How to Review Morrison Home Team Online

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We appreciate your help while we build our online presence! If you are so kind enough to fill out reviews on all four platforms, we will send you a $5 Starbucks giftcard as a thank you!

Here’s how to do it:

Google

Here is the link to fill out a Google review for Morrison Home Team: Google Review

Follow these steps:

  • Click on the link above
  • Wait for the box to pop up
  • Please provide a star review and a brief comment
  • Click “post”

LinkedIn

Here are the links for each of the Morrison Home Team team members:

John Morrison LinkedIn Review
Elizabeth Sincox LinkedIn Review
Crystal DiDomenico LinkedIn Review
Lisa Moeller LinkedIn Review

Follow these steps:

  • Connect with your agent on LinkedIn
  • Go on to your agent’s home page on LinkedIn (linked above)
  • Under the top section of the page, where it states your agent’s and their photo, select “More”
  • Scroll down and click on “Recommend”
  • Please select “Client” as your relationship to your agent
  • Please select “Real Estate Broker at @properties” under the “Position at the time” tab
  • Write your recommendation
  • Click “send”

Zillow

Here is the link to recommend us on Zillow: Zillow Review

Follow these steps:

  • Click on the link above
  • Scroll halfway down the page 
  • Select “Write a review”
  • Fill out all of the fields and write a review
  • When finished, select “Submit Review”

Facebook

Here is the link to recommend us on Facebook: Morrison Home Team

Follow these steps:

  • Click on the link above
  • “Like” Morrison Home Team on Facebook
  • Scroll partway down the page to where is says “Do you recommend Morrison Home Team?”
  • Provide your answer
  • Write a brief summary of your experience working with MHT

We appreciate your time!

Tidying Up with Morrison Home Team

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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

A depersonalized home doesn’t have to mean a boring one! These sellers at 239 W Russell street still made the space their own while still allowing space for buyers to visualize themselves in the home.

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

This neutral, but stunning decor at 42 Brinker Road helps guide the focus to the space and the view to the outdoors.

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

Even with all of this counter space at 26360 Glenbarr Lane, it is still beautifully clear of clutter!

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.

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.

MHT’s Favorite Weekend Getaways

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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!

Huge win for Iowa State this past season resulted in a field storming!

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.

How to Stage Your Home with Pets

By | Selling a House | No Comments

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!

 

MHT’s Holiday To-Do List

By | Community News, