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Allyson Hoffman's Blog

By Allyson Hoffman | Broker in Glenview, IL
  • Leaving Your Emotions at the Door When Selling

    Posted Under: Home Selling, Moving, Home Ownership  |  September 26, 2013 8:54 AM  |  798 views  |  No comments

    When getting ready to sell your home, one of the first and most important steps you can take is to disconnect your emotions. Unfortunately, this is often difficult for many sellers. This can be particularly true when you have lived in your home for a number of years. Even so, it is crucial to the success of selling your home.

     For many sellers, the value of their home is often interconnected with their own emotional attachment to the home. That said, however, it is important to recognize that buyers will not have the same emotional attachment.  Prospective buyers are looking for a house they can make into their own.  As a result, it is imperative that you leave your emotions at the door when preparing to list your home.

     Preparing your home for sale also presents a prime opportunity for de-cluttering your home. Moving can be a tremendous undertaking. If you have lived in your home for many years, the process of packing may seem even more overwhelming. A great place to start is packing mementos and other personalized elements of your home. Although they may present a strong emotional tie for you and your family, they can be distracting for many prospective buyers. When showing your home to buyers, you goal is to help them create a vision in which they see themselves living there. Removing as many personal possessions as possible can help to accomplish that result.

     When consulting with your real estate agent, pay careful attention to his or her market analysis of your home’s value. The suggested listing price provided to you will be based on comparable sales prices of similar homes in your area.  By disconnecting your emotions from the equation, you will be able to price your home fairly and increase the chances of selling sooner.

     Making the decision to sell your home can be challenging. Learning how to put the brake on your emotions will help to streamline the process and provide a more successful outcome.

     If you have any questions about buying or selling, please contact me.  I would be happy to answer any questions about the real estate market and how to make it work best for you.

     

    Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
    RE/MAX Villager
    Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
    847-310-5300
    allyson@allyson.com

    Get your latest Home Value
    Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

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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 markets.


     Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Planning Ahead to Save on Moving Costs

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, Home Selling in Chicago, Moving in Chicago  |  April 4, 2013 7:37 AM  |  688 views  |  2 comments

     

    It’s easy to get nickel-and-dimed with moving expenses if you’re not paying attention. That’s why taking some time to plan ahead is so crucial. Here are some things you can do to save hundreds of dollars, or even thousands, in the actual moving process.

     

    Get free moving boxes.

     

    Visit local businesses and ask a manager if they can give you shipping boxes that would otherwise end up in the dumpster. Many stores selling dry goods (bookstores, electronics stores, clothing retailers, grocery stores, etc.) receive a truckload of sturdy boxes at least weekly. 

     

    If you must buy boxes, go to the store to get them. Moving companies can charge up to $50 each for some types of boxes!  But many companies also provide those same boxes free if they actually pack for you.  The cost of packing might well be offset by the free boxes if you had to pay for them.

     

    Get free packing materials.

     

    Contact family, friends and neighbors for newspapers, cardboard and air packs or packing peanuts left over from personal deliveries. All can be used to cushion your breakables and make your moving experience free from mishaps (like cracked stemware). Most folks will be happy to put these things aside for you … and recycling is almost always better than throwing things in the trash.

     

    Comparison shop your moving company.

     

    Pricing moving companies and checking costs against what services are included can ensure you’re getting the most for your money. In addition, word-of-mouth referrals are among the most reliable sources for helping to narrow your selection down to a few good choices.  Ask for company references and check with past patrons for their assessment of their moving experiences.

     

    Decide what large items to haul, which to sell, and which to trash.

     

    After you’ve priced moving companies, you can make decisions about your heavy items. Depending on the per pound price quoted by the movers, it might actually save you money to replace some of those larger pieces rather than moving them. That may be great news for those who enjoy redecorating or desperately need to update hand-me-down furniture!

     

    Once you’ve determined what is not worth hauling, you can consider holding a moving sale or listing the items individually in the classifieds or on Craigslist. The sale profits can be used to purchase some new pieces for your new home.

     

    If there are items that simply won’t sell and aren’t worth hauling, you can also consider donating those things to women’s shelters, thrift stores, churches, college kids, etc.  These donations may also provide you tax deductions.

     

    These small steps will take mere minutes. But, you’ll be glad you planned ahead when you have some extra cash to spend feathering your new nest!   If I can assist you in making that move from your current location to your new dream home, let me know and I’ll be happy to prepare a customize plan tailored to your precise situation!

