Category Archives: Chicago Realtors

Spring 2019…Off to a Running Start-Chicago Real Estate

Despite the mild wind and cold weather experienced earlier this season, the Chicago real estate market continues on a warm spring 2019 driven path. The median Chicago home price surged with an annual increase of 12.1%. Interest rates remain attractive as the monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central- Chicago region was 3.32 percent in April 2019, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

Buyers are already expelling pent-up action and are out in force. Sellers are seeing the benefits of listing NOW, as demand/ideal Chicago market conditions continue to benefit all parties involved. Don’t get left behind…Jump in now!

 

Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group, reports that “everything we touch turns to SOLD”. So far this year, Ian and his team have sold over $50 million dollars in real estate units in the city of Chicago. As a recipient of Coldwell Banker’s International President’s Premier award, Ian and his team remain client centered, attentive, sincere, tenacious, and knowledgeable; with an end result of top producing, top performing, high-ranking Chicago residential real estate results. For more information on The Ian Schwartz Group visit HERE and HERE.

 

 

 

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4 Advantages to 2018 Autumn Home Buying-Chicago Real Estate

Do you know that the Chicago real estate market and 2018 conditions are also influenced by the seasons?

Right next to spring, fall is one of the busiest Chicago real estate time-frames of the year. Although you can buy and sell houses at any time, the 2018 fall Chicago real estate market offers certain benefits to home buyers and sellers, including year-end tax breaks, pleasant weatherFallRealEstate conditions for moving, and often a wider selection of houses. If you are shopping for a home during the fall and don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity, it’s a good idea to explore the possibility of pre-qualifying for a loan and to know what type of Chicago home you’re looking for and what you can realistically afford to buy.

Down below are the basic 4 benefits you can expect to enjoy during the autumn months:

 Getting Ahead of Mother Nature

Buying a house before the deep freeze of winter sets in is very appealing to most home buyers. Low temperatures and poor weather conditions make moving more difficult. No one wants to worry about icy roads, snowstorm warnings or blackout conditions on moving day. Furthermore, by wintertime, most kids have settled into school, established friendships, and become involved in extra-curricular activities. By moving in early autumn, not only do you avoid interrupting your children’s schooling (or higher educational pursuits in the case of teen and adult family members), but you gain the added benefit of eluding the sweltering summer heat.

 Historically more home-buying choices

Given that home buying and selling is at a peak during the fall season, the real estate world often becomes a highly competitive arena. While there may be added pressure to buy due to the quicker turnaround of houses on the market, at the same time you also benefit from the wider selection of homes available during this period. In fact, between the months of September and December, you may be fortunate enough to visit several open houses in a single day. Therefore, to make sure you don’t miss out on finding your dream house, it’s a good idea to examine the classified ads more often since the listings are updated more frequently.

 End-of-year tax breaks when closing

Come September and October, people are already starting to think about what year-end tax breaks they may be eligible for. Fortunately for homebuyers, owning a home can yield great dividends in tax returns. For example, both mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible from gross income. Furthermore, if you have prepaid some interest before the due date of your first payment and you close your loan before the year’s end, that amount will also be deducted.

 **An autumn tip to note

Given that fall is the second busiest season of the year for buying and selling houses, you may be tempted to put a bid on a home that is out of your price range for fear that another buyer will better your offer or snatch it before you. Carefully assess your financial situation ahead of time and before your feet hit the pavement.

Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group, a top-selling Chicago real estate agent, one of the highest producing Realtors in the nation, consistently the #1 agent in Resale Sales Volume averaging more than 50+ million dollars in sales per year, knows Chicago real estate. He and his team are committed to listening and analyzing the needs of both buyers and sellers. They enjoy giving conscientious service and earning trust, loyalty, and friendship, all while providing concrete real estate results. They are located in one of the United State’s top ranking Coldwell Banker residential real estate offices-Lincoln Park Plaza – Clybourn Office, Illinois 60614-5881. More information HERE and HERE

 

2018-Back to School and Pre-Autumn Advice-5 Common First Time Home Buyer Mistakes: Chicago Real Estate

Buying-School-First TimeAre you a first time Chicago home buyer this 2018 fall season…enthusiastic and ready to get into the real estate market? It’s certainly that time of year when individuals consider moving whether for work, school, to reduce costs, better lifestyle access, the list is endless; but are you aware of the common pitfalls associated with taking the plunge? Listed below are the top 5 tips to consider before making the “move”:

  1. They don’t ask enough questions of their Realtor and/or lender and end up missing out on the best deal.
  2. They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
  3. They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the home buying process.
  4. They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.
  5. They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for five years or less

A long-standing resource with over 15 years of experience, Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group has enjoyed representing both first time home buyers and sellers as a top performing Licensed Broker/Real Estate Associate in Coldwell Banker’s high producing Lincoln Park Plaza office, one of the top five ranking Coldwell Banker offices in the Country. Ian and his team will have all your bases covered. They combine forces to ensure that your overall real estate experience will be exceptional. They are located within the Lincoln Park Plaza office

5 Steps to Chicago Real Estate Success in 2018-Property Selling and Buying

Chicago real estate agents are needed guides before during and after one of the most intimate transactions in a lifetime…buying or selling a home.  Yes, it is a business process, but one that demands a professional who embodies integrity, dedication, a personable demeanor, and a good sense of humor.  In addition having a long standing profile of concrete Realtor results doesn’t hurt either. Below are the top 5 essentials for success in any business, real estate included:

1. Understanding the Big Picture is Priceless

Taking the time to learn about a client’s business (and personal) goals and objectives is the backbone to success. Asking smart questions and doing lots of listening ranks high on the list. Understanding the dynamics and trends of an industry sets a professional apart from the rest. Look for proven results and outcomes.

2. Knowing a Client’s Expectations and Exceeding Them

Creating a reasonable set of expectations and then see if the professional will do their best to beat them. This mindset is 100% accepted and admired in any business process. The idea of following through with commitments in a timely manner is within this concept; a guaranteed way to earn trust and loyalty.

3. Observe and Execute the Client’s Preferred Way of Communicating

Asking a client for their method of frequent communication and delivering updates/progress reports often saves time as well as potential frustration from both sides.

4. Acclimate the Client to the Team Working on Their Matters

Taking the time to introduce clients to the team or group who will be working on an end goal is a good business practice for sure. Knowing the specialties of each staff member can eliminate confusion and create a seamless transaction or process.

5. Show the Client You Appreciate Their Business

Client love is the building block for friendships and ongoing business associations. Taking the time to show a client that you value their business earns loyalty, trust, and sustains a positive reputation.

Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group, prides himself on his keen ability to listen, and consistently advocate client-centric results. Ian and his team combine forces to ensure an outstanding real estate experience for each and every client they service.  For more than 14 years, Ian has been among the elite group of top performing Realtors in Chicago and by rank fall in the upper 1% of real estate professionals nationwide. number 1 in closed sales volume within his highly productive Lincoln Park Plaza (1910 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL) Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate office in 2017, he understands his profile of success in 2018 and years after will depend on his ability to continue to gain client trust, loyalty and  friendship.

Curb Appeal Holiday Quiz 2017-Chicago Real Estate

A job that should be done year round… the upkeep of curb appeal, a Chicago property staple for many. Take the Chicago curb appeal quiz (Holiday edition) and see if you’re keeping up with the 2017 season:

1. Driving home at night, you see a wide variety of Chicago outdoor decorations and cozy lit details. You then:

a. Enjoy the display and feel connected to the Chicago community.

b. Wonder how some people can afford to pay their electric bills!

c. Wishing your Chicago home looked that awesome!

