Category Archives: Buying a House

Inspirational Kitchens

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Kitchens: the heart of the home, the gathering place, where some of the best memories are made. Or maybe, here at MHT, we just love to cook and eat! So today we are showing off just a small sample of the incredible kitchens featured in our listings. Want to see more than the kitchen in these lovely homes? Let us know! We would be happy to show you around.

Between the brick fire place, beam ceilings, statement hood, painted cabinets, and exterior access…we simply can’t pick our favorite part of this kitchen at 2 Far Hills Road in Barrington Hills! Contact John Morrison.


Light and bright in every which way. We love how the stunning tile back splash coordinates with the quartz countertop island. Not to mention everything in this kitchen (and home!) is completely brand new…Contact Liz Sincox to see this home at 200 W Station Street in Barrington.


Looking for inspiration for something more unique? These copper countertops at our listing on 570 Aberdeen Road in Inverness are just the thing! Not to mention the light butterscotch color of the cabinets and stone tile floors…just the things to make you feel warm and cozy upon entering. Contact John Morrison.


And we can’t be writing about kitchen envy and leave out this incredible space at John’s listing on 21923 N Old Barrington Road in North Barrington. We can’t get over the oversized island, massive butler’s pantry (which you can see on the left side), or the coffered ceilings…this one you have to see in person.


A modern take on a classic, English Tudor at Liz’s listing 61 Brinker Road in Barrington Hills. Two islands, high end appliances, and an open concept into the Hearth Room…this kitchen (and home!) is a dream!


A study in a classically beautiful kitchen: 308 S Cook Street in Barrington. You’ll find us oohing and ahhing over the contrasting cabinets and counter tops as well as the perfectly flowing floorplan throughout the home…Contact John Morrison.

If you love these kitchens online, then you will REALLY love these kitchens in person! Contact your Morrison Home Team agent to tour the whole house.

Key Things to Keep in Mind When Buying and Selling Your Home

By | Buying a House, Selling a House, Uncategorized | No Comments

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.

You can find this gorgeous home at 28436 Heritage Oaks, listed by Liz Sincox

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.

This home at 748 Prairie Ave in Barrington is in a prime location walking distance to schools and downtown Barrington! Contact John Morrison for more information.

Things to Keep in Mind While Selling Your House

A great example of a beautifully staged home that shows off the size and versatility of the room. Contact Liz Sincox to see this house on 141 Pheasant Trail in Deer Park.

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.

Looking for a stunning, unique home in Barrington Hills? Contact John Morrison for more information about his listing at 2 Far Hills Road.

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

Home Buyer Vocabulary

By | Buying a House, Uncategorized | No Comments

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!

Showing off a few of our listings that are available to buy! This sweet ranch at 244 Elm Rd in
Jewel park is beautiful! Contact: John Morrison

Offer: a 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.

This private listing at 131 W Station is just steps from downtown Barrington! Contact John Morrison

Home Inspection: 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.

Another village beauty! Contact Elizabeth Sincox to see this recent remodel of a historic home at 126 Raymond Avenue

Closing: 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.

Happy Holidays, Happy House Hunting!

By | Buying a House, Selling a House | No Comments

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!

The Danger Of Buying A Home Without First Getting An Inspection

By | Buying a House | No Comments

Some purchases can be over-deliberated. We can waste valuable time weighing the pros and cons, consulting with others, and needlessly researching. While this may be true for purchases made in the grocery store or on Amazon, this is not the case when buying a home. Specifically, when putting an offer on a home, there are some steps that should not be rushed, like neglecting to have the prospective home inspected.

In today’s competitive housing market, home buyers want to do all they can to make their offer seem as attractive as possible. Some will even go as far as skipping the inspection — this is especially true for those who view a property, form an emotional attachment, and feel like they can’t go on without being able to call the place “home.” If you are considering doing this, we’re here to advise you against that. Below are some reasons why not to waive your inspection.

Not All Problems Are Visible

Imagine this: you’ve found the one. You’re sure of it. Your real estate agent just gave you the tour, and as you’re leaving the property and another couple is walking in to view “your home,” you feel the pressure and the window closing. You turn to your partner and say, “We have to have this house!” So you call the next day and put in an offer, skipping the home inspection.

Here’s the problem with this. Fast forward six months. You got the home! But it turns out that your dream home is having some heating issues. You didn’t notice it when you bought during the summer. But now that fall has arrived and winter is creeping in, it’s clear that something is wrong. You call your local HVAC contractor, and he tells you that unfortunately, the situation is about as bad as it can get. But he tries to offer some assurance by telling you that for a whopping $20,000, it can be replaced and fixed before winter arrives. Uh oh. This is something that could’ve easily been found by a licensed home inspector. 

Here are some alternative solutions to avoid this problem:

Pre-sale Inspection

If you are sold on a home, have it inspected before signing a contract. The worst case scenario is that you pay for this inspection, find out more than you need to know, and don’t end up purchasing the home. While you might lose a few hundred dollars, you’re much better off than buying a house with hidden, costly problems. If the home passes the inspection, you can then waive the inspection contingency.

Seller Inspection

Oftentimes before listing the home for sale, the seller will have the home inspected. This is done for the purpose of ironing out any potential problems in advance or to give buyers a direct and transparent listing. This type of inspection allows the seller to avoid future negotiations. The one downside to this, however, is that in most cases, the inspector is only liable to the party who requested the inspection, not the new owners.

