Category Archives: Chicago top producing realtor by volume

2019 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 2019.

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

September 2019-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.

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Summer 2019 Real Estate Details to Consider – Chicago Real Estate Experts

Before you put time and effort into finding a house, weigh why a 2019 summertime home purchase may or may not be the best deal for you. March through July are the commonly popular months for buying a house. In the spring and

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summer, you’ll often find a large selection of homes for sale, but you may also encounter competition that drives up prices, but each market is different. Consulting experienced, top producing, Chicago real estate professionals can help confirm the best individual home buying and/or home selling decisions.

Reasons to Buy a Home in the Summer
Do you have kids in school? If so, you probably want to sell your house and move into a new one before the next school year starts. Moving over the summer lets kids finish the term at their old school, as well as explore the neighborhoods and make friends before the first day at their new school.

Houses and neighborhoods often look their best in the summer, with lawns, flowers, gardens and trees in full bloom. You can see how well neighbors take care of their grounds, whether kids are playing outside, and how much the neighborhood socializes at barbecues, the local pool, and the like.

Possible Cons to Buying During the Summer
Summer is a popular time for house hunters, and that means two things: competition and a possible spike in prices. You may find yourself struggling to see all the available homes, feeling pressure to choose quickly, getting caught in a stressful bidding war, or missing out on the home you want. If you can, you may want to wait until fall or winter, when the house selection is smaller but prices are lower and buyers and sellers are more focused. This again is a time to consult a trusted, top producing, seasoned Chicago real estate professional for your best plan of action.

Be Ready to Close
“Don’t blink, or it’s gone,” real estate agents advise. If you determine that summer is the best time for you to buy, be prepared to make an offer quickly, and don’t expect the seller to lower the price easily. Make sure you know your limits: Which home features are must-haves, and what is the most you are willing to spend? Also, keep in mind that even if you’re preapproved for a loan and are ready to push paper, it may take weeks or a couple months to close on the home. If you want to move in midsummer, you may need to start house-hunting in spring. More tips can be found HERE

July 2019- Ready to surpass expectations this summer and leave no stone unturned, Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group has built a team of experienced, client-focused, top producing real estate professionals you’d want representing you this season. Find out why they say…..everything we touch turns to SOLD!

 

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

 

Are you Ready to Sell?….See the 2018 Spring into Summer Plan – Chicago Real Estate Experts

Even the most luxurious, well-maintained homes need an efficient 2018 sales strategy for a smooth transaction. The house won’t sell itself!dealseal

Real estate experts like The Ian Schwartz Group are trained to list and sell your beloved Chicago home for sale, but it doesn’t hurt to study up on some real estate basics. Consider the following real estate sales strategy. Take note of these 3 steps, and you’ll be well on your way to jump-starting your home sale:

Find a real estate agent. As you’re getting your house in order, start the hunt for a real estate agent. You’re not looking for just any agent; you need a real star to get you to the finish line. Put the word out to your network and don’t feel like you have to work with someone because they are family. Once you have some referrals, take the time for an interview and get to know their selling style. If said agent declines the interview request, they’re probably not for you — proceed to the next one on your list. If they seem almost right, keep looking until you find a great match. It’s worth the time investment to find the right agent.

Schedule a strategy session with your real estate agent. Purging and cleaning were the warm-up act. Now you’re ready for the main event. After you’ve signed on the dotted line with your real estate professional, schedule a walk-through before listing and take your agent’s feedback seriously. They know what color to paint that old maroon accent wall, how to stage the living room so it looks 20% bigger, and how to deal with outdated kitchen cabinets. They also know how to allocate your dollars to impress potential buyers.

Be vigilant with your belongings. Now is the time to tackle those organization and cleaning projects. The detritus of life tend to stack up in our living spaces, which may be fine for every day but isn’t great for selling. Make the adage “less is more” your mantra and divide your belongings into two piles: one to take to the new place, one to toss or give away. (Or try following a flow chat for decluttering tips.) And remember, packing items away doesn’t mean shoving them in the hallway closet. Buyers will very likely open every cabinet and drawer, so those spaces should be tidy too. For more advanced tips see info HERE

Ian with The Ian Schwartz Group has sold over 500 million dollars of real estate, including sales in excess of 55 million dollars in 2015 and sales in excess of 50 million dollars in 2017. He and his team are consistently in the top 1% of agents in the Chicago Association of Realtors and in the top 1% of Coldwell Banker agents nationally. Find out why this spring and summer 2018…everything we touch turns to Sold!

 

 

Getting the Most Out of a Home Purchase in 2017: Chicago Real Estate Trends

Buying a home can be emotional, but negotiating the price shouldn’t be. The key to saving money when purchasing a home is sticking to a plan during the turbulence of possible high-stakes negotiations. Keep your emotions in check and your eyes on the goal, and you’ll pay less when purchasing a home.

