell a home.

  • Ethics – Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®.  A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and is held to a strict code of ethics.  This is very important when negotiating a real estate transaction and helping a seller navigate through the ups and downs of the sales process.
  • Knowledge – A REALTOR® knows and understands all the documents, reports, disclosures and the like that are part of the process.  They are familiar with the terminology and jargon inherent in a real estate transaction.
  • Experience – A REALTOR® has been involved in the buying and selling of property previously.  That prior experience imparts lessons learned and important informative tidbits to new buyers and sellers.
  • Information – REALTORS® have access to a wealth of information, including local information relative to the neighborhood, market/comps and property.  A REALTOR® can access that information more quickly and easily due to their professional connections and permissions.
  • Network – REALTORS® have access to a network of other professionals that are essential when navigating through a real estate transaction.  Escrow agents, lenders, inspectors, contractors and appraisers are just a few of the disciplines that might be needed during the process of selling a home.  A REALTOR’s extensive network of contacts is helpful for the individual looking to sell a house without any such professional connections.
  • Support – REALTORS® can be a trusted and excellent source of emotional support during the rollercoaster ride of selling a house.  They understand the mental and emotional difficulties that are an intrinsic part of the real estate process.   They can offer a shoulder to cry on and words of support when making tough decisions and receiving difficult news.

While a property owner looking to maximize profit on the sale of a house may consider selling his or her own home to save money, the savings may not be worth the stress and strain of selling a house without the help of a professional.  In addition, lack of experience can lead to costly mistakes that might be avoided with involvement and direction from a seasoned real estate professional.  Selling a home is one of the most important financial transactions many will pursue during their lifetime, but the process of selling a home is an incredibly emotional experience as well.  The interaction of money and emotion makes the prospect of hiring a third-party professional to assist in the process a wise and sound decision.

Given the above, it is important to also consider carefully the selection of a REALTOR®.  Just as important as it is to hire a REALTOR® to assist with selling a home, it is equally important to select an appropriate one.  Some things to consider when selecting a REALTOR® include:

  • The relationship between REALTOR® and client should be a long-term, intimate and trusting relationship.  If the initial interaction does not feel right, it likely will not improve over time. Consider recommendations from friends and family, and research REALTORS® that buy and sell within the local neighborhood.  The best form of advertisement is word of mouth, and references from trusted sources are typically a good means of identifying reputable professionals.
  • Interview three or four prospective REALTORS® before making a selection.  Ask questions of the REALTOR® about relevant topics, including, but not limited to, the number of active listings, number of homes previously sold in the neighborhood/local area, communication protocol (e.g., frequency, format), and marketing strategies and techniques to target buyers.
  • Be wary of REALTORS® that suggest the highest price for a home, or similarly, an  overly inflated price for a home.  Pricing a home too high to start usually results in a longer sales process and lower ultimate selling price.  Higher prices are seen as unrealistic by prospective buyers, and a house on the market for an extended period of time is assumed to have serious flaws.
  • Look for a full-time REALTOR® as opposed to a representative working part time or on the side.  Their attention may not be focused on the current housing market or a seller’s best interest.
  • Avoid hiring a relative as a REALTOR®.  Professional involvement with relatives is emotionally complicated and too often fraught with difficulties, resentment and mismanagement.
  • Ensure the REALTOR® knows the real estate market in the neighborhood within which the home will be sold.  Their knowledge should focus on the immediate neighborhood and not only the local area.
  • Be cautious of a REALTOR® that is willing to accept lower commission.  Commission on the sale of a house is typically 5 to 7 percent, split between both buyer’s and seller’s agents.  If a REALTOR® charges a lower commission, there is less impetus to sell the home and fewer agents may show it.
  • Confirm that the REALTOR® has sold the prospective property type before.  For example, if the property for sale is a condo, ensure the REALTOR® has previously sold condos; if it is an investment property, find a REALTOR® that regularly works, or has previously worked, with investors.
  • Attempt to confirm the REALTOR®’s previous performance as regards negotiation skills and competence in tracking details of their transactions.  Just as the ability to close the deal is important to the sale of a house, so, too, is the ability to ensure the fine details of a transaction are identified and resolved.

Selling a home is challenging, involved and emotional.  Selecting a REALTOR® to assist with selling a home is a wise choice to ensure that the deal is closed and the sale negotiated to the seller’s satisfaction.  With the above information, selecting a REALTOR® should be one of the easier parts of an otherwise challenging process.


US Home Prices Back Near The 2006 Level


Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Market Stats, Park Ridge | Posted on 30-11-2016

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According to a private analysis, the US home prices have fully-recovered from the housing bust and Great Recession of the last decade. This is phenomenal news for homeowners. The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index, released today, shows that home prices are slightly above the peak of July, 2006. This is the peak after four years of steady gains and it bodes well for the housing market.

