FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


ADVICE FOR BUYING A HOME IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO

1Do I Really Need an Agent to Help Me Buy a House?
If you are a first time home buyer, you may well be wondering whether you really need a Chicago downtown realtor to help you reach your goal. It is true that there is no law that requires you to seek the services of a real estate agent to buy a home. However, even if you are experienced at buying Chicago luxury real estate or any other kind of property, there are always important details that you may overlook.

For example, you may think that it is easier and cheaper to buy a home directly from the seller rather than using an agent as a "middle man." The home you are looking at may be advertised as a real bargain. Perhaps the owner may admit that the house is a "fixer upper."

What you need to keep in mind is that, even though you may pay a lower initial price, you may find yourself laying out a great deal of money for repairs of all kinds that suddenly need to be made.

This is one of the biggest potential downsides that can be involved in buying a home from a private seller that is advertised "for sale, as is." The amount of money you are ultimately forced to invest in the home may far outweigh what you initially paid for it, making it not such a great bargain after all.

To put it simply, using the services of a real estate agent helps you get everything right. There are many pitfalls involved in buying a Chicago condo or home. An agent who is experienced in selling properties in downtown Chicago and the suburbs can make the process smooth, efficient, and, above all, cost effective.
2Is it Better for Me to Buy or Rent Chicago Downtown Real Estate?
You may be wondering if it is easier for you to rent a condo or home in downtown Chicago or bite the bullet and buy one. This is the type of question that can only be answered by examining the current state of your finances as well as how long you truly intend to live in the property. If you are only planning to be in the city for a certain length of time, renting a luxury high rise apartment may be the better plan.

However, if you are planning to put down roots, buying a condominium or home in downtown Chicago may be your best option. Interest rates for a home or condo purchase in Chicago are currently very fair. You may be able to get an FHA mortgage of 30 years at a rate of something like 3.5 to 4 percent.

For this reason, as well as many others, it may ultimately be cheaper for you to pay a mortgage rather than continuing to rent. There is also the financial benefit associated with maintaining a property at a high resale value.
3Do You Need to Talk to a Bank Before You Buy a Home in Chicago?
If you are planning on buying a highrise apartment, condo, or home in Chicago, you may want to talk to your bank or ask us to refer you to an experienced mortgage professional to get the details straight in advance. There is no law that says this is a mandatory step in the process of looking at Chicago homes. However, it is a good idea to get pre-approved for a loan, if you require one. The biggest benefit of doing so is to get a clear idea of just how much you may be able to afford when shopping for a property.

If this is your first time buying a home, it's an especially good idea to talk to a bank. Mortgage agreements are full of terms that a first time buyer may not be familiar with. You can sit down with a local Chicagoland Mortgage Professional in order to get a grip on every step of the home buying process.

You may also be able to get some good advice concerning the possibility of financial help if you require it. The mortgage officer may be able to tell you about some local programs that can make it easier for you to afford a home purchase.

ADVICE FOR SELLING A HOME IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO

1Will it Cost Me More to Sell My Own Home or Use an Agent?
One of the questions I am most frequently asked involves whether or not it is more profitable to use my services or go the "For Sale By Owner" route. While it may at first seem easier and more lucrative to try to sell your home without an agent, there are a couple of factors that you need to keep in mind.

For one thing, just how much exposure are you really giving your property by going with the "Do it Yourself" approach? Sure, you can put an ad in the local Nifty Nickel and maybe do some Craigslist advertising. And there is the sign in your front yard that everyone can see as they drive by. But what about the hundreds of millions of people who live far out of the local zone that you can reach by these means?

Wouldn't it be better to have your home in the national listings where real estate agents and potential buyers can see them? This will automatically expand your exposure by a huge amount. And it can all be done within seconds. This is the kind of exposure that can get your home sold in a matter of days or weeks rather than month.

As for the financial issue, yes, you can save money by handling the sale of your property by yourself. But how long will it take to close the deal? The real estate market in your area could go through a series of ups and downs while your house sits there waiting to find a buyer.

The percentage I charge for my services is very low and reasonable. This is all the more true when you take into full consideration the number of times you may have to lower your asking price before you can finally close the deal if you don't have an agent to represent you.
2Is Now the Best Time for Me to Sell My House?
If you own a house, condo, or highrise apartment in downtown Chicago, you may be wondering if now is the best time to sell it. One indication of the best time to sell is if you get the word from your local real estate agent that the market is in a "hot" period.

They may also inform you that, as of the moment, a "seller's market" is in season. This means that conditions on the Chicago luxury real estate market favor sellers by making it possible for them to demand the highest possible prices for their property. On the other hand, if you get the word that what prevails at the moment is a "buyer's market", it's likely that the opposite is true.
3What Actions Should I Take Before I Sell My Home?
There are a number of important actions that you should take before you sell your condo or home in downtown Chicago. A new coat of paint and some low cost renovations to your bathroom and kitchen are a good way to add some extra value. Likewise, mow the lawn and make whatever renovations are necessary to put the best face on your property.

However, there is no need to go overboard on these renovation projects. You don't want to spend more on them than you can recoup when you sell the property. You can have a professional Chicago downtown realtor inspect your home before you start on any fix-it projects so that you know which types of jobs will add the highest amount of resale value to your home.
4How Much is My Home in Chicago Really Worth?
You may be interested to learn just how much your downtown Chicago home or condo is really worth. The true worth of your property will depend on a number of factors. You may recently have made a series of renovations to your home that were designed to raise both its desirability and ultimate value.

However, there are outside factors that will also play a part in determining the return you can get on your property. If home values in your neighborhood or general region are high, you can expect to charge a higher amount. If the reverse is true, you may have to adjust your price to match other properties in the area. There is also the quality of your immediate neighborhood to keep in mind.

It's a good idea to have your home visited by a professional appraiser before you set your price. You should also consult with a real estate agent in downtown Chicago before you place your property on the market. This way, you will be able to set a price that will bring you a return on your initial investment while also matching the price of comparable properties in your area.
5How Long Will it Really Take to Sell My Chicago Home?
The final major question that sellers always have on their minds is just how long it will really take to sell their Chicago home or condo. This is a question that just doesn't have one simple and routine answer. In many cases, the price and condition of your home, as well as the condition of the area around you, will be the determining factors.

The current trend is for homes to take anywhere from 30 to 100 days before they find a buyer. Of course, you may get lucky and sell your home right away. A downtown Chicago realtor, one who is experienced in selling luxury real estate, can help you price your property in a competitive fashion.

The best thing a real estate agent can do for you is to place your home in the national listings so that it will be seen by as many people as possible, both on the web and offline. In many cases, listing will home will speed up the selling process so that you can quickly move on to your new home with plenty of cash in hand.

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