     

     

    Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
    RE/MAX Villager
    Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
    847-310-5300
    allyson@allyson.com

    Get your latest Home Value
    Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

    Let’s Connect, Socially!

    Facebook
    Twitter

    LinkedIn

    Google +1


    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 markets.

     

  • Organizing for Moving Day

    Posted Under: Moving  |  February 22, 2013 6:20 AM  |  362 views  |  No comments

    Moving to a new home, whether across town or across the country, is always a major endeavor.  And it can be an enormous and expensive enterprise.  If you're planning to sell and move in the near future, here are some ideas that can help you save time and money.  In addition, you'll have some protection in case something gets damaged or lost during the move.

    1.       Label all boxes and items with the name of the destination room.  Use big, bold lettering in permanent marker.  You can make the system even better by color coding.  Lettering in red might indicate boxes bound for the kitchen, while green could be the garage and blue an office.

    2.       Be sure to clearly mark boxes containing fragile items like glassware, or boxes that must always be kept upright to prevent shifting and breakage.

    3.       Give each box and item a number.  And keep a list of all the numbers and note about the item or general contents of the box and the destination room.

    4.       Use a cell phone to photograph each box or item.

    All of this extra work will be immediately beneficial when the movers arrive.  You'll have given them clear guidance as they unload, perhaps saving time and money.  Additionally, you'll know where to look for specific items when you want to find them.   Should something be misplaced or damaged during the move, your specific documentation and photos will be ready to present to the moving company.

    These ideas amount to taking inventory of the things you're moving.  While no one needs more paperwork during such a busy time, the trade-off may be worth the effort.   You can gain peace of mind by making the process of setting up your new home smoother, possibly save money and provide the documentation of your household goods for homeowner’s insurance.  So give yourself a break:  Buying a new home, selling an old home and making a move are already tough work.

    Feel free to check out our additional moving tips or our complimentary relocation service.

    Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
    RE/MAX Villager 
    Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
    847-310-5300
    allyson@allyson.com


    Get your latest Home Value
    Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

    Let’s Connect, Socially!

    Facebook
    Twitter
    LinkedIn
    Google +1

    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 markets

    **

    This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

  • Tips for an Easier Move in Chicago's North Shore

    Posted Under: Moving in Chicago  |  April 11, 2012 7:39 PM  |  849 views  |  No comments
    Not only is moving frustrating but it can be very time consuming, too! However, here are some helpful tips to help you get organized for a smooth and efficient move to your new Chicago North Shore home.

    1. Change your address and notify companies before you move. Start by filling out a change of address form in advance of your move. Doing this ahead of time can help you to avoid hassles like past-due bills, service lapses and even identity theft. It is also a good idea before you move to set dates to discontinue your utilities at your old address as well as arrange for these services to be turned on at your new address.

    2. Create a moving schedule.
    It is a good idea to set up a moving schedule a few months before you move. Set it up as a week-by-week checklist to manage the process and help to stay on track. A moving schedule helps you to keep track of the little details or things that may be over looked, thus helping you to avoid last minute headaches.

    3. Establish a packing system.
    Packing is a major time consumer so think about coming up with a packing system so all of your boxes end up in the right rooms when they get to your new home. Many professional movers recommend that you use the color code system where you color code each box with a particular room to avoid any confusion with the movers. It is also helpful to give your movers a floor plan of  your home with each room labeled.

    4. Get rid of unnecessary items.
    The less boxes you pack the less you have to move and finally unpack. So it makes sense to thoroughly go through your items and get rid of the things you just don't need. Items such as unread books, half-empty cleaning products, clothes that you know you wont wear again should be given away to charity or sold at a garage sale. You don't want to bring the clutter to your new home!

    Contact us for more information and tips on how to make moving easier, we would love to help!  Do you have a moving tip that helped you? Share it here!


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  • Moving and Kids

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, Moving in Chicago  |  April 4, 2012 6:03 PM  |  711 views  |  No comments

    Finally decide to purchase that dream home you've been looking at? It can be very stressful to move, there’s so much to do! You’ve got to pack and unpack, notify the Post Office of your change of address, do closing paperwork on the home you’re selling and the home you’re buying in the North Shore, hold last minute yard sales, etc. It seems like a lot, and it is, but  here’s a great checklist to help you get it all straight two months prior to your move. 

