Spring is Here and Buyers are out


Now is the Right Time to contact me about Listing Your Home. Naperville area continues to see a shortage of  homes.  Homes priced right, staged correctly and marketed right sell right away in this market.  Follow my website at http://www.BrokerOfNaperville.com for local updates and current prices.  If you see a home on the market for longer than a few weeks you need to look deeper into why it is one the market.  Knowledge is Power and the right agent makes a difference.  Ariel views continue to be a huge hit with buyers. See all of mine on my featured listings at http://www.BrokerOfNaperville.com

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Spring Market is Here!

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 4.59.07 PM

Now is a great to sell in Naperville and Western Suburbs. I continue to see a shortage of inventory and buyers agents are calling me weekly wondering when I will have a new listing. As a listing agent, my listings are strong and stand out among the rest. Why? Because I guide my sellers start to finish to be prepared as you only have one time to make a first impression. According to many studies and my personal experience, houses SOLD in the first two weeks get more.  Timing is crucial andmany agents do not point this out. There  are buyers waiting for the perfect home right now.  From day one your home must hit the market strong.  From Day one on the market every detail matters including  price. If your home is not priced and staged right it will be ignored and this will be reflected on the selling price.  I am seeing too many price reductions in a hot market.  I have a plan that has been proven successful time after time. Marketing is so important and no expenses should be spared to get TOP Results, Staging is crucial and Pricing your home for Current Market Value will bring you the most.  Choose your agent based on the marketing. DO not choose an agent based on pricing alone as all agents and appraisers (appraisal is crucial as home must appraise out) draw from the same data the MLS.  If  an agent guides you wrong in the asking price your home will be over looked. Initially you will have showings then they will taper off.  You will wonder why others are selling and yours is not.   Prior to listing, make sure everything is done to make your house shine on line.  Remember the wall paper you loved in 1990 and the floral arrangements you made in 1994?  They may  tag your home as dated and buyers simply cant over look so easy changes by sellers that do not cost money.  The homes that linger on the market are often do to their agent guidance or lack of – not the home or seller. Choose an experienced agent that has the expertise to make your home STAND OUT among the Rest. Follow my website at http://www.BrokerOfNaperville for Naperville area and http://www.BrokerTamara.com suburbs. Life is a journey and moving is part of the journey and I am here to help you get the greatest return possible.

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Make your home warm and inviting to boost your home’s value and FASTER SALE.

Make your home warm and inviting to boost your home’s value and FASTER SALE.

Warm, neutral-colored paint is key when staging your home. Fresh paint looks and smells great!

The first step to getting buyers to make an offer on your home is to impress them with its appearance. Home buyers decide in the first 16 seconds if they are interested.

1. CLEAN! First & Foremost
This is top and so important. A cleaning service is great to consider at this time. Redo wood floors. Wipe down doors and down light switch covers. Deep clean and deodorize carpets and clean or remove if not in good shape window coverings.

2. Remove Clutter

House must be clutter free. Start with counter tops. Only keep out the coffee maker and maybe a vase of flowers or live plant for color.

It’s harder for buyers to picture themselves in your home when they’re looking at your knickknacks. Pack up all your personal decor and pictures. You are moving so do not take this personally.

3. Remove some of your furniture

When a room is filled with furniture, it looks smaller, which will make buyers think your home is less spacious than it is. Make sure buyers appreciate every room by removing a few pieces of furniture. Your stager and or agent will guide you.

4. Furniture placement

How rooms flow is important. In each room, create a focal point on the farthest wall from the doorway. In the bedroom, the bed should be the focal point for example. In the living room, it may be the picture window or fireplace. LESS IS MORE. Use your agent/stager will guide you.

5. Add color by adding accessories

Add a vibrant throw, or beautiful accent pillows for the sofa will spruce up a any room and give it a fresh up to date look. Real healthy plants make a big difference too. Make sure all your light fixtures are up to date ( no brass unless solid & classic) will also make a big impact. Details make the difference.

6. Bring warmth to the house

Fresh birch logs in the fireplace, in the fireplace, flowers on the table, a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter or table. Set up, and stage areas with books. A cup of tea on the table near a chair and pretty lamp — help your buyer vision living there. Set out a game of backgammon on a table in the corner. Make the room warm & inviting.