Having a savvy, well-informed, and seasoned  Chicago real estate agent who represents/guides you is key. However, you are the one who must make the final decision during each round of potential offers and counter offers. For first time home buyers especially, these 6 tips will help in promoting the best price and outcome on Chicago real estate transactions: 1. Get prequalified for a mortgage

Getting prequalified for a mortgage proves to sellers that you’re serious about buying and capable of affording their home. That will push you to the head of the pack when sellers choose among offers; they’ll go with buyers who are a sure financial bet, not those whose financing could flop.

2. Ask questions and get details

Ask your  Chicago realtor for information to help you understand the sellers’ financial position and motivation. Are they facing foreclosure or a short sale? Have they already purchased a home or relocated, which may make them eager to accept a lower price to avoid paying two mortgages? Has the home been on the market for a long time, or was it just listed? Have there been other offers? If so, why did they fall through? The more signs that sellers are eager to sell, the lower your offer can reasonably go.

3. Work back from a final figure to determine your initial offer

Know in advance the most you’re willing to pay, and with your realtor work back from that number to determine your initial offer, which can set the tone for the entire negotiation. A too-low bid may offend sellers emotionally invested in the sales price; a too-high bid may lead you to spend more than necessary to close the sale.

Work with your top Chicago realtor to evaluate the sellers’ motivation and comparable home sales to arrive at an initial offer that engages the sellers yet keeps money in your wallet.

4. Avoid complicated contract requirements

Sellers favor offers that leave little to chance. Keep your bid free of complicated contingencies, such as making the purchase conditional on the sale of your current home. Do keep contingencies for mortgage approval, home inspection, and environmental checks typical in your area, like radon.

5. Remain focused-unemotional

Buying a home is a business transaction, and treating it that way helps you save money. Consider any movement by the sellers, however slight, a sign of interest, and keep negotiating.

Each time you make a concession, ask for one in return. If the sellers ask you to boost your price, ask them to contribute to closing costs or pay for a home warranty. If sellers won’t budge, make it clear you’re willing to walk away; they may get nervous and accept your offer.

6. Don’t let competition change your plan

Great Chicago-Lincoln Park homes and those competitively priced can draw multiple offers in any market. Don’t let competition propel you to go beyond your predetermined price or agree to concessions—such as waiving an inspection—that aren’t usually in your best interest. More Chicago Real Estate Tips

3 Commonly Overlooked Areas Before a Home Purchase: Chicago Top Producing Realtor

When choosing a Chicago home or any home for that matter, housing experts say that buyers often overlook important factors that may keep them happy for years to come with their property purchase.

While many Chicago buyers may be swayed by a home’s appearance, financing, and location, a recent article in U.S. News & World Report lists tips for those often-forgotten aspects of home ownership that ring true for buyers across the country and also here in the Chicago-Lincoln Park area:

Remodeling Rules: Purchasers who are looking to have a house grow with their family’s needs through the years may want to investigate any such rules beforehand to make sure that they’ll be able to add onto their home as needed. Many community associations may set limitations on what you can do to property, particularly if the buyer ever wants to make exterior changes like adding a garage or guest house.

Stay Informed, Ask Questions, Test Your Knowledge: Keeping abreast of the intricate details and considerations of buying a Chicago home can make or break your home buying experience. Are you fully informed? Do your homework and take the financial literacy quiz to test your knowledge when it comes to making important decisions regarding your money. Ultimately, having the patience to carefully weigh these considerations and improve your education surrounding mortgages, negotiations, real estate language helps to create peace of mind on this big-ticket purchase. Above all, using your Chicago top selling realtor as a guide to save time and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Lifestyle Amenities: While some may not seem outwardly important at first, they contribute to heightened housing market values in the community and affect whether you’re satisfied with your home purchase. Choosing the right kind of amenities for your present and future plans can impact future savings in terms of convenience and commuting costs, especially if the prospective neighborhood is lacking in that facet. Exploring neighborhood amenities such as schools, public transportation, recreational parks, and proximity to entertainment are additional things to consider when buying a house. More info HERE

Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group has been representing both buyers and sellers as a Licensed Broker Associate in Coldwell Banker’s Lincoln Park Plaza office, one of the top-five-producing Coldwell Banker offices in the United States. Ian has sold over 500 million dollars of real estate, including sales in excess of 55 million dollars in 2015 and sales in excess of 50 million dollars in 2014. He is consistently in the top 1% of agents in the Chicago Association of Realtors and in the top 1% of Coldwell Banker agents nationally. Look to Ian and his accomplished team to find out why…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

 

 

 

 

Chicago Neighborhoods Make Best Trick or Treat List-Chicago Real Estate

Chicago real estate and Halloween trick or treating?  Yes they go together!  According to the latest figures calculated from  Zillow, Chicago leads and stealing the coveted title for the fourth year in a row is San Francisco, with Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Jose rounding out the top five on Zillow’s sixth annual Trick-or-Treat Index:

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Zillow took their data compiling seriously, even when it came to trick or treating. While wealthier neighborhoods are often known for their frightfully sweet harvest on Halloween night, they calculated the Trick-or-Treat Index using a holistic approach with four equally weighted data variables: Zillow Home Value Index, population density, Walk Score® and local crime data from Relocation Essentials. Based on these variables, the index represents cities that will provide the most candy, in the least amount of time, with the fewest safety risks. For more information on this surprising trend click HERE; and/or view the summary trend images above and below:


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October 2014- Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Team, ranked among the top producing real estate teams for the second quarter of 2014, a nationally high ranking real estate group that pride themselves on providing an outstanding experience for each and every client. Team members Jenna Plakas, Victor Elting, Wendi Gordon Shelist, and Michael Shin combine experienced forces to ensure that as a buyer no stone will be left unturned to find you the perfect home. If you are a seller, Ian and his team will pour their hearts and souls into effectively marketing your Chicago home online and in print to have it seen by the largest audience possible. They will take all necessary steps to bring qualified Chicago real estate buyers in the door and close the sale with ease.

What’s so Important About Real Estate Listing Photos?-Chicago Real Estate

You’re thinking of listing your Chicago property, or maybe, your bags are already packed — you’re ready to move. The last thing you want to do is follow your real estate agent’s advice about putting time and effort into listing photos…Or should you? But if you don’t, your photos could prevent your stunning Chicago home from selling, and doing so quickly. Consider these 6 do’s and don’ts to helpListingPhotos your Chicago real estate listing attract the attention it deserves online and in person:

Do: Capture your home’s selling points. You may think it’s best to skip the bathroom when taking listing photos, but if yours was recently updated, show it off! Bathrooms are among the first spaces to be upgraded in newly-owned homes, according.

Do: Welcome visitors. An attractive front door and entryway go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of your home. Leaving the door open in one of your photos can also send a welcoming message.

Do: Stage each room. While there are several options to consider when staging your home, the key is to put your best foot forward in your listing photos. In the kitchen pictured above, a vase of flowers freshens the space without hiding the countertops or other high-end finishes.

Don’t: Stage a mess. If there is one absolute “no” when it comes listing photos, it’s capturing a mess. It’s one of the things sellers do that drive agents nuts. To check if your level of cleanliness is the right amount, do the “grandma test” by asking yourself if your grandma would feel at home here.

Do: Show off the view. If the view is one of your Chicago home’s selling points, you’ll definitely want to show it off. It’s best if you can capture it with a part of the house — such as the deck or porch — in the shot. That way, buyers can tell where the view is from and more easily picture themselves there.

Do: Show off architectural details. Archways, nooks and crannies may be hard to photograph, but they are what give your home its Chicago charm and character. Try to capture a few of the architectural details if you can. More information HERE

September 2014…..The Autumn season is upon us in Chicago. Real estate is bustling and Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group continues providing top producing, high ranking, expert, client centric, personalized service, all while gaining trust, loyalty and friendship with each and every transaction. He and his dedicated team –  Jenna Plakas, Victor Elting, Wendi Gordon Shelist, and Michael Shin combine experienced forces to certify that your overall real estate experience is exceptional.  As a buyer, no stone will be left unturned to find you the perfect home. As a seller, Ian and his attentive team will pour their hearts and souls into effectively marketing your home online and in print to have it seen by the largest possible audiences. They will take all vital steps to attract qualified buyers, and close the sale(s) with ease.

Chicago Real Estate-Professional Traits That Matter

Choosing the right Chicago real estate agent, whether you are buying or selling a home, is important. You want the best representative possible for your needs. Real estate professionals recommend meeting with at least two to three agents before committing, to make sure you find someone who will be a passionate advocate for you. Below are the top 5 traits to look for and why they may matter the most:

Truthful Tendencies: Having Someone that is going to tell the truth, be upfront, honest and forthright is trait often thought of as cliché’ but invaluable still. Getting recommendations and finding testimonials/reviews can help shed light on a real estate agents character.

Personable-Relatable: Find that certain someone that can be easy to talk to, is a good listener, and can relate to your needs and wants. You will certainly do a great deal of talking and listing during a real estate transaction.

 

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Familiar-Knowledgeable: Having a Realtor who is familiar the desired neighborhood, builder, and local market conditions can be the difference between being well prepared and chaos. This goes back to the idea of reliability and selecting a real estate professional with a true sense of your needs and wants.

Communicates well and does often:  In an occupation that requires communication, it is vital to test the waters on return calls and timely updates or check-ins. In addition contact should be made in the method the client prefers [email, text, phone call, Facebook.. etc.].

Integrity-approach to business: Integrity is demonstrated and not necessarily spoken.  Having a  real estate agent/REALTOR put the clients’ interests above their own can be the ultimate deal solidifier or breaker.  Proper representation and advocacy go hand in hand and should be seen as well as felt during a real estate transaction.

Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group, is a trusted resource with a 14 year profile of success. Ian has been the number one agent in Resale Sales Volume in the Lincoln Park Plaza office, averaging more than 25 million dollars in sales per year. He and his team pride themselves on the ability to listen and  analyze the needs of both buyers and sellers. They enjoy giving each client conscientious service and winning their trust, loyalty, and friendship.

More information HERE and HERE