    Now, what about your kids?  If you’re stressed out, imagine what’s going on in their young minds:  Will I make new friends?  Will I hate the school?  Does anyone else like baseball as much as I do?  How far away is McDonalds?  I’ll never remember my new phone number, address, locker combination…  They won’t be concerned about the same things as Mom and Dad.  They will worry about things that directly affect them. 

    How do you settle your children’s nerves during a move to your new Chicago, Illinois home?  Give them an opportunity to participate by working on small projects that address their own personal needs.  Children of any age can help pack boxes.  Have them label their own boxes so they get placed in their new room in the new house.  Have them draw out a plan for their new room, or make a list of things they want to learn from their parents about their new town before they get there. 

    Pack plenty of music, movies, and games if you have a long cross-country drive to your destination.  Keeping kids entertained when cooped up in a car all day goes a long way in soothing their nerves as well as Mom’s and Dad’s.  Once you arrive, here are some great ideas for the whole family once you get settled in.


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  • Save On Moving Costs

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, Moving in Chicago  |  August 24, 2011 7:49 PM  |  1,150 views  |  No comments

    When buying a new North Shore home, there are many different costs that must be factored in. There are things like closing costs, inspection fees, utility hook up costs, and so on. Since there are so many costs, it is extremely important to save money when you can, such as when you move into your new Northern Illinois home. Below are some cost cutting tips to help you do this.

    Moving your belongings yourself is going to be a big money saver but it may not always be possible. If you do plan to use a professional service, be sure to shop around. As with any professional service, it is a good idea to do your homework and get at least three estimates. It's important to remember that the cheapest service may not always be the best value. Check references, ask questions, look for red flags and do your homework before deciding on a moving company to avoid being scammed.

    Be creative and use your own packing supplies. Most moving companies will charge big fees for supplying packing supplies. You can save big money by being creative and using items you already have to pack. Things like suitcases or plastic bins are great for packing clothes or other small items. Consider using linens and towels to wrap breakable items. Instead of paying for boxes, start collecting free cardboard boxes from local stores as well as newspaper for packing.

    Look for discounts. If you are using a professional service, be sure to ask about all available discounts. Some movers will give discounts if you are able to give the mover some room when it comes to pickup and delivery dates. If possible, give the movers a span of three to five days when they can pick up the load and three to five days when they can deliver. Be sure to ask about hidden costs such as if the mover has to go up stairs or if there are accessibility problems on arrival.

    Pack It Yourself. Having a moving company pack your items is expensive-sometimes up to or more of 25% of the moving cost. Something to think about is to do a partial pack where you pack things like your clothing, linens and then have the mover handle the breakables.

    /kh

  • Packing Tips for a Smooth Move

    Posted Under: Moving in Chicago  |  April 27, 2011 6:58 PM  |  940 views  |  3 comments

    Packing seems to be the most dreaded task for people when they are moving to their Northern Illinois dream home located in Chicago North Shore,  North and Northwest Suburbs.  Done right by organizing and making a plan, it can be a lot less stressful.

    Here are a few tips to get you started:

    ·     Plan ahead and budget for the move. Will you be moving yourself or will you require the assistance of a moving company? If you are planning to use a moving company it’s a good idea to price this out ahead of time by using a moving calculator.

    ·     Make sure you have plenty of the following: strong packing boxes (more than you think you will need), markers and tags to label boxes, rolls of packing tape, bubble wrap for fragile items, packing paper, scissors and a knife for opening boxes.

    · Pack room-to-room keeping similar items together.

    · Use smaller boxes for heavier items so it is easier to lift.

    · You can use towels, linens and curtains to line the bottom and sides of boxes with fragile items. All fragile items should be individually wrapped. Clearly mark these boxes FRAGILE.

    · Make sure that any opened boxes or jars are tightly sealed before packing them.

    · Use colorful tags to identify the contents of the box and which room it will be taken to in your new home.

    · Pack any rugs last so that they will be the first thing unpacked and placed in the home.

    · Make a master list of all household items and personal belongings.

    Finally pack a box with all the essentials and mark it “Open Me First”. This box may contain items such as: a few basic tools (flashlight, pocket knife, masking tape, light bulbs), bathroom essentials (toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes & paste, hand towel), Kitchen items (paper towels, coffee maker & filter, paper plates, cups, utensils, pet food, trash bags).

    If you plan ahead and take these tips into consideration, it will be a lot less overwhelming for you. So do your research and make a plan and happy packing and enjoy your new home!


    /kh

     

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