STAY ORGANIZED AND CLUTTER-FREE

“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Decluttering is not just something to do when you’re ready to move; it’s a process that will help you create more space and get organized. In short, you’ll simplify your life.

This month’s information intends to help you take control of your stuff, eliminate what you don’t need or use and appreciate the items you use and enjoy. While page one outlines the five‐ bin approach to clearing the clutter, page two offers useful tips to help you organize each room of your home. It also offers suggestions to help you sort through items that carry sentimental value.

When you reclaim your spaces from clutter, you may find you have more room than before. However, if you’re thinking of upgrading to a larger home, give me a call. I’m happy to help you find a home that meets your needs.

(Click on image to enlarge)

HOW DO YOU SECURE YOUR INFORMATION FOLLOWING THEFT?

As more people rely on the internet to shop, bank, file taxes and more, thieves are finding more ways to steal personal information. While many people take the necessary precautions to keep their details safe, thieves may still be able to attain personal information by hacking into the systems of larger businesses. How can you make sure you’re secure and what steps can you take if your information is stolen?

This month, I’m digging deeper into the topic of identity theft, specifically discussing the rise of data breaches. Sometimes, despite your best efforts to protect your identity, you may still be compromised—as the 143 million people impacted by the Equifax data breach learned. Page one outlines what to do if you learn you’re the victim of a data breach, from monitoring your credit reports and accounts to placing fraud alerts and freezes on your credit file to prevent thieves from using what was stolen. Page two outlines the specific steps to take if your banking and credit card information or driver’s license information has been stolen.

Although the thought of a thief having access to your online identity is frightening, this piece is intended to empower you to take control should you ever find yourself in the position where your information has been compromised.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Our tech gadgets have made paying bills, managing finances and online purchasing easier but increases the chance that a thief may steal our information without our knowledge.

THE HOLIDAYS ARE NEARLY HERE…

It’s almost time to celebrate the spirit of the season with parties and get-togethers to reconnect with our families and friends, especially those who live far away.

The information for this month will help you throw the perfect holiday party without breaking the bank. You’ll find several tips to help make the planning process fun, stress-free and budget friendly, from prioritizing where you’d like to spend most of your dollars to ordering food and coordinating entertainment your guests will love. Whether you’ve been planning your holiday party for months or you’ve just decided to throw one, you’ll find this information valuable.

I want to take a minute to thank you for your business. Your business and referrals drive my business and make it successful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

(Click on image to enlarge)

THE BUYING PROCESS

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.

(Click on image to enlarge)

HOME SELLING 101

For many people, especially first-time sellers, the selling process may seem intimidating because they’re not sure what to expect. A sure way to ease any anxiety you may feel is to learn more about the process.

This month’s information provides an outline of what to expect during the selling process. From getting your home ready for its market debut to handling offers and the closing process, this piece helps you understand what may happen and offers tips to get your home ready. While the specifics of your sale may be different, the steps listed consistently occur in the majority of transactions.

When you’re ready to list your home, we’ll be there every step of the way to explain the process. Give us a call today to get the scoop on the selling process!

(Click on image to enlarge)

APPRAISERS AND SELLERS REALLY NEED OUR HELP!

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!

HOW TO MAINTAIN AND REPAIR YOUR CREDIT

Do you feel your credit score needs improvement? Whether you’re getting ready to make a large purchase or striving to achieve a perfect score, one thing is clear: there’s no time like the present to improve your credit.

This month I’m sharing five tips to help you improve your credit score. From reviewing your credit history and addressing inaccurate or incomplete information to paying down debts and keeping a budget, these tips are sure to help you repair negative history and boost your future credit. With effort, time and patience, you’ll be well on your way to great credit.

Share this information with your family and friends who would like to improve their credit scores. Also, if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, give us a call.

(Click on image to enlarge)

How to Maintain Great Credit

THE EASIEST WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR HOME ON A BUDGET

$100 IN THE CAN IS WORTH $1,000 ON YOUR WALL

For less than $100, a can of paint and some basic supplies can totally transform a room in your home—and might even result in a new attitude.

Unfortunately, many do-it-yourselfers find it intimidating to select a new paint color. This month’s resource offers advice for choosing the perfect hue as well as the appropriate finish for your particular project. It also includes a number of helpful tips for getting the job done right.

Better yet, that $100 investment will most likely deliver a generous return if you decide to sell. Please call if you would like a referral to reputable paint contractor or a design consultant who would be happy to help you renew your décor and possibly even your frame of mind!

(Click on image to enlarge)

THESE 7 FEATURES MAY SELL YOUR HOME FASTER

Are you thinking of listing your home this spring? You may be wondering what you can do to make your home more attractive and allow it to stand out from other similar homes in your market.

This month’s information is about the seven features that may help your home sell faster. From energy-efficient windows and appliances to hardwood floors, these are the most popular features buyers look for when searching for homes. The second page outlines other features that help your home stand out, from updated kitchens and bathrooms to home offices.

If your home has these features, we’ll be sure to highlight them if you decide to list. If not, and you want to renovate to add them, give me a call and I’ll connect you with a great contractor in my network. Also, if you’re thinking of listing your home in the coming months, I’d love to discuss the market with you. Give me a call and I’ll give you a comparative market analysis of your home and answer any questions you may have.

(Click image to enlarge)

How to Pay for Your Home Renovation

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE MARKET IN 2017?

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.

(Click on image to enlarge)