Michael Wieczorek, of Stonehaven Mortgage and the Chicago Real Estate Secrets Podcast, joined me recently for a discussion on the importance of having honest communication with clients. This is especially important during the home-buying process, when certain fees can feel like they're popping up out of nowhere and timelines can get pushed back for a variety of reasons. We aren’t in control of everything, but setting the right expectations up front is the right way to do it. To hear Mike’s full message, watch the short video above.
Today I’m joined by real estate attorney and esteemed colleague John Voutiritsas to have a quick talk about the importance of paying attention to local real estate data. There’s a big difference between nationwide real estate reports and what’s happening in your marketplace. Just because Zillow says your home is worth a certain amount doesn’t make it true.
If you have any questions for John, you can reach him at (773) 968-9170. If you want to know what your home is really worth or what’s happening in your marketplace, give me a call and I’d be happy to discuss it. I look forward to hearing from you!
Our goal as a real estate team is to help buyers and sellers avoid common mistakes we see all the time in our market so they can maximize their sale or purchase a home they’ll love for years to come. That said, not many people know how to operate effectively as a real estate team. Today I’m joined by my fellow Sohail Group colleagues, Don Beard and Greg Mazalewski, to explain how we do things the right way.
A real estate team is a synchronized collaboration of like-minded people working for you.
Working on a team is all about communication and efficiency. For example, if Don is meeting with a client or taking them out to a property, I can be here at the office if he needs an offer written or important data pulled. While I’m overseeing the marketing for one of our sellers and working with Christina to ensure that they’re getting thorough communication on our end, Greg can be out there showing the property and following up with prospective buyers.
A real estate team is a synchronized collaboration of like-minded people who are all looking out for the interests of their client to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. We work together to give each client the best value, knowledge, and attributes so they can have the best outcome.
If we can assist you with any real estate needs or if you simply have questions about our fast-paced Chicago market, reach out to us at any time. Give us a quick text, call, or email and we’ll be more than happy to set up a time to chat with you. Stay safe, and we look forward to hearing from you!
The commission in a real estate transaction has always been an issue, and likely will always be an issue. Many real estate agents will reduce their commission to get your business but then do less work on your behalf. However, I want to make it clear that commission is actually not the problem here. The issues most sellers have are the plan, agent, and sometimes the market itself.
If you have an excellent agent, they’ll guide you and provide the marketing, exposure, and leverage to get your home sold. However, if you don’t see value in a particular agent, don’t hire them. If an agent is going to cut their commission, you could just do it all yourself. They won’t work hard for you.
If you don’t see value in a particular agent, don’t hire them.
Focus on hiring an agent you feel confident in and who will get your house sold. Hard work from an agent will overcome all the problems—commission won’t. The 1% or 2% you think you’re gaining will actually hurt you 90% of the time.
If you want to discuss this further or you need any real estate help, reach out to me via phone or email. I’m here to assist you.
Today I’m joined once more by my colleagues Don Beard and Greg Mazalewski to answer another all-important homebuyer question: How many properties do you need to see?
There’s no way of knowing how many you’ll need to see before you find the one you want. It may very well be the first or second one. When shopping for homes, you may think that seeing five in one day isn’t a lot, but after the third or fourth showing, it’s easy to mix them up.
That’s why Don tells his buyers to give each home a name, and that they can’t buy one until they start eliminating others. After each showing, they have to decide whether the home is on the list of candidates to buy or not and start comparing the ones that are. According to Don, “You have to eliminate to find.” In other words, if you have seven houses you like, it’s much harder to decide which one you want.
If you’d like more tips on finding the right property or have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m here to help.
In the business of real estate, a lot of deals tend to fall apart around the inspection process. Oftentimes, the requests buyers make after analyzing an inspection report are not in line with the reality of what a seller is willing to address. John Voutiritsas, our team member and go-to attorney, has seen buyers write up to three pages’ worth of requests—something he always advises against doing.
