News & Articles

Found 115 blog entries about News & Articles.

 homesmart realty group of orland park logo

The Judy Orr Team joined HomeSmart Realty Group of Orland Park in April, 2014.  HomeSmart Realty Group is the top real estate brokerage in Arizona and we can testify to that since we own a 2nd home in Scottsdale, AZ, and we see HomeSmart for sale signs all over.  The company has been cited as one of the fastest growing brokerages with over 7500 agents in 13 states and 3 countries.

Our prior local independent brokerage was created based on HomeSmart Realty's business model.  I had heard about HomeSmart as soon as I joined that company about 10 years ago.  So when I started receiving e-mails about them franchising nationwide I was already familiar with the name.

I did a lot of studying on them before joining.  It also helped that I was aware of

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It's Thursday and I usually try to find an old post to bring back to life, but I'm writing a new post based on an old post I stumbled across that I wrote in February 2006.  It was titled More Home Buyers Search the Internet First.  I believe when I first wrote it the stats were that around 82% of real estate buyers search the Internet first.  Then I updated it to 90%.  If you do an Internet search you'll see those old stats and a slew of different figures all the way up to 99%.  I feel it's somewhere between 90%-99%.

It's not news that print advertising has died out for real estate

searching for orland park real estate in a newspaperI used to advertise in the Southtown Economist, Sunday edition.  Sometimes they'd offer a deal for the entire weekend and once in a while they'd have open house

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This is yet another "Throw-back Thursday" post that I originally wrote on December 22nd, 2005.  What is written here is the same as today in 2015.  This is based on an article I read and is as follows:

I’m not sure if I agree with all of the findings of the article put out by Broker Agent News, but see if you do.  The article stated that smaller square footage is in.  Not in my Chicago suburbs area.  Hardwood floors out?  Another one I question, although the article talked mainly about laminate wood grain flooring.  Today's laminates are very nice and sometimes I can't tell the difference!  Gas grills that use a tank?  These are usually not left with the home since they are portable.

Awnings were mentioned as being "out."  Although there are some

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woman remodeling orland park home for sale

This is another Throwback Thursday post I wrote in December 6, 2005, that still holds true today.  The link to the Cost vs. Value Report still works and gives you a choice of years to choose from.

Cost vs. Value Report

One of the reports I really look forward to each year is the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) “Cost vs. Value Report“.  This report can help you make your own determination on whether a remodel project is worth it to you and gives you an idea of what you should be able to expect as a return on that investment.

If you’re thinking of doing a remodeling project for the sake of selling your home I would suggest speaking to an agent or home stager before doing anything.  I’ve noticed that sometimes sellers want to do too much

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In 2009 I wrote an article based on an HGTV "reality" show about a real estate sale in Chicago - you can read it here.  Today I read an article from Inman news about real estate and reality TV - check it out here.

When I write my own blog post in relation to a published article I usually go down the original list and write in my own thoughts.  I'm going to tackle it a bit differently today.

Editing and True Reality

Unless you've been interviewed for an article in a newspaper or magazine or have been on a television show, you don't realize how editing can skew your entire interview or the true happenings while filming a show/documentary.

editing orland park real estate informationI've been published many times in local newspapers and The Wall Street Journal Online even published a story

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I rented my first apartment from a distant relative in Blue Island for $75.00 a month.  Sounds like a real bargain, right?  Well, it was in an old building on Gregory St. and had a big living room, large dining room, smallish eat-in kitchen, 3 bedrooms & 1 bath.  Sounds huge.  However, only the master bedroom had an electric outlet. This was in the early 70's.  Also, it was oil heat which was very expensive in the winter, although it was only a winter bill.  And no air conditioning, but I think we had a couple window units.  

Instead of a dining table, we had a ping pong table in the dining room.  We were young newlyweds and had a lot of parties.  I didn't know half the attendees.  We had a White Castle steps away.  And we had an elderly,

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part time agent newsInman News recently published an article titled "Opinion: Why consumer behavior will eliminate the part-time agent,"  written by Tyler Smith (Founder & CEO of Skyslope and a former real estate agent).

I thought this was a great article as so many people will hand what is usually the largest financial investment to someone who is not a career real estate agent, and might only complete a few transactions a year.  Real estate is ever changing and as a full-time, career REALTOR® I study changes in real estate and mortgage lending on a daily basis.  My team and I are out in the field almost every day of the week.  Even on vacation or attending out-of-town seminars, my team and I handle phone calls, e-mails, etc. and do what's needed to keep our transactions

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grant available for Lockport homes for saleThere is a program for buyers of Crest Hill, Joliet and Lockport homes for sale. Home buyers in those towns could qualify for up to $10,000 towards the down payment and/or closing costs. It is The Illinois Building Blocks Program and is being offered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

This program is geared for families that might not otherwise be able to purchase a home because of lack of enough cash to cover closing costs and down payments required to qualify for a mortgage loan. It was created to get rid of the current inventory of vacant homes in these 3 towns, which will help revitalize each town. When a town has a glut of vacant foreclosed properties they become vandalized and continue bringing value down for other properties.

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cleaning your orland park home for saleThis is yet another Throwback Thursday post.  It was originally written on November 29, 2005.  Sellers are still putting their homes on the market for the summer selling season.  We're waiting for two listings to get ready for showings.  The sellers are de-cluttering, cleaning up, painting, etc.

This post goes hand-in-hand with Staging Your Home for Sale.  Even though it was written a decade ago it still holds true for today. The first step to marketing your property is getting it as clean as possible. I'd like this to be an interactive post. I need more tips! Here are a few I've found and I'll keep adding to this.

  • Mr. Clean Erasers - This is great for marks on walls and other things, like the refrigerator. You should wipe the surface down with a
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Throwback Thursday Post - Staging Your Home to Sell

staging your home so it sells quickly and for top dollar

Last week I found an older post that still held true today.  I was told by a "website guru" that it might be a good idea to keep old posts, polish them off if necessary and give them a fresh date.  So I'm trying it.  The truth is, many people won't go back to a post written in 2005 and think it pertains to today's market.  But some posts hold up, as the one below does.

The following post was originally written on November 26, 2005

If you've heard of the term "staging" your home, you're probably wondering how important it really is. I believe it is very important. Buyers continue to get more picky. What this means is that your home has to be the best for the price in order to get an offer.

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