Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Renovations to Do & Not Do Before Selling North Shore Home

North Shore Home Renovations
When you sell your North Shore home, you want to ensure that you’re getting the best price possible for your home! This might mean making some upgrades, if your home is outdated. As your North Shore real estate agent, I’m here to inform you which renovations are smart, and which are smarter to skip.

It’s important to realize that not all home upgrades are equal! Some have impressive returns on investment, or ROI, meaning you’ll get back most of what you put in. Others don’t have great ROI and could actually hurt your home value.


Renovations to DO for your North Shore Home

Kitchen upgrades – Buyers love their kitchens! This is a make-it-or-break-it room for buyers. While an entire kitchen remodel costs a lot of money and might not pay off, small upgrades can go a long way, such as fresh paint, new counters or backsplash, or energy-efficient appliances.

Bathroom upgrades – Buyers love bathrooms and put a lot of their focus here as well. Create a space of tranquility and sensibility. An upgraded vanity is one great option, especially one that adds extra cabinet space or double sinks.

Paint – Freshly painted walls is one of the most affordable upgrades you can make for the best return on investment! Neutral, light colors appeal to most buyers. If you have wallpaper, you might want to consider taking it down and painting instead. Buyers don’t want to deal with this hassle.

Doors – Upgrading the doors of your house is a great way to modernize it, especially the outdoor doors, such as the front door or garage doors. A new front door yields the best ROI of all upgrades! If your door is already pretty new, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint.

Renovations to NOT DO for your North Shore Home

Sunroom – While some buyers will appreciate a sunroom, it’s more of a novelty than a utility. Most would rather have more outdoor space to enjoy. The ROI is only 45 percent for a sunroom. 

Pool – This entirely depends on the buyer. Some families with kids would love a pool. But, per the price of installing and maintaining a pool, the return on pools is less than 25 percent and could deter buyers who don’t want the hassle. 

Flooring – With so many options these days, flooring is a very personal choice. There’s a good chance your buyer will rip out your new flooring for their own choice, and buyers feel very strongly for or against carpeting. Your best bet is to clean or polish what you already have.

Converted garage – It sounds like a good idea, because buyers appreciate extra living space, but more buyers appreciate a place to store their cars, especially in the winter.

For more examples of renovations to make or skip, check out this MSN Money article. For help selling your North Shore home, contact me, your North Shore real estate agent! I am here to answer any home-selling questions you may have, and to help you achieve your real estate goals in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Riverwoods, Bannockburn, and other North Shore communitiesGive me a call today!

Janie Bress
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Winnetka Real Estate Market Stats for September 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 144 properties actively on the market with the average listing price of $1,723,114 in Winnetka.

City Sold Listings: 19 properties closed last month in Winnetka with an average sales price of $1,354,913. The average time on market for these properties was 59 days. 



To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please

Janie Bress
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Northbrook Real Estate Market Stats for September 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 351 properties actively on the market with the average listing price of $671,604 in Northbrook.

City Sold Listings: 62 properties closed last month in Northbrook with an average sales price of $468,791. The average time on market for these properties was 50 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Northbrook market statistics

Janie Bress
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Highland Park Real Estate Market Stats for September 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 373 properties actively on the market with the average listing price of $833,072 in Highland Park.

City Sold Listings: 44 properties closed last month in Highland Park with an average sales price of $481,891. The average time on market for these properties was 63 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Highland Park market statistics

Janie Bress
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Glencoe Real Estate Market Stats for September 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 82 properties actively on the market with the average listing price of $1,419,884 in Glencoe.

City Sold Listings: 9 properties closed last month in Glencoe with an average sales price of $1,115,278. The average time on market for these properties was 54 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Glencoe market statistics

Janie Bress
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Deerfield Real Estate Market Stats for September 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 162 properties actively on the market with the average listing price of $576,728 in Deerfield.

City Sold Listings: 23 properties closed last month in Deerfield with an average sales price of $318,280. The average time on market for these properties was 47 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Deerfield market statistics

Janie Bress
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Monday, October 21, 2019

North Shore Curb Appeal with a Fall Flair

If you’d like to sell your North Shore home this fall, or you’re just looking to decorate your home for the season, take advantage of fall décor options! As your North Shore real estate agent, I’m here to fill you in on some excellent options for your exterior this time of year.

