Stacy Karel is a real estate broker with @properties in the Bucktown office. You can search the MLS on her website at www.CONDOChicago.com, join her Facebook page atwww.Facebook.com/CONDOChicago and if you are curious about the market where you live, you are invited to visit www.AtPropertiesMarketReport.com.
You can reach Stacy at:
P: (312) 933-5819
E: [email protected]
Condoboss (CB): Let’s start out with the question everyone wants to know! Is the market getting better? Are condo prices going up? Is so, how much?
Stacy Karel (SK): The market is really improving. There is pent up demand for both move up and first time home buyers and well priced listings are being snapped up in days with multiple offers. The higher the price point, the higher the increases over a year ago and prices are increasing. In some areas prices are back to 2006 levels. Existing home sales in general are up 18% and new home sales up 23% while short sale and REOs are significantly lower than last year.
CB: Is it a good time to buy or sell? Are you seeing the market shifting to a seller’s market?
SK: The lack of desirable, well priced properties is providing some advantages for sellers that they have not seen is awhile. The key is well priced. Overpriced properties will sit on the market. Well priced properties in good salable condition, will sell quickly. It is a great time for buyers as we are in an increasing interest rate environment. If you can find a property that is! You have to stay on top of your search and if something comes up, act immediately!
CB: What are the hottest neighborhoods in Chicago? How is the Bucktown/Wicker Park going in terms of real estate prices?
SK: Many of the established north side neighborhoods have experienced a great comeback in terms of pricing. I would also note that properties located within district of the most desirable CPS neighborhood schools also sell quickly and many times have interest before hitting the market.
CB: What are some tips you can offer people who are looking to sell? What are the best way to prepare a home for sale?
SK: It is very important to declutter and think of your home as a product, rather than your home. Clean surfaces, no clutter, open spaces etc. are probably the most important. You can tell when a seller has made an effort to create an inviting environment. I am an accredited stager, so I walk through a seller’s home and advise them room to room what changes should be made prior to the listing photography. The online photos are your first showing and you only get one chance to make that first impression.
CB: What are the most common mistakes made when people try to sell their homes?
SK: Trying to do it themselves or not accommodating all showings. The key to selling your home for the highest price and in the shortest amount of time is the exposure you can give the property to all potential buyers.
CB: Tell me a little bit about the Bloomingdale Trail. I understand it’s called the “606”. What is the all hubbub about it?
SK: I am really excited about the 606. It is a nature trail (under construction currently) that will run from Ashland Avenue west to Ridgeway. It will be about 2.7 miles of elevated nature preserve- a great place to walk and bike and discover some other neighborhoods and parks. It will be open the fall of 2014. In my opinion homes and businesses close to the trail will increase in value for having such a wonderful park nearby. More information is available at www.the606.org
CB: Isn’t it REALLY hard to get a loan right now? My understanding is that the rental market is booming and rents are going up because many people are now forced to rent and can’t get approved for a loan. So how is that affecting your business as a real estate broker?
SK: Well the days of “stated income” are certainly gone, but if you have a good down payment, I have found that my clients are having an easier time getting loans than even a year ago. More first time buyer programs are available and standards have changed for owner occupied buyers who desire to purchase in buildings where there there is a large concentration of rental units. In the past, these purchases had to be cash, now “live-in” owners can get financing.
CB: What is your area of specialty? Do you represent buyers or sellers or both? Isn’t it better to work with a broker that specializes on either the buy or sell side?
SK: I represent both and by doing so, I feel that I have the best perspective of the market.
CB: What is the most stressful way to buy a home? What is the LEAST stressful way to buy a new home?
SK: Planning and communication will assist in taking the stress out of home purchase. If you work with a professional who is experienced and can walk you through and communicate each stage of financing, finding, contracting and closing, then you should have a good experience even when unanticipated obstacles arise.
CB: As a real estate broker in Chicago, I can imagine that there are thousands of other brokers to choose from. Why should a buyer or seller work with you versus other brokers?
SK: As a homeowner, investor and developer of real estate, I have solid experience and have sold over $70MM over the last 13 years. I have affiliated myself with @properties because of their marketing support and their network of agents, however it is my independent website www.CONDOChicago.com and my dedication to my client’s success that is my differentiating factor. Please see what my clients say on Yelp! www.yelp.com/biz/stacy-karel-condochicago-chicago
About the Authors:
Salvatore J. Sciacca aka “Condoboss” is one of the nation’s leading experts in the community property management industry. He is also the President and Founder of Chicago Property Services, Chicago’s #1 community property management company specializing in management and operations of condos/townhomes/HOA’s of 100 units and under.
Salvatore is also the founder of managemycommunity.com (MMC), which is a state-of-the-art online support portal for community associations. With over 20 years of industry experience, Salvatore is recognized for his extensive knowledge of capital planning, preventative maintenance, cost-saving measures and community building techniques.
He holds industry stature as a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), the designation of Association Management Specialist (AMS) and is fully licensed as a manager (License #: 261.001386) through the State of IL.
Salvatore can be reached at: 312.455.0107 x102 or [email protected]
Stacy Karel is a real estate broker with @properties in the Bucktown office. You can search the MLS on her website at www.CONDOChicago.com, join her Facebook page atwww.Facebook.com/CONDOChicago and if you are curious about the market where you live, you are invited to visit www.AtPropertiesMarketReport.com
P: (312) 933-5819