June 5, 2017

Can You Trust Zillow Zestimates Here in Chicagoland?


If you want to know what your home is truly worth, Zillow shouldn't be your first stop. Here's why.

Buying in the Chicago area? Click here to get a Full Home Search
Selling in the Chicago area? Get a FREE Home Price Evaluation


Just how accurate are Zillow Zestimates?

 

You may have seen that Zillow recently came under fire for the accuracy of these home value estimates. In Chicago, it's often off by 10% or more. 

 

These estimates are driven by an algorithm, meaning they judge the value of your house based on a few homes that have sold in the area. If your home has any special features that affect its value, they will likely be overlooked. For example, Zillow won't know if you recently updated the kitchen, ripped out that old shag carpet, or updated to hardwood floors.


"Zillow can't account for any upgrades or special features in your home."


That's why I advise to always consult your real estate agent when looking to buy or sell a home. We walk through the house and note any upgrades to use among many other factors to assess its value.

 

If you have any questions about our market or you'd like to know what your home is worth, give me a call. I'd love to help you!

May 26, 2017

3 Ways to Maximize on the Sale of Your Rental Property


There are three ways to offset capital gains tax when you make a profit by selling an investment property.

Buying in the Chicago area? Click here to get a Full Home Search
Selling in the Chicago area? Get a FREE Home Price Evaluation


If you have a rental property, there are few ways you can avoid getting hit with capital gains tax when the time comes to sell:

  •  Sell the property no later than the third anniversary of your move out date: You need to have lived there for two of the last five years for it to be considered your primary residence. The benefits make you exempt from taxes on your profit up to $250,000 if you file as a single person and up to $500,000 if you file a joint tax return.

     

  • You can offset gains with losses: Say you profited $50,000 by selling the rental property but you lost $75,000 in the stock market. The gain can offset the loss, making the profit from the sale a wash.

     


    "You can offset gains with losses from other streams."

     

  • The 1031 exchange: You can take advantage of this rule in the tax code by taking the money from the sale and investing it into another property. From the date of the sale, you have 45 days to identify another property and another 180 days to close on the new one.

Of course, you want to check with your accountant to see which scenario works for you to help you avoid losing a big chunk of your profit to capital gains tax. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to me. I'd be happy to help.

Posted in Seller's Tips
May 16, 2017

How Is the Chicago Market Doing This May?


How is the 2017 May real estate market doing? I’ll go over one interesting trend you should know about today.

Buying in the Chicago area? Click here to get a Full Home Search
Selling in the Chicago area? Get a FREE Home Price Evaluation


Our May real estate market is very strong right now. There are a lot of buyers out there looking for homes, and there aren’t many homes available for sale.

However, something interesting is happening.

For the first time all year, we have actually seen a decrease in the number of sales year over year. Compared to May 2016, sales are actually down 7%. 

 


"Now is one of the best times to make your move."

 

So, why did home sales drop?

The 2017 real estate market got off to a very strong start. A lot of buyers purchased earlier on in the year, so we’re basically seeing a leveling off since so many buyers have already purchased a home.

That said, we are still in a strong market right now. If you are looking to move or sell your home, now is one of the best times to do so, as things start to slow down after the spring market.

If you have any questions, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!


If you have any questions about today’s design trends or if you are interested in buying or selling a home, please give me a call at (773) 312-7605 or send me an email at Leigh@MarcusRealtyTeam.com. I would be happy to talk with you!

Posted in 2017
April 21, 2017

2017 Trends in Home Design


What are the latest home design trends? In 2017, home design is all about creating lush spaces.

Buying in the Chicago area? Click here to get a Full Home Search
Selling in the Chicago area? Get a FREE Home Price Evaluation


This year, home design trends are all about creating lush spaces by taking traditional designs and making them modern with unique color, texture, and material choices.

For example, let’s say you have a white kitchen. Use hexagonal tile for the backsplash (geometric shapes are very in), add a whole wall of tile in the kitchen, and install marble countertops. 

 


"Make traditional designs modern with different colors, textures, and materials. "

 

These and many more of the latest design trends can be found at www.marcusrealtyteam.com.

If you have any questions about today’s design trends or if you are interested in buying or selling a home, please give me a call at (773) 312-7605 or send me an email at Leigh@MarcusRealtyTeam.com. I would be happy to talk with you!

Posted in 2017
April 10, 2017

Chicago April Market Update


How is the Chicago real estate market doing so far this spring? I’ll give you some good news today.

Buying in the Chicago area? Click here to get a Full Home Search
Selling in the Chicago area? Get a FREE Home Price Evaluation


How is the real estate market doing so far this spring? I have some very good news for you today.

 

Across Chicago, inventory is still very low compared to last year. However, the number of buyers is up by 15%. So, supply is low and demand has increased. As a result, home prices are higher year over year.