2. The day after your holiday feast finds you:

a. Looking at a pile of dirty dishes and wondering if friends or family will help tackle them.

b. Reaching for your antacids and the remote.

c. Putting up your front yard holiday decorations.

3. You pull up in front of your Chicago home on a dark, windy and snowy night, and immediately:

a. Feel slightly uncomfortable that the front of the house hasn’t been tended to since the summer.

b. Are glad it gets dark early and you have no lighting to call attention to your home?

c. Feel a thrill of pride at living in a warm and welcoming Chicago home, graciously lit and beautifully decorated; ready for visitors, friends, family even buyers or sellers of Chicago real estate!

The following are tips especially for those of you who enjoy your holiday cheer — those who answered “b” we are talking to you! Make your Chicago home a joy to come home to and above all get noticed for all the right reasons:

• Light strands with battery packs make it possible to light potted porch plants with no fuss.

• Use battery-operated candles to create fire-safe luminaries to light your paths and driveway.

• Be sure outdoor lighting is on after dark. A timer or photocell can help with this.

• A natural wreath on the door made of fresh winter berries and foliage is a beautiful addition to any home. Colored garland over the doorway creates an added sense of welcome.

• Add a welcome mat, it helps keep your homes interior cleaner, and sends an instant assuring message when someone enters the home. More info HERE and HERE

 Happy Holidays from Ian Schwartz and The Ian Schwartz Group! Remember…everything we touch turns to SOLD!

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist-Chicago Real Estate Experts

Although autumn can be one of the busiest seasons for Chicago real estate and current homeowners, it’s also the best time to take advantage of the moderate weather to repair any damages before the first frost sets in. Here are some home maintenance ideas that will keep your Chicago Fallhome running in peak condition all the autumn season long in 2016.

EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE
Check foundation for cracks and caulk around the areas where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around the windows and door frames to prevent heat from escaping. “Caulking and sealing openings is one of the least expensive maintenance jobs,” says Michael Hydeck, Hydeck Design Build, Inc., Telford, PA, and National President, National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). “Openings in the structure can cause water to get in and freeze, resulting in cracks and mold build up,” he says. “Regardless of whether you live in a cold or warm climate, winter can bring very harsh conditions resulting in water or ice damage. A careful check of the outside structure combined with inexpensive maintenance can save you money in the long run.”

Install storm windows and doors and remove screens. Before storing, clean and repair screens, spray with a protective coating and place in a dry area of the basement or garage.

Slideshow: 10 Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Examine your pool cover for damage and replace if necessary.

Weather-strip your garage door. Make sure the seal between your garage door and the ground is tight to prevent drafts and keep out small animals.

Inspect your driveway for cracks. Clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler, then coat with a commercial sealer.

INTERIOR MAINTENANCE 

“Heating and cooling amount to 47% of the energy costs in your home. Proper sealing and insulation can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs, or up to 10% on your total annual energy bill,” says Katie Cody, spokeswoman for Lowe’s. “Air leaks from windows and doors are easy to find by moving your hand around the frame. Applying weather stripping and caulk to these areas will help cut down on drafts.” More information HERE

October 2016-Get all your Chicago real estate needs completely met with Ian Schwartz and The Ian Schwartz Group this autumn season. With over 15 years of top ranking, high producing, nationally recognized performance, Ian and his team combine forces to ensure an outstanding, client centric experience from start to finish. Buyers and Sellers alike, no stone will be left unturned until the transaction(s) are completed with experienced ease.

The Best Time to Buy or Sell for 2016 is Now?..Chicago Real Estate Experts

The U.S. government and local organizations can often offer special tax credits/incentives for first-time home buyers. When the economy was a shambles and the housing market was in disarray back in 2009 and 2010, factors often resulted from a purely financial standpoint, that people who bought then may have been better off renting and putting their down payment and transaction costs into the stock market, according to a new analysis by Zillow Research.  On the other end of the spectrum…Many people who took the government and other organizations up on special home-buying incentives six years ago remain in those homes and may end up making a financial killing this year and in years to come.