1.  Use pumpkins to your advantage. Everybody loves pumpkins this time of year, along with gourds, mums, haystacks, etc. Use these fall items to your advantage by decorating your front entryway with them. Prop some pumpkins on the steps leading to your front door, or flank your door with pots of mums. Create a scene of hay, pumpkins and gourds. Don’t overdo it, just a few well-placed items will do.

2.  Upgrade current items with fall replacements. Rather than cluttering your front entryway with fall décor, just replace items you already have with ones that have a fall flair. For example, take down your summery door decoration and replace with a fall wreath made of pinecones, fall leaves or anything in a fall hue. Replace your doormat with one that has fall colors or outlines of fall leaves.

3.  Paint and clean. Sometimes all your curb appeal needs is some refreshing. Clean and repaint your front door to give it a real pop. You can opt for a fall color, such as bright red, yellow or orange, or go with whatever color suits you most. Clean your address numbers, front porch, siding, driveway, garage door, mailbox, etc., and give these a fresh coat of paint if need be.

4.  Don’t overdo it with the Halloween décor. Some homeowners just love to go all out on their Halloween décor, with fake spider webs, gravestones, Halloween-colored lights, motion-activated props and so on. If you are selling your North Shore home, you don’t want your listing photos to forever display a Halloween house, and you don’t want to turn buyers off. If you do decorate for Halloween, do so lightly, such as replacing your front porch light with a red or purple one. But sticking to neutral fall décor is best.

5.  Weatherproof your outdoor space. Show buyers that your outdoor space can also be enjoyed in the colder temperatures this fall. Hang curtains on a front porch to insulate it. Apply beautiful slipcovers to your outdoor furniture, and add rugs, pillows or throw blankets for added comfort. Play around with fall hues as color accents. Display lanterns, space heaters or candles for extra lighting and heat.

For more outdoor curb appeal ideas this fall, check out this House Beautiful article. When ready to sell your home in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Riverwoods, Bannockburn, and other North Shore communities, contact me! As your North Shore real estate agent, I am here to answer your questions and to guide you through the home-selling and/or home-buying process. Fall is a great time to accomplish your real estate goals, before the chaos of the holiday season arrives. Don’t hesitate to give me a call!

Janie Bress
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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Pricing Your North Shore Home to Sell

If you’d like to sell your North Shore home this fall, give me a call, your North Shore real estate agent! Together, we can come up with a listing price for your home and begin the home-selling process. There is a lot to think about when choosing a listing price wisely. Here are some considerations:

1.  Research the local market and recent sales. This is the most important step in determining the value of your home in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Riverwoods, Bannockburn, and other North Shore communities. I have the most recent stats on your local market and can find homes that have sold in the area that are similar to yours in age, size and location. I can see what they were listed for, what they sold for, how long they were on the market, and who the interested buyers were. This will help us determine a price range for your house.

2.  Determine your timeline. If you are eager to sell fast, pricing a bit on the lower end of the value range will attract the highest number of buyers. When they look at listings that include your home and homes similar to yours, if yours is priced a bit lower, they’ll flock to you. If it’s priced too low, they’ll wonder what’s wrong with it. We’ve got to get the number just right.

3.  Price it as an odd number. If we determine that your North Shore home is worth $500K, we might list it as $499K or some other similar number. Why not just list it as $500K? It’s psychology. The $499K looks like a smaller number to buyers, and if they search for houses below $500K, your home will come up in the search. You’ll notice that most listings aren’t given an even number.

4.  Listen to your agent. As long as you choose a North Shore real estate agent with years of experience and sales, you should feel confident in her pricing strategy. It’s our job as agents to know what works and what doesn’t. However, your sale price is an ongoing discussion, not a one-way street. You get a say. A lot of factors play in, so be ready to discuss and be flexible. The price may also change over time.

5.  Understand the appraisal process. Whether you get an appraisal before listing, or your appraisal comes in after you’ve accepted an offer from a buyer, don’t be surprised if it is different than what you expected, especially if you price high. Appraisers focus on many factors, such as the age of the home, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of the lot, location and so on.

