Triplex condo in Lincoln ParkToday, in a age where you can shop for anything anywhere, it is very important that you know what you want before you start hour home search. 

If you've ben thinking of buying a home, you probably have a list of things that you'd love to have. More importantly, though is a list of things you really need. 

Do you really NEED a farmhouse sink in the kitchen and a built in surround sound system? What you really need to know is how many bedrooms you have and how close to public transportation you are.  The most important thing to know before you even start looking for houses of your dream, is to get pre-approved for your mortgage.

This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a house that's outside of your parameters. 

Then, put…

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When you see the market rising, it’s tempting to price your home even higher than nearby homes that recently sold.

So you tell your listing agent that you want to "test" the market to see if you can get even more for your home. That strategy seldom works unless the market is climbing rapidly.

If you’re looking for a quick, hassle-free sale, you need to decide which is more important - asking more for your home and taking the risk of it not selling for a long time, or asking a reasonable market price and move on to your next home.

Overpriced homes simply take longer to sell. If you’re tempted to “test the market”, remember that the market will test you.

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Negotiations don’t necessarily end when you and the seller sign the contract to purchase.You have the right to have the home you’re buying inspected for soundness, which you can include as a contingency to your offer. That way, if the inspection reveals a serious issue, you and the seller can address it through renegotiations.

During the inspection process, the inspector is required to tell you about the condition of the appliances, heating and cooling, electrical and plumbing systems, foundation, roofing, exterior materials and so on. Most sellers expect to make reasonable repairs and replacements if the inspection reveals an issue that wasn’t obvious when you first agreed to terms.As long as communication remains open and civil, the seller should…

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You may have heard the term but don't quite understand what a pocket listing is.

Marketing a home takes time and preparation for the seller and the listing broker. The seller needs time to prepare the home for sale - declutter, paint, stage the home and so on. The listing broker needs time to present the listing to the MLS with photos, tours and descriptions.

Until the listing agreement is signed, the home stays “in the pocket” of the broker, who is free to contact trusted agents and their own qualified buyers and tell them the home is coming to the market. Why are pocket listings useful? The broker can sell the listing before competitors learn the home is available. The broker’s buyers benefit because they have the first opportunity to view the…

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