“If your requests go on for pages and pages... in my experience, you tend to tick off the seller to the point where they may say, ‘You know what, I’m not doing anything. This might not be my buyer,’” John said.
A lot of deals tend to fall apart around the inspection process.
Always try to minimize your requests to the major issues at hand so you don’t reach that tipping point where the seller feels it's more worthwhile to walk out of the deal and re-list. Believe it or not, some buyer requests can be as picky as adjusting a doorknob… don’t be that buyer.
If you have any further questions on this topic, you can call or text John at 773-968-9170. At the Sohail Real Estate Group, we’re always here to be a resource for you, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to know more about buying, selling, or investing in real estate.
If you’re putting your home on the market, what’s the most important thing you can do to prevent having to deal with unnecessary challenges?
It all boils down to preparing your house for viewing. Sometimes it helps to see how other homes are presented on the market to get a better sense of how yours can appeal to the most buyers. In this regard, sellers can occasionally be their own worst enemy. You have to live, but you also have to move, so remove all personal items from your home. You want people to be able to perceive themselves living there—not you. Giving your home a fresh coat of paint can also help give it a fresh, neutral look.
Nowadays, many home sellers ask us whether they should remodel their kitchen and/or bathrooms. If you’re wondering the same thing, remember that taste is something you can’t predict, so remodeling these areas may not help you sell your home for more money.
If you’d like to know more about preparing your home to sell quickly and for top dollar or have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or my team. We’d love to help.
The home buying process can feel daunting, especially for first-time homebuyers, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are the three most important tips I can impart:
1. Get pre-qualified. This should be the absolute first thing you do before you even start looking at real estate. That way, you know the total cost you can afford and what your monthly payment breakdown is (including taxes and assessments).
2. Find the right agent. You should work with a skilled professional who knows the area and truly listens to and understands your needs and why you’re buying. You want someone who will be involved with you in the process of home buying, not just someone who’s eager for a commission.
The very first thing you should do is get pre-qualified.
3. Don’t get stuck on a number. I see this happen all the time, and good folks like yourself lose out on properties they love, and regret it. Know your budget, but also let the home speak to you.
If you’re a buyer who’s having an issue with your approach to our competitive market, reach out to me via phone or email. I’d love to help answer any questions you have and discuss your situation more in depth.
Today I’m sharing some areas that I believe will have excellent opportunities to buy in the near future. It’s also likely the properties in these areas will appreciate in value. You can always find areas where little seeds have been planted, and those areas start to develop and blossom.
Chicago: Dunning and Montclair will be exceptional neighborhoods to purchase in soon. The values are appreciating as more people move to the more expensive, higher taxed areas.
North Shore: Skokie will certainly appreciate; it’s diverse, property taxes are low, and the number of sales there has been growing and growing.
All these areas are going to be stellar purchases.
Northwest suburbs: There are a couple of areas that people don’t often think about, but they’re starting to come back into play. Elk Grove Village and Schaumburg are two wonderful locales.
Western suburbs: This is a large area, and there are many opportunities in some parts as we move further west. There are opportunities in the Oak Brook area (not the luxury market, however), Elmwood Park will be appreciating in the next five to 10 years, and Western Springs is another superb locale.
All these areas are going to be stellar purchases, and if you live in them now, you may want to hold onto your house for the next five to 10 years as the market recovers.
If you would like further information or have any questions, reach out to me via phone at 312-437-7799 or email me. I’m here to help.
Michael Wieczorek, vice president of Stonehaven Mortgage, handles the majority of the lending for our homebuyer clients. We recently got together to talk about home finance, some of the innovations we’re seeing in the market, and provide some tips for homeowners. Right now, most homeowners can benefit from refinancing. One option is pulling equity out of their home and putting it into an investment with a higher return. Refinancing will also allow you to lower your interest rate and the length of your mortgage.