In Defense of Real Estate Broker Commissions

I hear it all the time from home sellers.  “Why do Realtors make so much money?”  I’ve heard a few variants on the sentiment, ranging from the more diplomatic, “Realtors don’t seem to do much work to earn their commission,” to the more direct, “this commission is horse s**t!”   I submit to you, however,… Read More

The Tax Bills Are Here!

The 2015 Second installment real estate tax bills for Cook County have been released as of 10:00am this morning.  For Chicago residents, this bill has been highly anticipated (dreaded) since the 2015 re-assessments were announced.  As I wrote earlier this year, may of you expect to get dinged pretty hard. To see how bad the damage… Read More

City closes $500M redevelopment deal for Old Main Post Office

“This project will create thousands of jobs and generate new economic opportunities for residents in our neighborhoods,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. Source: City closes $500M redevelopment deal for Old Main Post Office Hat tip to the Sun Times for this article on the Old Post Office.  This is exciting news for the South and West… Read More

Closing Costs Part 2 – Title Charges

In the second installment of my series on closing costs, I will tackle title charges.  Generally speaking, when you buy or sell a home, the closing of the transaction takes place at a title company.  The title company has two main roles: 1. escrowee and 2. issuing title insurance.  As escrowee, the title company receives… Read More

Estimate Your Closing Costs – Part 1

If you have ever bought or sold a home, you know that there are all sorts of charges that you incur in addition to the purchase price, which are known to most as “closing costs.”  We all know about them, but estimating the final number can be elusive if you are not familiar with the… Read More

The Five Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Attorney First

How much do you charge? This seems like a no-brainer, but I am surprised at how often people do not ask me during the introduction phone call.  There is no reason to be shy!  No one expects the attorney to work for free, but you need to know that the cost is within your budget.… Read More

How To Hire A Real Estate Lawyer

My friends at avvo.com wrote a nice little guide for those of you who are in the market for a real estate lawyer.  Check out the guide here.  It’s definitely worth checking out if you want an anxiety free way to get some questions answered. Another anxiety free way to get your real estate law… Read More

Emanuel gets the go-ahead to seize Old Main Post Office

Things are getting interesting over at the Old Post Office again.  As I wrote back on February 29, the City is moving to take control of the property to sell it to someone who will develop it.  Mayor Emanuel’s plan received approval from the Community Development Commission.  The City will now seek bids from developers,… Read More

What The Meaning of “As Is” Is

From time to time, I get a contract in the office where the property is being sold “as is.” Sellers rejoice when they accept an “as is” offer, because they feel secure knowing that the 18 year old roof and 15 year old furnace are not going to cost them during inspection. However, as Lee… Read More

Get Your Real Estate Tax Assessment Appeals Ready!

   You probably just received the first installment of your 2015 real estate tax bills, and once the panic over the upcoming second installment subsides, you want to know how to lower that bill. As I talked about a couple of weeks ago right here, some of the assessments went absolutely bananas for 2015, and… Read More