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Allyson Hoffman's Blog

By Allyson Hoffman | Broker in Glenview, IL
  • Making Home Improvements When Selling Your Home

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Chicago, How To... in Chicago  |  October 24, 2013 4:32 PM  |  291 views  |  No comments


    Making home improvements when you are ready to sell your home can be a great way to help it stand out from the competition and attract buyers. Since it is likely that many improvements that could be considered, you’ll want to ensure that you are making the right renovations and not wasting your money. Thus, it is important to determine which renovations provide real benefit in assisting you to sell your home in the shortest amount of time and at the highest price.


    The first area to examine when considering possible improvements is the exterior of your home. Remember that this is what prospective buyers will initially see.  So, if your home appears uninviting or simply run down, a buyer may walk before ever seeing the inside. Focus on repairing problems such as deteriorating paint, torn screens, a shabby front door or mailbox and even cracked driveways and sidewalks. Also, don’t neglect the landscaping.  Time invested in pruning, trimming, removing weeks and mowing the lawn is definitely time well spent when it comes to making a great first impression.


    Once inside your home, it’s worthwhile to consider the condition of the flooring. If you have carpet, is it in good condition? Does your home feature laminate, hardwood, linoleum, or tile flooring?  Today’s buyers frequently prefer quality flooring. If your budget will permit it, consider updating your flooring.  Flooring improvements often return more than the cost of the investment and definitely add to the way your home presents to prospective buyers.  If you are working with a limited budget, then at the very least, make sure all flooring is clean and in as good condition as possible.


    Should you paint the interior of your home or leave it?  Generally, a fresh coat of paint in a neutral warm color such as decorator whites or soft beige is money well spent in preparing your home for sale. Even though you, for example, may love your purple kitchen, prospective buyers may not. Bold personalized colors schemes may cause buyers to feel that they would need to invest too much time, money, and energy in redecorating. New paint can remedy that problem and eliminate the rundown look that often results when the current paint is worn, peeling or is just not the best quality.


    Finally, don’t overlook the importance and appearance of your kitchen and bathrooms. By far, these tend to be the two most significant rooms in the home in terms of renovations. Full renovations can certainly be costly, but even updating kitchen appliances or freshening up the cabinetry with paint and new hardware or a new countertop can make a huge difference in the impression buyers will have when they visit.  Likewise, bathrooms should be sparkly clean with similar updates as those you might consider in the kitchen.  Remember that prospective buyers look at everything from the toilet to the fixtures. So, if your bathrooms are outdated, this could be a good place to apply some of your renovation budget.


    If you are perplexed as to where to start and would like an opinion that will help you to plan and proceed with less stress, please feel free to contact me to set up an appointment to preview your home.  I’d be happy to offer you suggestions designed to help you maximize the value of your home.

    Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
    RE/MAX Villager
    Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs

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    Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate market. 


    Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Make Your Social Network Work For You

    Posted Under: Home Buying, How To...  |  July 25, 2012 6:15 PM  |  301 views  |  No comments
    In this tight economy, many people are having to look far and wide for the right job opportunities.  Which can mean moving to unfamiliar places, a daunting prospect, especially if you have school-age children.  Finding the right neighborhoods and school districts is a vital part of making the experience a good one in the long run.

    To get the information you need to make a good decision, I provide a complimentary relocation assistance program.  But, you may have a fantastic social network, and it’s a perfect time to put it to use.

    I’m talking about Facebook and other social media sites.  If you’re a regular online, let your friends and contacts know where you’re planning to move and ask them for information about the area.  Ask about neighborhoods, schools, local parks and attractions, favorite restaurants and other places that may soon be a big part of your new life.  If your Facebook friends don’t know themselves, maybe they have other friends that do.

    You can do the same thing with other services like Twitter or LinkedIn.  Tweeting something like: “Planning to move to Glenview. What are the best schools in town? #Glenview” is a simple way to solicit information from a variety of people. 

    If you already have a job in the new location, make sure to ask your new company’s human resources department for any assistance they can offer you.  Find out specifics like where you’ll need to go to get your car registered and a new driver’s license.  Churches can be an excellent resource as well.