Buying a new home is exciting. Don’t let this excitement cloud your judgment and skip your home inspection. If you want help finding your dream home, contact the experienced real estate agents at Morrison Home Team. Whether you are buying or selling a home, our team of Barrington real estate agents leverages their years of insight to offer invaluable guidance throughout the entire process. View our real estate listings here, check out our extensive guide to home buying, and contact us today with any questions — 847-448-1676.

Why to Buy and Sell Your House in the Fall

By | Buying a House, Selling a House | No Comments

When it comes to the housing market, the general consensus is to buy or sell in the Spring and Summer, since that is the busiest time for real estate. While it’s true that the warmer months tend to see more action, that doesn’t mean that you should omit fall and winter completely! Why not continue your buying and selling process when the rush has died down and you are able to take your time and make the best decision for you and your family?

John and the Morrison Home Team, believe that Fall and Winter are the best, secret times to buy or sell. We broke down the reasons for both buyers and sellers below:


Fewer people searching for houses

Like we mentioned, spring and summer are the busy, busy times in the real estate world. But in the fall? We tend to see a fewer number of buyers actively searching. This trend continues through the winter, until the cycle picks back up again in the spring (by the way, our Spring Market starts the first week of February). So why not use this to your advantage? With fewer buyers, John and your Morrison Home Team broker can devote more time to you and your needs. The other perk? There is a lower chance of someone going up against you in a bidding war on your dream home!

This incredible home at 63 Brinker Road looks even more incredible in the fall foliage!

Sellers are serious

This is a huge plus when it comes to fall purchasing. With a smaller number of houses on the market, more often than not, it means that these sellers aren’t experimenting or “just trying to see what they can get” for their house. They are truly looking to sell, which will make the negotiation and closing process so much easier, since both parties are 100% interested in closing the deal! And if coffee is for closers, then we want that coffee!


Competition leaves the market

Since Spring and Summer are such hot months to have your home on the market (literally and figuratively), we tend to see a lot of the remaining homes leave the market for the colder months. Therefore, there is less competition when buyers are searching for their dream home. Now is the time for your house to stand out from the crowd and for sellers to have more of a chance to achieve the sale that you have been looking for!

This village listing at 200 W Russell Street is a great spot to jump on as the leaves change!

Buyers are serious

Much like the fact that you, as a seller, are more serious, buyers are as well! They aren’t just “shopping around” to see what they can find. If they are out and about, trudging through chilly rain, snow, and freezing temperatures, they are serious about buying! Use this to your advantage to negotiate a deal that will satisfy both parties and you will be very glad you kept your home on the market during this time!

Are you thinking about starting your home buying process this fall? Contact John Morrison or another Morrison Home Team broker to get started!

The Dos and Don’ts of Buying a House

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Buying a house can be exciting, intimidating, exhilarating, and exhausting…all at the same time! Our job at Morrison Home Team is to make this transition as quick and easy as possible. Here are some of our best tips when searching for a home, whether you’re a first time home buyer or a seasoned veteran.

Do: Visit several houses before buying

While it seems like a bit of a hassle, you wouldn’t marry someone you have only met once, right? This is why shopping around and going for a showing, or possibly two, to the house you are considering is in your best interest! Compare prices and amenities of other homes for sale in the area to see if you’re really going to get an appropriate deal on the home you want to purchase. By only looking at one house, you may miss out on some really great opportunities.

Do: Research the Neighborhood

One of our preaching points when house searching is: location, location, location! Even if the home has incredible curb appeal or all of the amenities you’re looking for, look past the picket white fence and gourmet kitchen and really check out the area. Do you see your children playing safely in the backyard? Is this a community that you can happily become a part of? We recommend writing down what you are looking for, then finding a neighborhood that checks every point on your checklist.

Do: Keep your budget in mind

There is nothing more stressful than being on a tight budget. When house searching, the idea is to find a home where you can continue your lifestyle comfortably. On the other hand, if you want to make your dream home possible, there are many options to make it more affordable. Talk to your Morrison Home Team broker about fixer-upper homes or possible ways to negotiate the price down into a more comfortable number.

Don’t: Buy a house just for its décor

Feel free to take all the inspiration you want! But try to picture what the house will look like with all of the decorations removed and focus on the structure. Is it still what you are looking for? Sometimes it can be hard to separate the bare bones of the home from the extra “fluff”, but we recommend doing just that before purchasing.

Don’t: Forget the home inspection

Foundations and windows and roofs, oh my! Your dream home may look perfect on the surface, but underneath there could be a lot of problems that you are agreeing to take on when you purchase the house. That’s what licensed home inspectors are for! Trust us, it is worth the time and money to have a professional go over the entire home with a fine-toothed comb to determine what needs to be improved. When that is done, you can sit back and relax that everything has been checked off by a professional.

Don’t: Do it alone

That’s why we, the Realtors at Morrison Home Team, are here! We are the #1 team in Barrington and the Northwest Suburbs. We are skilled in our marketing and negotiating techniques, as well as experts in our market. Trust us with your buying and selling needs and it will make everything so much easier for you!

Are there any more questions you have about buying a home? Post them below, or contact us via email at or by phone at 847.409.0297.


Doug (in blue) with some very excited new buyers!


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