For more information on pricing a home to sell, check out this MSN Money article. If you have questions about pricing, listing or selling in the North Shore real estate market, give me a call! As an experienced North Shore real estate agent, I can answer your questions and guide you through the entire home-selling and/or home-buying process.


Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Winnetka Real Estate Market Stats for August 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 154 properties actively on the market with the average price of $1,762,346 in Winnetka.

City Sold Listings: 34 properties closed last month in Winnetka with an average sales price of $1,382,127. The average time on market for these properties was 68 days. 



To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please

Janie Bress
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Northbrook Real Estate Market Stats for August 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 372 properties actively on the market with the average price of $645,069 in Northbrook.

City Sold Listings: 79 properties closed last month in Northbrook with an average sales price of $540,179. The average time on market for these properties was 36 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Northbrook market statistics

Janie Bress
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Highland Park Real Estate Market Stats for August 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 390 properties actively on the market with the average price of $811,185 in Highland Park.

City Sold Listings: 56 properties closed last month in Highland Park with an average sales price of $531,419. The average time on market for these properties was 58 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Highland Park market statistics

Janie Bress
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Glencoe Real Estate Market Stats for August 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 73 properties actively on the market with the average price of $1,364,754 in Glencoe.

City Sold Listings: 22 properties closed last month in Glencoe with an average sales price of $811,708. The average time on market for these properties was 69 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Glencoe market statistics

Janie Bress
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Deerfield Real Estate Market Stats for August 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 163 properties actively on the market with the average price of $596,787 in Deerfield.

City Sold Listings: 37 properties closed last month in Deerfield with an average sales price of $453,651. The average time on market for these properties was 44 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Deerfield market statistics

Janie Bress
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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Real Estate Lingo for North Shore Homebuyers

If you are gearing up to buy a North Shore home for the first time, or it’s been awhile since you have bought, you may need a quick real estate lingo 101 course. As your North Shore real estate agent, I am here to help! Here’s a rundown of the most common words you will hear as a buyer, so when you go to purchase a home in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Riverwoods, Bannockburn, and other North Shore communities, you’ll feel knowledgeable and prepared!

Real estate agent – This is the professional who will help you purchase a home. I am an agent on Chicago’s North Shore. I will help you find homes for sale in the area, I will help you set up showings to see the homes, I will help you negotiate a price and contingencies, I will help you understand the paperwork, I can offer suggestions for other professionals you need help from, etc.

Appraiser/appraisal – Once you have your offer accepted on a home, you will have an appraisal done. Usually the bank with your mortgage loan will require this to secure financing. It’s a professional analysis used to determine the current value of the home. The appraiser is the person who completes the appraisal.

Home inspection/inspector – A buyer should have a home inspection done on a home before closing. This will allow you to know of any issues with the home, such as with the foundation, electricity, plumbing, etc. The inspector is the person who completes the inspection. If a lot comes up, you can back out if there are too many expensive issues, or you can try to renegotiate the price.

Closing costs – There are costs involved in completing a real estate transaction. These costs include title insurance, financing costs, taxes and more. Ask your mortgage lender for a complete list of closing cost items and an estimate of how much they will cost. Buyers need to be prepared to pay these.

Down payment – This is how much money you have to put down on the house upfront. Down payments are usually between 3 and 20 percent of the price of the home, depending on what type of loan you take out. Ask your lender what options are available to you.

Mortgage rate – Interest rates for mortgage loans fluctuate, but the lower yours is, the less you’ll pay over the long run. The interest rate gets added to your monthly mortgage payment over the lifetime of the loan. Right now, rates are very low, which is great news for buyers!

Pre-approval letter – This is a letter from a mortgage lender, proving that you do qualify for a mortgage loan for a specific amount. It is smart to get this before beginning your home search, so you have proof for the seller that you can afford their home.

Credit score – Everyone has a score between 300 and 850 that shows how good or poor your credit history is. The higher the number, the better it looks to mortgage lenders. It proves how likely it is you can and will pay back your mortgage debt.


Janie Bress
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Winnetka Real Estate Market Stats for July 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 175 properties actively on the market with the average price of $1,670,765 in Winnetka.

City Sold Listings: 36 properties closed last month in Winnetka with an average sales price of $1,319,677. The average time on market for these properties was 73 days. 