    Of course, you’re going to want to see your options personally before you make any decision. And you can plan ahead for your scouting trip by using services like Yelp to pinpoint specific shops, services and restaurants that will be important to you. 

    And having prepared before you tour the area with a Real Estate Professional, you’ll be in a much better position to ask specific questions and provide information that will make your search for a new home a much easier and enjoyable experience.

    This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company Photo courtesy public-domain-image.com
  • How to Opt Out of Junk Mail!

    Posted Under: How To... in Chicago  |  June 13, 2012 7:50 PM  |  356 views  |  No comments
    I'm sure that every Skokie resident has, at one time or another, received a “firm offer” in
    the mail. You know, the junk mail that usually come in the form of colorful envelopes
    containing letters full of bold print, all exclaiming that you have been pre-approved or
    pre-selected for a line of credit or a line of insurance.

    It is important for home buyers to know that typocally once you start home shopping and meeting with builders or inputting your information online, your mailbox seems full to bursting with this junk mail!  Be aware that they may also come in the form of sales calls and other forms of direct marketing. Keep in mind, many of these offers are nothing but junk mail, and most if you read the fine print, are actually not as attractive as they sound. Many offers out there could even be considered scams, so it is important you be educated and stay vigilant. Fortunately, however, there is a way to stop receiving these offers from coming to your Skokie, IL home!

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act makes it possible for you to opt out of firm offer lists.
    However, you have to actually do the opting out yourself. If you never specifically state
    that you do not wish to receive firm offers, even if you never requested them in the first
    place, you could be the victim of a jam packed mailbox and a phone that rings off the
    hook. By going through Opt Out Prescreen, you can easily take your name off the list,
    and get rid of firm offers for a very long time to come.

    Once it is received and processed, firm offers are done for good. Here is to a less crowded mailbox and less trees wasted on junk!

  • Is Your Home Safe?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, Home Selling in Chicago, How To... in Chicago  |  July 20, 2011 6:18 PM  |  738 views  |  No comments
    All homeowner's have their family's safety as top priority. And most people feel that their Northern Illinois home is a safe place. When in reality, even if you do take the extra precautions to make it a safe place, you may be surprised at what some of hte common safety hazards are. The good news is that the majority of them have easy fixes. Here are a few common concerns and how to remedy them.

    1. Wiring and electrical cords. Check all electrical appliances, cords, and outlets. Are your electrical appliances in good condition, without loose or frayed cords or plugs? Are your outlets overloaded with plugs from the TV, computer, printer, video game system, and stereo?  Solution: Replace or professionally repair any appliances that spark, smell unusual, or overheat. Replace worn out extension cords, don’t run electrical wires under rugs, and don’t overload outlets or power strips.

    2. Gas leaks and sources of carbon monoxide.  You may or may not smell a gas leak before it is too late, and you will NOT smell carbon monoxide. Solution: Make sure that your gas appliances are serviced regularly. Check any unusual variances on your gas bill – they could be the result of hidden leaks. Invest in a carbon monoxide detector and keep the batteries up to date as you do your smoke alarms.

    3. Cluttered hallways and stairways. It sounds simple, but toys or other items that are left blocking stairwells, hallways or exits can not only provide an obstacle to trip over, but can also prevent a hasty exit in the event of fire or other emergencies. Solution: Simply try to ensure that walkways are clear of any obstructions that can cause accidents.

    4. Toxic chemicals. From severe toxicity like asbestos and lead paint, to daily household cleaners, your home may contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to your family, especially children, the elderly, those with compromised heath and your pets. Solution: If you live in an older home, have it inspected for asbestos and lead. As for household chemicals, try switching to some of the new organic or natural solutions. Always keep any kind of chemical solutions up high and out of reach or locked away.

    5. Recalled products. Many products, especially imported products, are subject to recall and can range from toys and cribs to everyday appliances and vehicles. Solution: Register your household goods and appliances when you bring them home – it’s easy and it ensures that you will receive recall notifications. You can subscribe via email for recalls as well as stay alert to recall information that are broadcast over TV, radio and in print and online.

    ake a little extra time and be sure that your Chicago North shore home is safe for you and your family! Why take the risk!

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