"Home prices are higher year over year. "

 

Now, different neighborhoods experience different things. If you are curious about the market in your specific area, please give me a call at (773) 312-7605 or send me an email at Leigh@MarcusRealtyTeam.com. I would be happy to talk more in-depth with you!

Posted in 2017
March 14, 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


I want to wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day by reminding you of how grateful I am to have your business.

Buying in the Chicago area? Click here to get a Full Home Search
Selling in the Chicago area? Get a FREE Home Price Evaluation


St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and I just wanted to take a moment to say how lucky I am for getting to work with you. Whether you’re a client, a partner, or a friend, I really appreciate your business. 


"I’m so lucky to have your business."

 

As always, if you’re thinking about buying, selling, or investing in real estate, give me a call. It may just be worth a pot of gold.

If I can support your 2017 real estate goals, please give me a call at (
773) 312-7605 or send me an email at Leigh@MarcusRealtyTeam.com. I would love to help you!

Posted in 2017
Feb. 20, 2017

How Will Rising Mortgage Rates Affect You?


Everyone expects interest rates to continue to rise in 2017. How high will they get and how will those increases affect you?

Buying in the Chicago area? Click here to get a Full Home Search
Selling in the Chicago area? Get a FREE Home Price Evaluation


Where are mortgage rates heading?

This year, interest rates will continue to rise. We pulled the numbers from the top four financial institutions in order to predict what rates will look like throughout 2017.

During the first and second quarter, rates should be around 4.25%. By the end of the year, rates could be anywhere from 4.5% to 5%.

 


"A 1% increase in rates means a 10% loss in your purchasing power. "

 

What does that mean to you?

Let’s put it this way: A 1% rise in interest rates equals a 10% loss in your purchasing power. That means your monthly mortgage payment will increase by 10%.

If you have any other questions about mortgage rates and how they will affect your 2017 real estate goals, please give me a call at (773) 312-5932 or send me an email at Leigh@MarcusRealtyTeam.com. I would love to help you!

Posted in 2017
Feb. 6, 2017

February Chicago Market Update


What's going in the Chicago market? Today, I'll explain why it's positive for both home buyers and sellers.

Buying in the Chicago area? Click here to get a Full Home Search
Selling in the Chicago area? Get a FREE Home Price Evaluation

The Super Bowl's over and the spring market is in full swing. How does this year stack up with last year?


The number of sales in the Chicago market is already up 18% versus last year, and that's great news. The number of new listings to come onto the market is up 23% versus this time last year as well.

 


"Overall, it's a very positive market."

 

Not only are there a lot more buyers out there than there were this time last year, there are more homes for them to choose from. Overall, it's a very positive market.


The threat of interest rates continuing to rise has brought out buyers and we had a strong December. All of that momentum has carried over into spring.

If I can help you in any way, please give me a call at (773) 312-5932 or send me an email at Leigh@MarcusRealtyTeam.com. I would love to help you!

Posted in 2017
Jan. 19, 2017

Failed to Sell the First Time? I Can Help.

Why do I specialize in expired listings? Here are a couple examples
that demonstrate the difference my expertise makes.

Buying in the Chicago area? Click here to get a Full Home Search
Selling in the Chicago area? Get a FREE Home Price Evaluation


Why do I specialize in cancelled or expired listings? To answer that question, let me tell you about a few homes I sold recently which were listed on the MLS with another agent and failed to sell.


As you can see in the video above, the first home is at 939 W Huron St. #103 and was listed with a local broker for 101 days. I then took this listing and sold it within five days for 100% of the asking price.


"This is the difference I can make when it comes to expired listings."


The second home is at 1910 W Addison St., Unit G. It was also listed with another broker for 180 days. When I took over the listing, it sold in 22 days for 97% of the asking price.

If I can help you in any way, please give me a call at (773) 312-5932 or send me an email at Leigh@MarcusRealtyTeam.com. I would love to help you!

Posted in 2017
Jan. 7, 2017

When Does the Chicago Spring Market Open?

Spring officially starts in March, but the spring real estate market opens up much sooner.

Buying in the Chicago area? Click here to get a Full Home Search
Selling in the Chicago area? Get a FREE Home Price Evaluation


Spring officially starts in March, but that's not the case for the Chicago spring real estate market.

 

Many times, the spring market here actually starts right after January 1st. There's a whole new set of buyers coming in.


If you're looking to buy a home, there will be more homes coming onto the market. If you're looking to sell a home, there will be more buyers coming out to look at your home.


The spring market actually goes from January to June.





After the Super Bowl in early February, the spring market continues to pick up steam all the way through March, April, May, and sometimes into June. That's why in my eyes, the spring market actually goes from the beginning of January to the end of June.

If I can help you in any way, please give me a call at (773) 312-5932 or send me an email at Leigh@MarcusRealtyTeam.com. I would love to help you!

Posted in 2017