We are happy to be closing this afternoon on the sale of a 2 bedroom condo in West Rogers Park, in spite of inaccurate Zillow estimates and misleading MLS data.  More and more I see how the role of a real estate agent is to advocate for a client’s property and their needs.

When I met with the sellers in June to talk about selling, they told me they really need to move to get their son in a high ranked High School, as he is an honor student. They shared that they weren’t sure they could sell the home, based on what they were seeing as values on Zillow.

I showed them the comparable sales and they could see that Zillow wasn’t accurate.

We priced the home correctly and had an offer within 2 weeks.

The buyer’s agent making the offer tried to justify the low offer, saying it wouldn’t appraise out. I reviewed our comparables with her.  We negotiated and the buyer ended up agreeing on a price that was much higher than she initially offered.

I met with the appraiser 10 days ago and shared my comparables.  He commented that several of mine were superior to the condo, and shared his assumptions, that were based on MLS data. I let him know about the inaccuracies in the MLS listing. One comparable showed it had an owned parking space but in fact there is no parking in the building and is instead rented next door.

Another comp said they had a swimming pool when in reality it was more like a grotto/wading pool.  I had several comps that were higher than the appraiser’s and he wanted to discount them saying they were east of Ridge.  I let him know that the condos are in an area with schools and parks that are inferior to our location.  I made sure he fully understood the value of my client’s condo, its location, its schools, park, and safety.

The appraisal came back at the sale price of the condo, and so we are closing today. Now the sellers are very excited to work with us to start looking for a home in Taft HS district.

Helping our Buyers, Sellers and Investors Make their best real estate Move with Maggie!


Every school day morning around 7:15 or so, I see kids walking with their parents, older siblings, or other family members south on Wolcott Avenue toward James B. McPherson Elementary School. In most all types of weather, unless the wind chill is low enough, these kids walk carefully through the snow and ice to further their education.

James B. McPherson Elementary School on the corner of Lawrence and Wolcott avenues is celebrating its 10th year as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for grades six through eight, according to the school’s website. It also has plans to adopt an IB Primary Years Program. The IB program seeks to create a community of lifelong learners.

Other public schools are also nearby.

Located at 4332 N. Paulina St., Ravenswood Elementary School is a fine and performing arts magnet school with 524 students. It is designated as being in “good standing” by the Chicago Public Schools system for its pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade program.

Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School, located in North Center at 3730 N. Oakley Ave., serves 1,042 students in grades kindergarten through eighth-grade who live in the attendance district; gifted students in grades 1-8; and a specialized program for deaf students. It is designated as being in “good standing” by Chicago Public Schools.

James G. Blaine Elementary School, located at 1420 W. Grace St., is a fine arts magnet school. It partners with the Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Cubs, Edelman Public Relations, Looking Glass Theater, Dance Art, the Field Museum, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Chicago Magazine ranked Blaine Elementary as No. 13 on its “Best Schools in Chicago & Suburbs” 2012 list.


Victoria Marty has written for newspapers and magazines for more than 15 years and recently moved to the Lincoln Square, Chicago area. A frequent runner who loves learning and exploring new places, she has perfected the art of getting lost while simultaneously finding unique landmarks, boutiques and out-of-the-way nooks worth writing about. Her blogs are geared toward the newly transplanted who want to learn as much about Chicago as they can, as quickly as possible.