To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please

Janie Bress
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Northbrook Real Estate Market Stats for July 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 431 properties actively on the market with the average price of $638,613 in Northbrook.

City Sold Listings: 91 properties closed last month in Northbrook with an average sales price of $540,580. The average time on market for these properties was 56 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Northbrook market statistics

Janie Bress
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Highland Park Real Estate Market Stats for July 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 404 properties actively on the market with the average price of $783,656 in Highland Park.

City Sold Listings: 54 properties closed last month in Highland Park with an average sales price of $566,397. The average time on market for these properties was 42 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Highland Park market statistics

Janie Bress
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Glencoe Real Estate Market Stats for July 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 85 properties actively on the market with the average price of $1,268,499 in Glencoe.

City Sold Listings: 30 properties closed last month in Glencoe with an average sales price of $1,241,517. The average time on market for these properties was 42 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Glencoe market statistics

Janie Bress
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Deerfield Real Estate Market Stats for July 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 188 properties actively on the market with the average price of $588,397 in Deerfield.

City Sold Listings: 35 properties closed last month in Deerfield with an average sales price of $561,977. The average time on market for these properties was 50 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Deerfield market statistics

Janie Bress
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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Moving Tips for North Shore Buyers & Sellers

Once you sell, buy or both in the North Shore real estate market, it’s an exciting feeling of accomplishment! Unfortunately, the stress of moving can get in the way of your celebration. As your North Shore real estate agent, I am here to share some moving tips with you, so you can plan ahead and make the process as least stressful as possible!

Plan ahead in twos – Moving experts recommend that you think in terms of twos before moving. Start planning your move two months beforehand, and start packing two weeks before. This isn’t always possible, as you don’t know when exactly you will sell or buy, but start planning early.

Make a timeline – Create a timeline for yourself, such as packing up one room each week, or packing up items you know you won’t need before the move, or at least decluttering and getting rid of items you don’t want to move with. Consider hosting a yard sale or donating.

Follow a checklist – There are a lot of things to keep in mind, so don’t try to remember them all without a checklist. Write down what needs to happen before or right after the move, such as hiring a moving company, cancelling or changing utility services, changing mailing address, changing locks, scheduling cable and internet installation, etc. These are all things you’ll want to do quickly.

Treat moving like a marathon – Don’t leave everything last minute like a sprint. Start early and take your time, going through each room, starting with small tasks, getting rid of anything you no longer need, packaging everything to keep it safe, and marking all the boxes clearly with what is in them and which room they belong in.

Plan for the new space – Once you know where you’ll be moving, study the floor plan and square footage of each room, to determine if your current furniture will fit in the rooms and through the doorways. If something won’t fit, there’s no use in bringing it. If something needs to be taken apart to fit, that is something you can do ahead of time.

Contact moving company – Spend time reading reviews and asking for recommendations on a moving company, so you find one that is trustworthy and reliable. Check in two weeks ahead to confirm what time they are showing up on moving day, and check again the day before. Find out what you are responsible for doing ahead of time.

Pack a suitcase – You don’t want to feel rushed and anxious about unpacking, or lost without your essentials in your new home. Pack a suitcase with all of the things you will need your first few days in the new home, such as clothes for a few days, sheets and pillows, toiletries, medications, etc.

Good luck with the move! If you still need to sell and/or buy in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Riverwoods, Bannockburn, and other North Shore communities, I am here to help! Contact me, your North Shore real estate agent, for help accomplishing your real estate goals this summer!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Winnetka Real Estate Market Stats for June 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 179 properties actively on the market with the average price of $1,651,899 in Winnetka.

City Sold Listings: 29 properties closed last month in Winnetka with an average sales price of $1,376,434. The average time on market for these properties was 69 days. 



To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
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Northbrook Real Estate Market Stats for June 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 431 properties actively on the market with the average price of $638,613 in Northbrook.

City Sold Listings: 91 properties closed last month in Northbrook with an average sales price of $540,580. The average time on market for these properties was 56 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Northbrook market statistics

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
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Highland Park Real Estate Market Stats for June 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 403 properties actively on the market with the average price of $799,980 in Highland Park.

City Sold Listings: 51 properties closed last month in Highland Park with an average sales price of $509,380. The average time on market for these properties was 72 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Highland Park market statistics

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
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