That being said, Real Estate has always been about location; not all cities have recovered fully, but the upward trend shows reason for optimism across the board. Couple the increase in jobs with the historically low mortgage rates and we have a seller’s market. On top of all that, the incoming administration is talking about eliminating or curtailing some of the most restrictive measures put forth in the Dodd Frank act, which has stymied mortgage writer’s abilities to place buyers into their products.

For all of the good news, there are other sides to this boon – for one, inventory is tight, especially at the entry level of the market. This is great for owners in the rental market, but this tends to keep out a lot of first-time-buyers as they are priced out with the quick-moving inventory.

All in all, this is fantastic news for homeowners – the tricky part is getting more renters to make that jump into ownership. This will happen organically as they start to find that renting is more expensive than owning – especially when you consider the tax breaks afforded to homeowners.

If you have any questions about the Park Ridge market, please feel free to contact me for a detailed analysis of your home or prospective move into this area.

Summer is Here!


Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Summer Blockbusters | Posted on 27-05-2016

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This weekend starts the summer in Park Ridge – Kids are finishing school, college is out, temperatures rise and real estate activity increases.  It’s also time to look forward to summer blockbusters coming soon!

Here’s a list of what’s coming to a theater-near-you…


Angry BirdsNeighbors 2The Nice Guys

May 27, 2016

Alice In Wonderland 2X Men Apocalypse

June 3, 2016

Bye Bye ManMe Before YouPopstar Never Stop Never StoppingTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

June 10, 2016

Now You See Me 2Puerto Ricans In ParisConjuring 2Warcraft

June 17, 2016

Central IntelligenceFinding Dory

June 24, 2016

iIndependence Day 2Free State Of JonesThe Shallows

July 1, 2016

The BFGTarzan 2016The Purge 3

July 8, 2016

CellMike And Dave Need Wedding DatesThe Secret Life Of Pets

July 15, 2016

Tulip Fever

July 22, 2016

Absolutely Fabulous The MovieGhostbusters 2016Ice Age 5Lights OutStar Trek Beyond Trailer

July 29, 2016

Bad MomsJason Bourne

August 5, 2016

Nine LivesSuicide SquadThe Founder

August 12, 2016

Florence Foster JenkinsPete's Dragon

Sausage Party


August 19, 2016

Ben Hur 2016Kubo And The Two StringsWar Dogs

September 16, 2016

Bridget Jones's BabySnowdenWhen The Bough Breaks

September 23, 2016

StorksMagnificent 7 2016

September 30, 2016

Deepwater HorizonMiss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

The Edge of Seventeen

October 7, 2016

Gambit 2016

Live By Night

Monster High

Birth Of A Nation 2016The Girl On The Train

October 14, 2016

A Monster Calls

Kevin Hart What Now?


October 21, 2016


Ouija 2

October 28, 2016


November 4, 2016

Doctor Strange 2016Loving


November 11, 2016

Almost ChristmasBilly Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

November 18, 2016

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

November 23, 2016


The Great Wall

December 16, 2016

Rogue One Trailer

December 21, 2016

Assassin's CreedSING

Movie Release Dates TBA

The Nut Job 2

Max Steel


Captain Fantastic

B.O.O. Bureau of Otherworldly Operations logo


Hunter Killer


Keeping Up With The Joneses

The Moon And The Sun

The Best Man Wedding

Same Kind Of Different As Me

Bleed For This

Absolutely Anything

Which one you looking forward to seeing?

Real Estate – What to do in a Seller’s Market


Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Market Stats, Park Ridge, Real Estate Info | Posted on 03-05-2016

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English: An icon from the Crystal icon theme. ...

Seller’s Market

There is no doubt that Park Ridge and the surrounding area is seeing a true seller’s market. If you are the seller, this is a great position to be in for many reasons:

  • You will most-likely see multiple offers for your home
  • You can pick the buyer that is most-ready to close
  • You will hopefully get more for your home than you asked for
  • You should be able to sell your home quicker in a seller’s market
  • Real estate inventory levels are low
  • Rent is getting more expensive
  • It’s Real Estate Season

If you are the buyer in a seller’s market, here are some points to consider as you look for your new home:

  • Make sure you are looking at new homes immediately as they come on the market (other shoppers will be doing this)
  • Get Pre-Qualified before looking at any homes
  • Be aggressive with your offer if you find something you like
  • Do not try to over-negotiate with your seller – they may choose another buyer
  • Be ready to move (get your quotes for movers)
  • Don’t settle for a home you don’t want (even if you feel pressured to just buy a home, don’t buy it for that reason)
  • Be flexible with your time if possible (you have to act quickly in a seller’s market)

If you have any questions about how to successfully buy or sell a home in a seller’s market – please feel free to call/email me with your needs.