The only sure lesson to take from these set of scenarios is that no single element — low interest rates, low prices, government incentives — should compel you to buy or sell. That kind of myopia can backfire. The home-buying decision isn’t made in a vacuum, but includes a host of factors that make the timing right. For example, how long you plan to live there should be a major consideration.  In fact, many other factors go into owning a home — some financial, some emotional, many timed to the needs of a particular buyer and/or family. Having an experienced real estate team to work on your behalf as an advocate is vital to ensuring sound real estate decisions.  More information HERE

Per a recent client testimonial, Ian with the top performing Ian Schwartz Group.. “is savvy, smart, skillful, funny, aggressive, hardworking, an incredible broker who will go above and beyond not only every day, but every hour, quite possibly every minute of every hour, to get the job done.” Ian and his team strive to surpass expectations and make each and every real estate transaction a seamless success; or in other words….everything we touch turns to SOLD!

 

Top Questions to Ask at an Open House – Chicago Real Estate Experts

When you’re looking to buy something as expensive as a home (when else do you drop hundreds of thousands of dollars without missing a beat?), there’s no room for error. Most of us are familiar with the idea of window-shoppingopen-house — browsing through the racks on the off chance you’ll find a diamond in the rough….which brings us to the subject of real real estate open houses; every open house presents an opportunity to land that hidden gem, or to sniff out an overpriced dud? The best way to take advantage of this personal meeting is by being prepared. Get the inside scoop by asking questions. Remember visiting an open house  gives the prospective buyer, an opportunity to speak directly to the seller’s agent or direct team/staff member(s). Use the opportunity to ask some basic questions:

What’s the seller’s timeline?

Sometimes sellers choose a buyer’s offer simply because of timing. Perhaps they want to sell quickly because of a job offer, or delay the sale so their kids can finish the school year.

The more you know about what the sellers want, the more easily you can work around it — and put together a tempting offer while getting a good deal on the price.

Where can I get a bite to eat?

Getting directions to a local eatery or coffee shop will tell you a lot about your neighborhood. If there’s a retail strip close by that locals frequent and feel proud of, chances are, you’ll love it too.

What are the neighbors like?

Is the neighborhood kid-friendly? Are there lots of retired people? Is there a thriving bar scene on the weekends?

Some people are fine doing their own thing and don’t require (or want) a tight-knit neighborhood. But other people are much happier if they’re surrounded by kindred souls who are in a similar stage of life. The seller’s agent will be able to give valuable information about the people you’d be rubbing shoulders with, if you choose to buy.

And don’t forget: While open houses are great venues to ask questions and listen, be careful not to give away more than you want to about your own situation. Being discreet about your finances and how much you love the home will benefit you when it’s time to bargain for a good price.

How many offers have been made?

Does the agent look happy? Maybe even … suspiciously happy? Is she distracted, perhaps not giving you the “hard sell”? She might have received word that an offer is coming in any minute.

Make sure to anticipate the conversation by asking her directly how many offers have been made on the home so that you can negotiate accordingly.

Has the asking price fluctuated?

Your agent can find out how many times the price has shifted since the home was first listed, but the seller’s agent will likely jump at the chance to explain why. Perhaps the price dropped because the seller has to move on a tight timeline.

Info like this might even clue you in that the list price is somewhat flexible — and you can use that to your advantage when it’s time to draft your offer letter. See more tips and suggestions HERE

September 2015 –  A recent rating of Ian with The Ian Schwartz Group…”Ian really shines and his mental rigor as a former lawyer came into play.  He is a masterful and brilliant negotiator.  For this reason alone, it would be a mistake not to hire Ian if you are looking to purchase a new house.  Ian does not stop working for you until….” See this recent review of Ian HERE

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Buying or Selling During the Holidays-Chicago Real Estate