Make your bathrooms richer by updating the shower curtain, towels, and fancy soap dispenser. ( Never leave your personal toiletries items out ). White crisp towels that are new make a great impact.

7. Make the OUTSIDE mint!

As your agent is unlocking the door, your home buyer is looking at every detail closely while standing at your front door. Look closely at this area.

Make sure your lawn looks perfect. Mow your lawn and do not forget to edge. Bright flowers and plants should surround your home’s front entrance way. Finish off by buying a new fresh doormat.

Remember when staging your home that even the best staged home that looks awesome can not sell if it is not priced right. Price and a great marketing plan and a staged home is a ticket called SOLD!

* See my article on pricing your home.Screen shot 2011-05-07 at 12.26.15 PM

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Time is Money in Real Estate

                                                        TIME IS MONEY IN REAL ESTATE


Is  Price really the No. 1 incentive to get people to look at your listing?

$ House

Real Estate Brokers know and  continue to show that when you price a home correctly right from the start will get more showings and a higher  selling price than if you priced your home above current market value just to see what happens.  A educated agent knows there are three very important things to do when listing a home and Price is one of them and can make a break your listing from the start.

The reality is:  When a home is priced too high, you are eventually  forced to  lower  the asking price.   Price reductions sometimes weekly, are a common when a house is not priced correctly from the start.

Studies continue to show, once a property fails to sell at its debut price, the time it spends on the market just encourages  buyers to be aggressive in negotiating and bring lower offers.  TIME IS MONEY.

Price reductions continue to encourage  this aggressive bargaining.  Think about it what does a PRICE REDUCTION mean to you?

If you are serious about selling, NOW is the time to adjust the price to whatever it takes to get the property sold. PRICE ALONG WITH AN AGGRESSIVE MARKETING PLAN AND FULL TIME AGENT WHO IS DEDICATED and FULL SERVICE ARE THE THREE IMPORTANT STEPS.

No one knows where the market is going this UPCOMING YEAR  as we had an amazing start of the year and now the market has slowed in the Chicago Suburbs with listings.  Now is the time to price right and sell if you are ready to sell.

House w:Cash

No one wants to make these hard  decisions, so they do so with a long term plan involved.  Just remember, if your waiting for the market to “turn around” it may be a long road if your a seller. If you are a buyer NOW is the time to enjoy the benefits of home ownership at the right price.  Based on predictions from the financial world if your are going to be in your home for 7-10 years this is your time.


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FHA, Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Lending Guidelines

Yes, FHA is available 2 years after Chapter 7 discharge  ( Bankruptcy) EXCEPT that if there is a foreclosure even if it was “Deed in Lieu”, the rule is 3 years after the foreclosure is complete – meaning generally 3 years from the date of transfer of the deed to the next owner (could be a buyer or the bank if they hold the property).  So people with a foreclosure face a longer wait even if their credit has been reestablished.

This can be confusing as many buyers who have filed bankruptcy and wrapped their home foreclosure “Deed in Lieu” into their bankruptcy BELIEVE that they have not fallen under the 3 year Foreclosure law for lending.  This is not the case.



I believe the 3 year rule was put in place to discourage “strategic defaults”, those are where the homeowner decides it makes business sense to walk away from a property that is underwater, subject to a crushing interest rate adjustment, etc.



Recently, one of my clients were initially given the ok to purchase a home  as they were out of bankruptcy for 2 years, credit was great and they had a good paying job. When the paperwork was filled out they had rolled their “foreclosure” into the banruptcy agreement and did not realize that it would still appear on their records .  So when they asked if they ever had a foreclosure, they answered    “NO” and it was initally missed by mortgage broker. THEY THOUGHT IT WAS “NO” as they were told by their bankruptcy lawyer it was part of the bankruptcy package.  They were told to do this as they were moving out of State and the Real Estate market was slow.  Do not wait to sell just hand your home back to the bank.  

It seemed easy at the time……

Remember….. If it doesnt sound or feel right, take a second look.  Get another opinion.

