Trying to figure out what to do while your house is being
shown during the busy Spring Market? While here at Morrison Home Team, we won’t
leave you hanging! Here are a few of our favorite Spring events coming up,
perfect to allow you to enjoy the time spent out of your house while it is
being shown! (Disclosure: if your house isn’t on the market, you can still enjoy
Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show, until March 24.
This yearly event is best enjoyed while it is cold and dreary outside so you can better relish in the warm temperatures of the green house and the brilliant colors of 10,000+ orchids in bloom! Don’t have time to go during the day? Stop by for Orchids After Hours on Thursdays and enjoy tropical drinks and light bites while you explore the show. More information about the event here: https://www.chicagobotanic.org/orchid
Ice Skating in Millenium Park and Maggie Daley Park, until March 10.
Because sometimes during March in Chicago, it’s not warm
enough to run around in the parks…For another week, the ice skating rink at
Millenium Park and ice skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park are still open! If
you’re looking for a beautiful view of the city, something to do with the kids,
and hot chocolate nearby, stop by these venues before the weather warms up.
This science and art themed, innovative pop up museum exhibition has completely enraptured the city (you have probably seen some photos on Instagram). The idea is to get you to interact with everything and you will have fun doing it! We recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time, which you can find here: https://wndrmuseum.com/https://wndrmuseum.com/
Fest, March 15-17
If you are in the Northwest Suburbs, take the weekend of St. Paddy’s Day to enjoy Barrington’s Celtic Fest just outside of McGonigal’s Pup in downtown Barrington. For the free admission you can expect live music, Irish goods being sold, Irish dancers, bag pipers, and plenty of food and drinks! See more information here: https://365barrington.com/events/barrington-celtic-fest-march-15-17/
If you are interested in learning about events going on every weekend, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive our Weekend Roundup every Thursday in your inbox!
When it comes to buying or selling a home, here at Morrison Home Team, we are experts. Our goal is to help our clients get as much value for their dollar. Below, we outlined a few things to keep in mind in order to get there whether you are buying or selling your home.
Things to Keep in Mind While Buying a House
Get Your Finances in Order
Obviously buying a home is a big financial decision. Before you even start looking, your Morrison Home Team agent can refer you to a trusted mortgage lender who can help you figure out your budget based on several financial factors. Using this knowledge, you can focus on looking at houses that you can comfortably afford. Another tip we recommend is not making big purchases prior to buying a house because it could result in your lending ratios changing. Therefore, try to avoid buying a new car or signing as a cosigner on anything that could really affect your debt and credit level.
Be Open Minded
This is something that is always easier said than done when it comes to house hunting. That is why you need a Morrison Home Team agent to be able to see the diamond in the rough (aka the house’s potential). This principle also is important when figuring out what you are looking for in a house. We suggest creating a list of “must haves” and “want to haves”. Make sure to keep your non-negotiable “must have” list brief but specific, otherwise your MHT agent will have a hard time narrowing down homes for you to look at.
Consider Resale Value
This is an aspect of selling that we always recommend to our MHT clients. Whether you are buying a temporary home or your forever home, at some point, these homes will go back on the market. Our goal is to get you as much bang for your buck as possible. That being said, we always tell our clients to consider things such as location or floor plan. Location concerns factors such as is the property situated on a busy road or is it near transportation. We suggest considering the floor plan to make sure that while the home may be perfect for your family, will it be perfect for others as well? Finally, if an area is desirable, it means that more people will want to buy your house in the future, hopefully allowing for a higher resale value.