Most savvy Chicago real estate agents will say that between now and New Year’s Eve may just be the perfect time to put a “for sale” sign up or purchase Chicago real estate. Why? See 4 reasons
that stand out and make any possible holiday commotion worth it:

1. All the senses can seal the deal

Soon a gaggle of beautiful Chicago homes will look picture perfect, decorated with lights and holiday garland, the smell of cinnamon and spices wafting in the air. For visitors, buyers and sellers alike their senses are often on overdrive the moment they enter a seasonal home. The inspiration to purchase a new home and lay down roots crosses a few minds. Buyers looking at homes during the holiday season are serious indeed. Real estate history has shown that only the truly motivated home buyers and sellers are the ones who will be out looking over the holiday season. While some close their doors just before Thanksgiving and don’t open them again until mid January, the folks that are willing to give of their time and perform the due diligence required during this period are really serious about buying or selling.

 2. Give the gift of showings 

Most real estate agents will agree there’s always a buyer or a seller even during the holiday season. With that said, make it as easy as possible to show your home. Try to avoid declining showings and reduce time limits on them if possible. The more people you get in the door, the better chance of selling your home. And it only takes one buyer. For sellersthe inventory is at its lowest right now and people are getting nervous and either renting their homes or just taking them off the market. In addition, families often come back to where they grew up during the holiday season. “And if they’re thinking of making a move back, now is the time they will be looking. Make your home appealing and accessible; thereby creating an extra market edge.

3. Good deals may be all around

For buyers The asking price on some homes may have been reduced in price if they did not sell during the busier fall and late summer seasons. People showing their homes at that time of year are often hopeful of getting a sale nailed down by year’s end, so they may be more amenable to negotiation. The fact that it’s the holiday season also tends to put people in a more generous mindset as well.

 4. Tis’ the season for tax breaks

Closing on a home before the end of the year means deducting certain settlement costs on taxes for that year. These can include any pro-rated property taxes and prepaid mortgage interest paid at closing. Consult your realtor or tax professional for specific details. More info HERE or HERE

December-2014: Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group compiled a full year of top producing, high ranking real estate accolades, accomplishments, and top tier results; all while pouring their hearts and souls into every transaction for buyers and sellers alike.  For over 15 years, Ian and his team have been in the top 1% of agents within the city of Chicago, with sales in excess of 35 million dollars. Ian is also consistently in the top 1% of Coldwell Banker agents within the nation.  Contact them to experience why this client centered team proudly demonstrates….everything we touch turns to SOLD!

 

Satisfying your Customers in the Real Estate Business

-August 2014……Summer real estate in Chicago is booming! For over 15 years Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group has provided top tier performance results, and this year proves no different. Ian’s high ranking, top producing team, pride themselves on providing unparalleled customer service, with a keen attention to detail, marketing savvy, and a client centric assurance that each and every transaction is seamless as well as pleasant. No stone will be left unturned to finding buyers and/or sellers their perfect place to call home. Jenna Plakas, Victor Elting, Wendi Gordon Shelist, and Michael Shin combine forces to ensure that your overall real estate experience is outstanding. This dynamic team can be found within the Coldwell Banker residential real estate office of Lincoln Park Plaza 1840 N Clark St, Chicago, Illinois 60614-5881

Jennifer Fields Real Estate

Satisfying your Customers in the Real Estate Business

Customer service is paramount in today’s modern day business environment. Even in the past, it has been proven that customer service has significantly improved volume of sales in businesses. How you treat your existing customers or clients makes a huge difference in repeat business. The real estate industry is no different.

Here are some tips to be more successful in real estate and set your business on the pinnacle of success:

  1. Treat your clients like royalty. We all know that purchasing a property is a huge decision. Since this is a massive investment, expectations are naturally high. It has become a standard to treat clients with great respect. Gaining confidence and trust from your clients is very critical.
  2. Use body language well. Appearances make notably huge impressions. What and how you wear clothes as well as how you present yourself physically leaves a lasting markin the customer or client’s…

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