St. Patty’s Day and Real Estate


Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Park Ridge, Real Estate Info | Posted on 17-03-2016

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St. Patty’s day and forwarding our clocks ahead is typically the start of our busy season in Real Estate. Park Ridge homes, townhomes, condos will be listed and sold with more frequency the closer we get to summer. Although we have still had a very busy winter, REALTORS® know that Spring/Summer in Chicago and the suburbs like Park Ridge is the start of the listing season. Many “listers” have children in school and try their best to time the market with the end of the school season.  It’s the same with buyers, especially in Park Ridge.

With that, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and watch out for the green beer!


2016 Park Ridge Real Estate Market Forecast


Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Market Stats, Park Ridge | Posted on 29-12-2015


Well, like so many years before – 2015 absolutely flew by!  The real estate market saw an encouraging uptick in sales.  Renters are starting to buy as renting is getting to be very pricey in and around our Park Ridge area.  Interest rates have stayed around the high three’s, low fours and this has helped renters get off the fence.

The market looks good for 2016 as well.  We’re not sure what the FED is going to do with the interest rates, but we speculate the rates will stay in the low 4’s.  Now, if there was something we could do about the taxes in the Park Ridge area!  Many REALTORS® also speculate that home prices will be going up at a consistent rate – but nothing excessive like before the crash in 2006.  The surrounding cities and villages of Niles, Mt. Prospect, Deerfield, Northbrook, Prospect Heights, Rosemont, Skokie, Des Plaines, Glenview, Lincolnwood and Morton Grove are all seeing good growth as well.

If you would like a more-detailed market analysis of your home, please feel free to contact me.

Welcome Fall – Summer, we hardly knew ya


Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Interesting Events | Posted on 21-09-2015

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English: New England fall leaves.

FALL is here

Well, that was quick!  Fall arrived today and with it comes cool, crisp nights and comfortable, sunny days.  But, what does this mean for real estate and REALTORS®?  We will start to see a little less activity, but the Park Ridge market and the surrounding areas are still doing very well.  Home prices have rebounded from the recession and we are closing on homes pretty quickly.  The real estate market is doing well.

If there’s anything you need to know about buying or selling your home in and/or around the Park Ridge area, please contact me.  I will be happy to answer any of your questions and will help you find a great home and keep your costs down.

Stock Market Woes and Real Estate


Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Market Stats, Real Estate Info, Uncategorized | Posted on 24-08-2015

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By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the losses at the NYSE.  What does this mean?  How does this affect me?  What, if anything will happen in Real Estate. because of it?  The short answers – (Hopefully) not much, not much, and not much.

Now, that might seem a little dismissive and perhaps, too flip or succinct a diagnosis, but is it really?  Like everything in life, it’s about timing.  Now, please don’t get me wrong, this will affect a lot of people, but most of those affected are playing the market for a living.  Companies that were hardest hit – Apple, for example – aren’t going anywhere.  They will be here next year and once the market corrects itself, it’ll be like it never happened.

This will also affect anyone that was going to cash out a 401k this week, someone who had their escrow money in a stock account, as well as stall the gains they were most certainly counting on.  But what I’m really trying to say is – don’t freak out!

I empathize with anyone that was financially affected by this, but I’m hopeful that your money will come right back to you if you stay in the market.

It’s too soon to tell if this will affect the Real Estate market – we will see what happens but in the meantime, keep your wits about you and talk to a professional if you need to.


Coldwell Banker Offers its own Tax Credit!!


Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Tax Credits and Info | Posted on 03-05-2010

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Missed the home buyer tax credit?


Well-  there’s an even better Buyer Bonus!

May 1st – July 31st

Get up to an $8,000 credit back at closing.

The Coldwell Banker Buyer Bonus Event is a national sales promotion that begins on May 1st and lasts through July 31st, 2010.  Sellers participating in the promotion are giving 3% of the accepted offer price up to $8,000 credit at closing back to homebuyers who sign an offer before the July 31st deadline.

Open to all home buyers  –  No income limitations  –  No property eligibility requirements

The home buyer tax credit has come and gone.  Fortunately, the door is now open to something even better – the Coldwell Banker Buyer Bonus Event!  But hurry, The Buyer Bonus is a limited-time offer.  Please let me know if you have any questions about this extended offer from Coldwell Banker.

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Park Ridge Real Estate Market Info


Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Market Stats | Posted on 14-04-2010

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Average price per square foot for Park Ridge IL was $220, a decrease of 17.6% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Park Ridge IL for Jan 10 to Mar 10 was $320,000 based on 88 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 10.1%, or $36,000, and the number of home sales increased 72.5%.

Image representing Trulia as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

There are currently 402 resale and new homes in Park Ridge on Trulia, including 146 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in Park Ridge IL was $507,826 for the week ending Apr 07, which represents an increase of 1.1%, or $5,481, compared to the prior week.

Obviously home sales are way up and pricing is still extremely attractive. 

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