Can imagine how excited the couple was to be able to now look for a home. This lasted about a week until it appeared to theie new ender that this bankruptcy included a foreclosure. They could not now proceed to look at homes until this was at least 3 years out.

Most would agree that 3 years is short time to qualify for a loan and they should feel lucky to not have to wait 7 years or more. 

When filling for Bankruptcy, Short Sale or Foreclosure,  is so important that you know exactly what you are getting into.  So often people are not educated  on ” Deed in Lieu “and do not realize the future impact.  Before making any decisions make sure you do your homework.  

3 years is not a long time to wait however it can be devastating to a buyer who thinks they only have to wait 2 years.


                                     KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

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Spring is Almost Here!

Spring is right around the corner and now is the time to think about putting your home on the market. Home sales in the West Chicago Suburbs are up 21% from last year and prices up as much as 10% in some areas. What do you think of when we think of Spring?  Flowers and Real Estate!  Image

Now is the time to get the inside ready for the Spring Market.  If I could give one one thing for a seller to do before putting there house on the market is to DECLUTTER.  Yes!  Youare moving and the first you need to do is eliminate the clutter.  This sounds easier than it is as there are so many memories.Image

Clutter can make a home  look and feel disorganized, messy, and stressful.  Clutter can also make it difficult to keep your home clean and it tends to snowball as piles of paperwork and other ongoing projects are moved from room to room to make space for, well, more clutter. The desk seems to be the place where much of your clutter piles up.


Reducing clutter is a way for your home and life to feel cleaner, better organized, and more manageable. Do not wait until you are getting ready to sell to reduce the clutter.  Start now and get a jump on it and enjoy a clutter free home!



Spring is almost here!  Please call me if you are thinking of buying or selling and visit my website: http://www.BrokerOfNaperville.comImage



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Pricing Your Home in Todays Market


What is you home really worth?

The bottom line is it is worth what a ready, willing and able Buyer will pay on any given day. With that said; location of the property is the most important. Location, Location, Location.

 If you are in a good location your home will be worth more than someone with a similar property in an area that is less desirable. The location, style, condition, curb appeal are all important factors; however the most important is the price. NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE PRICE. Have  experienced and reputable Realtor do a CMA on the property and then price it according to the market in your particular area. You best chance to sell your home is to price it correctly from the start; new listings garner the most attention, and if you price it too high in the beginning you may miss the best opportunity you will have to sell your home.

It has been said that you have 3 weeks to sell your home and then time is money.  The longer you are on the market the less money you will get.

An agent will give you the straight facts about pricing, not only what you want to hear.  Todays housing price has to meet what the appraiser will give you also which is current SOLDS in the area.  It does not matter what your active neighbors house price is to the appraiser.  It is the SOLD comps that the appraisers uses so PRICE RIGHT and use a great agent to market and you will have success!

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Why Pricing Matters

Pricing of Your Home right from the beginning.

When pricing your home for sale, initial pricing is crucial.
 Your agent will show you the  Right Price Analysis on your home and we will talk about the current real estate market conditions which change weekly.

But you may not agree…
Do I, or do I not leave room for negotiations?
A home that is priced right in the beginning will bring a higher offer than a home that is negotiated 98% of the time.
Remember, the agent is your guide and expert.  So often, sellers want to tell us their PRICE… or what they need to get out of the home….
They want to start HIGH because they reason:
BUT I can always come down: 

When a seller starts out high, it is a gamble,
statistics show they end up selling the home at a much lower price than they would have sold it for if it had been priced right initially. Yes I have said this before and it is STILL TRUE!
 And it takes MUCH  longer to get this!

Do not be STUBBORN like this blue bird in the cold all alone….
Remember even if your getting showings BUYERS and their agents look at listings that are priced too high, they compare it against homes that are priced right and usually purchase the other home.  THEY DO NOT NORMALLY TRY AND LOW BALL AS THEY THINK YOU ARE NOT A SERIOUS SELLER IF YOUR PRICED WRONG.
Actually, there are always homes on the market that have been listed too high and FSBOs( for sale by owners) that have priced their home too high—this makes selling properly priced homes  always EASIER! Price high and you are used as a comparison.
Now, from prior articles you have heard me talk about improvements and how they are GRAND and
 I’m sure you’ve seen all the articles on how much various home improvements add to the value of your home.  
That’s at best–and they depreciate over time! Improvements like roofing, furnace, air, water heater and windows etc are considered maintenance and help your home sell faster but do not necessarily add value.  GREAT TO HAVE AND A SELLING POINT…… NOT PRICING.
New kitchen, new bathrooms, landscape updates may add value however not the exact cost you paid for it.
 Adding the cost of all the improvements without adjusting for depreciation, your home can often take the price way over market value for your area/neighborhood.
 Even if you get your price you dream of, your home has to appraise and there has to be sales to support the value. 
As I have said before, go ahead and try if you must and really then, who is the expert if you do not value the opinion and proven market stats your agent provides.
BUT can’t we try it for a few weeks? Sure, but you might miss potential prospects.
With this strategy of lisitng to high you may be listing in the summer
And Possibly selling in the winter
 Real Estate Professionals and buyers will notice your home when it is overpriced  and think that one’s overpriced they must not be ready to sell.
They’ll keep that opinion for the life of the listing – even after you lower the price.  Those few weeks can be fatal!  They can be make or break.
How long do you want to be on the market?
Price right from the beginning will bring you more money in today’s market.




                                                              Naperville Illinois Real Estate

                                             Tamara Schuster,Broker

                                        3rd Generation Real Estate Broker

                                        Prudential Elite Naperville, Illinois


                     I am here to help you with all your Real Estate Needs.

                                  Full Service Full Time


                                                                        Bridge downtown Naperville Illinois

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Who Determines the Value of your house?

Who Determines Value of Your House?

This is a price sensitive market. Real Estate is NOT a product. It is a commodity. The buyer determines value. Like stock, the buying public push the price up or down. It is not a question of what the seller wants or has to get, it’s the buyers perception of value that determines what your home sells for. 


Price along with a great marketing plan and internet exposure PLUS an Agent you can count on make a difference whether your home sells or not in today’s market.

Statistics consistently show that homes priced properly out of the gate sell for more than those who believe a higher list price leads to a higher sale price. As the days on market grow for any property, so does the gap between the original list price and final sale price. Ask any buyer which home they feel they have more bargaining power on…the one that has been on the market for 200 days or the one that has been on 20.

Remember fair market value is what other similar homes have sold for. Sold not listed for in the past 6 months or less. Not what you need or want to sell your property for. Buyers could care less what the sellers needs are. All they care about is paying the right price.

My goal is to get the maximum amount of dollars for your home in the shortest time. Understanding how the pricing is determined and pricing right is just the beginning.

Summer is here in downtown Naperville.

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Home not Selling~ Now What!

Here are things to think about if your home is not selling.

1. The Photos aren’t exciting~ in fact they are drab and uninviting. 90% of home buyers start on line looking at homes. If your pictures aren’t maaking a statement they will pass your home over. Think quality.

This is a picture of a condo for sale in Chicago. You can see the details of the wood flooring and the awesome view.

2. There is no “Wow” factor. Today’s buyer is savvy and the homes that look closer to a model home sell quicker and for more money.  Your Realtor can give you some ideas. At minimal clear the clutter and make your home spotless, spacious and attractive.Plants do wonders- real live plants and less is more. It is a PLUS if your entrance way is grand.

This is an example of an entry way that catches your eye. Use your imagination. This picture brings out the detail in the woodwork.

3. It’s overpriced for the neighborhood.
Pricing is crucial. (See my article on prcing your home right.) If your home is priced right, looks great and marketed correctly you will generate more traffic.

4. Hello~ No One Knows Your Home Is 4Sale !
Listing on the MLS and Realtor.com is not enough! Make sure your home is on Trulia, Zillow, Front Door, Yahoo, Relocation Sites, Craigs list, Agents Personal Website, Agent’s corporate website, Realty Trac, EDR and more.


5. Availablity. I know~ it is not easy but you must be able to show your home quickly. Your agent has ideas on how to show your home quickly and with pride.

Tamara Schuster, Broker
Prudential Elite Naperville, IL
www. BrokerTamara.com

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