Laura and Gene called in September and asked me to sell their bungalow house in Portage Park. They owned the home for 10 years. Laura received a great job offer in Portland that will fulfill their long-awaited dream to move to the west coast where Gene sees many opportunities to build his business. I met with them two months ago to talk about selling. At the time, they expressed concern about a low appraisal value, from a couple years ago, at a value that wouldn’t bring them enough to settle their loan. After walking through their home and researching the current market, I made recommendations that would easily reconfigure the space, such as doing some painting and updating their bathroom, that would likely bring them more value.

They mentioned they were hoping to buy in Portland but weren’t sure how to pull that of long distance. I mapped out a strategy and timeline for selling and buying long distance. I researched and found them a great realtor that I trust who is with Keller Williams in Portland.

We put their home on market and scheduled an open house for the weekend they were planning on a home buying trip. They were delighted when I brought them two offers within a week. Their Portland realtor kept looking for a home for them and found one that they loved. She sent them a video and them made an offer.

I met the appraiser in Chicago, gave him the comparable sales with lost of details on all the improvements they made over the years, and happily the home did appraise out at the sale price. They closed earlier this week and are moving into their new home on Thursday. Life begins when they stepped outside their comfort zone.

Maggie Finegan, Move with Maggie, making your dreams a reality.


Thinking of buying a home? Here’s what you need to know.

If you’re a first-time buyer or if it’s been a few years since you’ve purchased a home, you may wonder what to expect during the homebuying process.

The information we have this month will give you the scoop on what to expect at every major step of the way, from home search to closing. The piece is intended to help you understand the process, think about what you want in a home, prepare for financing and answer some of the questions you may have. While every transaction is different, the steps outlined are typical in most transactions.

If you or someone you know is ready to buy, give us a call! We’ll be happy to walk you through the process and help you find the right home for your needs.

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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!


Irving Park Single Family HomeIRVING PARK MARKET REPORT as of April, 2016

The market is shifting in Irving Park. According to Midwest Real Estate Data, the average sales price of 4 bedroom, 4 bath homes in Irving Park is $610,000. There are many more rehabbed homes coming on the market this year, including two new or rehabbed homes just put on the market in the mid to upper $500K ranges.

The overall observations and feedback from recent showings and open houses in the neighborhood.

Competition: Very recently buyers are seeing more new or newly rehabbed homes for sale, and we are seeing price reductions on those homes. While these homes may be slightly smaller or on smaller lots, they do offer the most current features and finishes. This goes beyond paint color, into cabinetry, amenities such a master baths with dual sinks and separate whirlpool tubs in addition to showers. Buyers viewing these homes begin to develop a taste and preference, and it may become their new standard. Here is a recent home for sale in the neighborhood.

A recent article in Illinois Association of Realtors quotes a 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, stating that Millenials prefer modern or farmhouse styles, while boomers prefer traditional. Both groups prefer white cabinets, grey walls and stainless appliances.

Closed Properties: In studying those homes most recently under contract or closed, the trend is for buyers to choose homes that although slightly smaller than the subject property, rehabbed with new front elevations/porches, and current amenities and features, as well as finishes and color schemes in white, grey and blue. Common elements are expanded master baths as well as stainless appliance kitchens with glass tile or subway tile back splashes, some with high end appliances, and white cabinetry as the new norms.


We’re a few months into the year and many potential buyers and sellers are wondering, is this a good year to get into the market? Many current homeowners are thinking about the value of their homes, even if they’re not thinking of listing anytime soon.

The information for March provides an overview of what’s in store for the American real estate market this year based on expert predictions and current price and sales data. These forecasts provide insight into current trends and paint a picture of what may happen this year. However, while our market may appear similar to the national market, local and regional factors may play a role in specific forecasts for our market.

If you’d like to know more about our local market, want to know how much your home is worth or are thinking of buying or selling, give me a call. I’d love to discuss the market with you and assist you with all of your real estate needs.

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Tax time is right around the corner. While many people wait until the last minute to complete tax returns, it may pay off to get started now, especially if you plan to itemize.

This month’s information outlines several deductions you may be able to claim on your taxes if you qualify. These deductions, including writing off sales tax and your mortgage interest, allow you to reduce the amount of taxes you owe and help you maximize your savings. Page two helps you get organized for tax season by providing a list of tasks to tackle now.

Tax time can be stressful for many people. The more you prepare, the less stressful the process will be.

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Are you thinking of buying or selling a home this year, or know someone who is? Whether it’s your first time dipping your toe in the real estate world or your fifth, it’s important to have an agent you trust by your side to help you through the process and serve you after the sale.

This month’s information outlines nine reasons to enlist the aid of an experienced real estate professional, like us, to guide you through buying or selling a home. Eliminate the confusion and frustration of trying to understand the real estate process on your own and give us a call with your questions and concerns. We’re more than happy to discuss your unique situation, as well as give you an update on our local market.

And below are tips for you while navigating through the process:

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According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, more than half of recent homebuyers said the hardest part of the buying process was finding the right home to purchase. Since a home is the largest purchase most of us will make, it is easy to become wrapped up in finding the perfect place that meets all of our wants and needs. We overwhelm ourselves by focusing on checking off the boxes that will result in our ideal home. That’s a lot of pressure!

This month’s information is intended to take the stress out of finding the right home. Before you begin your search, there are four things to consider—price range, features, location and lifestyle. These four factors will help you focus your search on homes that meet your needs, allowing you to make the best decision for your family and for your wallet.

When you’re looking for a home, you need an experienced professional in your corner to help navigate the process and get you the best deal. If you’re ready to buy, give me a call! I’d love to help you achieve your dream of homeownership.

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Using the Internet in Your Home Search


If you’re like many people, you’re always looking for ways to save money on your monthly water and utility bills. You turn off the lights when you leave the room, turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth and only wash full loads in the dishwasher. What else can you do?

This month’s information outlines six simple home improvements you can make to help you save on your utility bills. From upgrading your fixtures to applying weather stripping to drafty windows, these simple suggestions are sure to save resources and money.

Do you want to improve the value of your home? Page two outlines three projects that will help you boost its value, whether you’re thinking of listing it now or in the future.

Below are tips to keep in mind when pricing your home for sale. If you’re thinking of selling, give me a call at 312-261-0077!

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How to Get Your Home Sold


“Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it.”

-Horace Mann

Have you ever set a goal or made a New Year’s resolution only to give up or forget about it a few weeks later? You’re not alone. Many of us set goals and then fall off track after a few weeks. The reason? We haven’t changed our habits.

Good habits help us achieve our goals. To help you stay on track to reach the goals you set for 2016, this month’s information offers tips for developing better habits. These nine tips will make it easier to incorporate a new habit into your daily routine. Whether your goal is to get healthier or buy a home, these tips are sure to help you rethink your habits and adopt new ones. Since habits take time to develop, it’s important to remain patient and, of course, never give up.

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Saving More for a Down Payment