Things to Keep in Mind While Selling Your House
Stage Your Home to Sell
We are big believers in the power of staging your home prior to listing it. As part of our services here at MHT, we recommend professional stagers who will help to clear away clutter, brighten up the space, make it appear larger, and ideally, help the house sell faster. If you want more information on staging your home, check out our other blog posts on the topic: MHT’s Show-Ready Checklist & Staging Your Home to Sell
Be Flexible with Selling Times
The best way to sell your house is to allow people to come see it! It is also important to note that a lot of people look at houses during inconvenient times such as after work or on weekends, since that is when they are free. While they could really get in the way of schedules, we recommend being as flexible as possible. The more people who see your home, the higher the probability that someone will buy it! At MHT, we always suggest our clients keep their homes show ready at all times, so they can be available at a moment’s notice. We understand that this can be hard with pets and children at home, so we have written a blog post about this as well: How to Stage Your Home With Pets
Be Willing to Negotiate
While your Morrison Home Team agent is an expert negotiator, it is important for our clients to be willing and open to it. We recommend having a bottom line in mind and keeping a short list of non-negotiables handy. After that, though, be willing to stretch your negotiation limit to fulfill what the buyer is looking for. The end goal is to sell your home and we can’t get to that goal without reaching a mutual agreement.
We hope that this advice has helped anyone looking to buy
or sell their home! Do you know someone going through this process currently? Please
pass this post on to them!
Morrison Home Team of @Properties in Barrington. For business inquiries, contact John Morrison at 847.409.0297 or via email at email@example.com.
On the heels of the wildly popular Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, we thought it would be very beneficial to go over a few ways to declutter your home while it is on the market. These things will not only help your home look well cared for, but will also help your packing process prior to moving! Here is what we suggest:
Go Through Personal Items
We often tell our clients that the more they are able to “depersonalize” their home, the easier it is for prospective buyers to visualize themselves in it. Take this as an opportunity to go through photos that are on display on walls or refrigerators and take down extra photo frames on shelves to make them appear larger. These are just a few ideas on how to not only make the place look cleaner, but also allow buyers to feel more at home in, hopefully, their future home!
Declutter Your Décor
It’s time to implement the “less is more” rule. Take a
walk through your house and decide where you can take away decorative pillows
on beds and rid the room of too many patterns. We often suggest our clients
also neutralize their color palates by decorating and painting in greys and
whites so the décor does not take away from the beauty of the home. This is a great
way to make the entire space feel light and airy upon entering.
Clear Off Your Counters
This may seem like an obvious step to cleaning your home, but sometimes “tidy” and “clear” are two different things. Tidy is, perhaps, your toothbrushes on the bathroom counter in a cup. But if you want the space to seem larger and cleaner, we suggest putting the toothbrush cup in a cabinet. The same goes for pencils on a desk, even salt and pepper shakers on a kitchen counter. People want to see what the space looks like without distractions and going around with a fine-toothed comb is a good way to do it.
We hope these quick clean up tricks have sparked some ideas
(and joy!) on how to better prepare your home to sell. If you know anyone
currently going through the home selling process, please pass this information
on to them!
If you are in need
of home buying or selling services, please contact John Morrison with Morrison
Home Team at 847.409.0297.
Calling all first-time home buyers! Or anyone who hasn’t bought a house in a while! Or anyone who wants to learn anything new about buying a house! We know the process can get confusing, but here at Morrison Home Team, we want to dispel as much of that confusion as possible. To do that, we made a list of vocabulary words to help you understand the home buying and closing process! No, we won’t make you spell it, give us the form of speech, and use it in a sentence on your next test…but we think it will aid your entire process!
little bit self-explanatory term, but this is where you make a bid on a house
that you want to purchase. After this happens, there is usually a negotiation
process before an agreement is reached between you, the buyer, and the seller
to purchase the home.
Contingent: When the offer has been accepted, but the finalized sale is based on certain criteria. Usually this is the appraisal, home inspection, and mortgage rate approval. Both the buyer and the seller can set these criteria.
We always make sure to hire a professional inspector to come around to the
house and make sure every little thing is in pristine condition. As that is not
usually the case, your Morrison Home Team agent will help you determine the
cost of fixing the things that might need to be improved, and you can include
that in your final negotiation before signing the contract.
Appraisal: Speaking of appraisal, this is when a professional appraiser comes by to determine the value of the property you are purchasing. The selling agent will pull comparison homes that have recently sold in the area and the appraiser will consider those and everything else from how the home has been taken care of to the improvements that have been made recently. The goal is to have the value of the home match your offer.
Congratulations! You made it over all of the hurdles and you are officially
going to own your new home! The closing is when you will be signing the papers
for the property in your name. This is when you finally get the keys and can
begin your move in process!
We hope that helped explain a bit of the home buying
process, but of course, if you have any more questions, please contact your
Morrison Home Team agent!
Do you know anyone
starting the home buying process? Please forward this on to them! For more
information, contact John Morrison with Morrison Home Team at 847.409.0297.
Here at Morrison Home Team of @Properties, we love Chicago and we love the Chicago suburbs, but sometimes you just need to get out of the hustle and bustle for a bit.
We polled around for our favorite weekend getaways from Chicago and are excited to share them with you! Looking for the perfect place to relax or bring kids? Read on!
John: Our favorite place to go with the family is Lake Geneva, WI. The town is quaint, quiet, and beautiful and as much fun for my daughters as it is for my wife and I. In the winter, we go up for Winterfest and make sure to check out the Ice Castles. You can look up the dates that they are open online! In the summer, our favorite thing is to rent a boat in Williams Bay and drive the lake for a little while before stopping at Pier 290 for dinner.
Liz: Both of our kids attended Iowa State University for college, so my husband and I have become HUGE Cyclone fans because of it! Even though they have both graduated, we still make time every fall and winter to go back and watch a football and basketball game at their alma mater. It’s a fun family getaway, and we all get to pretend like we are back in college!
Lisa: We are also big Lake Geneva fans! It’s less than an hour from Barrington, so it makes for the perfect place to spend some time–even if it’s just a day. My daughter and I love the year round activities like skiing, boating, and kayaking. If we are looking for a more relaxed visit, we head to the annual art festivals and the Oktoberfest celebrations!
Crystal: My family and I often visit Union Pier, Michigan. It’s a really easy drive at just 60 miles from Chicago. Right next door, New Buffalo has awesome shops and restaurants! We rent a house along the beach (in the summer especially) and enjoy a relaxing weekend to recharge.
Hopefully these have inspired you to get out and around this year!
If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell their house, please contact John Morrison at 847.409.0297.
Here at Morrison Home Team of @Properties, we know you love your pets and we understand that they are another member of your family. But we also know that there are some people who don’t always understand that: Potential buyers. Therefore, we recommend hiding evidence of your pets while your home is on the market. To help make this task seem less overwhelming, we have made this list to help streamline the process and make sure everything is show ready when the time comes to sell your home. We have also provided cute pictures of puppies and kittens to make it more enjoyable.
Get rid of any stains or damages from pets
First impressions are important, which is why eliminating stains and repairing damages is the first step. Stains, especially carpet stains from puppy accidents, can lead to odors, which can deter potential buyers from wanting your home. On top of that, damages to furniture or baseboards (from puppy teeth) can make it look as though the house isn’t cared for. Feel free to ask your MHT agent for a reliable carpet cleaner or contractor to get these tasks checked off.
Clean, clean, clean!
This is obviously vital to making sure your home is show ready whether or not you have pets, but a few extra steps should be taken if you do. We recommend vacuuming the floors and furniture every day to make sure there is minimal evidence of shedding. If you dedicate just 15 minutes daily, then you will always be ready for a last-minute showing! Another area to check often: air vents. Pet hair can get trapped and built up in there, which makes it a great spot to clean them out whenever possible. Finally, if you have an adventurous cat, it would be worth it to dust of shelves frequently.
Tidy up after your pet
Since we can’t tell our dogs and cats to put away their toys, we recommend finding a hiding spot for them during showing times. This will also help your home to generally look less cluttered. A basket next to a crate or hidden in the laundry room is the perfect place to get these toys out of sight and mind.
Be a Super Pooper Scooper
Pick a day, perhaps twice a week, where you venture into the backyard and clean up after your pup. Nothing ruins a day, or the opinion of a home, than if potential buyers decide to walk through your backyard and step in a sizable…present…left just for them!
Air out the house
Sometimes you get used to the scent of having a pet around, but that is the first thing that will hit potential buyers when they walk through your door: the smell. Since we’ve already agreed that positive first impressions are necessary for a positive experience, why not make it a neutral or enjoyable smell? Open up the windows to bring in some fresh air, invest in odor neutralizers, and even bake some fresh cookies if you know that you have a showing later! Taking these measures will ensure that potential buyers have a positive experiences when viewing your home.
Finally: remove the pets for the showing
When the time comes to show the house, do everything in your power to get your pets out of the house. This will eliminate the possibility of a dog barking throughout the showing. Or even worse: if someone is allergic to dog or cat dander, this will eliminate the risk of them breaking out into an allergic reaction! Hopefully this will provide some bonding time with you and your pets while you’re out with them!
We hope this checklist will help eliminate some overwhelming feelings about making sure everything is perfect with a pet while your home is on the market. If you or anyone you know is currently experiencing this, please share this post with them!
While the weather outside might be frightful…it’s still the most wonderful time of the year! ‘Tis the season for ice skating, hot chocolate, bright lights, and spending time with friends and family! We love all of the excitement that the holidays bring, so we are sharing some of our favorite things to do this time of the year:
Our favorite thing to do as a family is go downtown to Michigan Avenue to see the Christmas Tree and the lights. My daughters are always mesmerized by all of the lights and I love the memory that they will have of all of us seeing it together as a family. They also love walking past the window displays at Macy’s on State Street and going inside to see the Christmas tree in the Walnut Room.
Ok I have two things. The first is going to Chessie’s Restaurant in Barrington for dinner during the holidays—the decorations are incredible in the bar area! It really puts me in the holiday spirit. The second is driving to 8 Wescott Drive in South Barrington, and parking out front to watch their Christmas light show! This family decorates their home with over 85,000 lights every other year (it’s on this year!) and puts on a 15-minute show synced up to music. It is so much fun to dress in pajamas, make some hot chocolate, and go watch from the warmth of the car. Just make sure to tell the guard at the gate that you are coming to see the Kazmier Family, you don’t want to miss this!
We head into the city too! It’s most magical when we are window shopping on Michigan Ave or State Street and the snow starts lightly falling. When we get tired of the cold, we head over to Fado for an Irish Coffee to warm ourselves up again!
My family and I always make it a point to grab dinner in the basement at Kelsey Road House during the holiday season. They go to such great lengths for their incredible festive décor, it is crazy!
Other Fun Holiday Activities:
Until January 6 at Navy Pier. Festivities include: indoor ice skating, rides, giant slides, holiday decor, climbing walls, mini golf, and cookie decorating! This is a ticketed festival, but you can buy them online for $20!
Until December 24 in Daley Plaza. Shop handcrafted goods, enjoy traditional German food, and don’t forget you mug of spiced wine!
Lincoln Park Zoo Lights:
Until January 6 at Lincoln Park Zoo. Watch the zoo transform into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights and displays, and even a light show set to music!
Ice Skating in Chicago:
Skate at Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, and Wrigley Field (also known as Gallagher Way).
Long Grove Vintage Holidays:
Saturdays and Sundays until December 22 in Downtown Long Grove. Festivities include: Horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, Mr. and Mrs. Claus visits.
Happy Snow Day! Today we are bundled up here at Morrison Home Team and bringing you a blog post about ways to adjust your home buying and selling techniques for the chilly season ahead.
Winter Tips for Sellers:
All is Clear, All is Bright
No one is looking for an adventure when they are walking up to your front door, so make sure it isn’t a treacherous path. Be sure to clear walkways and driveways so there is no risk of slipping, and consider laying down salt to keep the snow and ice melted. Also, lighting up the outside of the house is a brilliant way to make people feel welcome, and to help people see walkways at all hours, since the nights are longer now.
Who says you can’t have lights inside too? These add so much to this already warm basement space at our listing on 2 Far Hills Road in Barrington Hills!
Baby It’s Cold Outside
…But it doesn’t have to be inside! Keep the thermostat set to a warm temperature to make it a lovely oasis for everyone walking into your home from the freezing outdoors.
Deck the Halls!
Whether or not you decorate for the holidays, it is always a great idea to add extra cozy elements in your home. A chunky knit throw on a couch, or a fluffy comforter on the bed give the illusion of a warm and intimate space that will draw people in. Throw a few logs in the fireplace (even if they aren’t burning) and turn on some flameless candles to add to the cozy winter ambiance. If you’re really feeling the holiday spirit, bake some chocolate chip cookies for buyers to enjoy while they tour! Your home will smell wonderful, and they will definitely appreciate the fresh baked goods.
We love the coziness emitted from this stone fireplace in the living room at our listing at 716 Bark Court in Lake Barrington! The wooden beams on the vaulted ceilings also give the home a rustic feel.
Winter Tips for Buyers:
Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful
Indeed it is! Be respectful to the owners of the properties you are visiting and remove or cover your shoes upon entering. With all of the snow, mud, and wet weather we see yearly, this is an appreciated action!
Do You See What I See?
To be honest, sometimes snow is magical and stunning, but other times its dirty, drab, and gray. When you’re searching for a house this season, keep in mind that most homes might not all be in the best shape to show off their curb appeal in the middle of the winter. This is when using your imagination will come in handy. What would this home look like in the middle of spring when the grass is green and the flowers are blossoming? Or, even better, how could you make this home cozy and welcoming in the winter, if you decide to buy it? We believe in seeing past the flaws and keeping your mind open to find the best option for you.
We are happy to say that our listing at 25143 N Cayuga Trail in Lake Barrington shows off it’s beauty very well in the winter!
Help to Make the Season Bright
It is important to remember that winter weather can be quite unpredictable and sometimes problems with that can arise. Be willing to be more flexible over this season than others when it comes to house hunting. Maybe the weather will prevent you from seeing a home so you have to reschedule a showing, or a heavy snow has led to a power outage so the home owner is forced to reschedule. Keeping a calm and understanding demeanor when these situations happen will save your sanity and make the process less frustrating!
We wish you all a happy holiday season, and happy house hunting as well! If you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell a house, get in touch with John Morrison and the Morrison Home Team today!
With the weather turning cooler, here are Morrison Home Team, we like taking some time to ourselves to cozy up with a good book after a day of work. Looking for a few recommendations? Here are our favorites:
John: Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray, and Audrey Colman
Photo courtesy of: target.com
Now this might not be the beach read you are looking for, but the story behind this book makes it a favorite for sure:
“As you may be able to tell by now, if I am not working, I am spending time with my 6 and 3 year old daughters. I had agreed to surprise my oldest daughter’s class and be the “Secret Reader” one day and that morning I realized I hadn’t picked out a book to read. Luckily, my wife, Priscilla, came to the rescue and said she had already put a book in the car for me. I didn’t realize it was Walter the Farting Dog until I had arrived at the school…
Needless to say, the class was rolling on the floor, the teacher was a bit perturbed, and I was about 10 shades of red. The girls ask us to read this to them all the time before bed now, and it always has us all cracking up.”
Liz: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Photo courtesy of: barnesandnoble.com
“I love this book! My daughter, Claire, recommended it and it has been a story that has stuck with me ever since. It’s the true story about a young man who ran in the 1936 Olympics, even met Adolf Hitler, and then joined the U.S. Airforce in WWII. His plane was shot down at sea, and he floated on a life raft for 47 days until he was rescued…by Japanese forces and was kept as a Prisoner of War for 3 years. It is the most unbelievable story of survival, courage, and strength. My favorite line from the book is “Sometimes a moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.” Everyone should read this story!
Lisa: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen
Photo courtesy of: barnesandnoble.com
“This non-fiction novel is a fascinating read for someone who lives in Chicago! It spans the years surrounding the building of the famous White City for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and follows the true story of a malicious doctor who murdered hundreds of women in the midst of all of the festivities. Mystery, magic, and murder…you can’t get much more intriguing than that!
Crystal: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Photo courtesy of: barnesandnoble.com
“This story is told from the fascinating perspective of Ernest Hemingway’s wife, set in Paris during the roaring 1920’s. Everyone has heard of Ernest Hemingway and we are familiar with his work, but the life of his wife will have you consistently turning the page. I decided that if I could live in another time period, I would choose 1920’s Paris after reading this book!
Are you looking for a new house to read your favorite book in? Contact John Morrison at the Morrison Home Team at 847.409.0297.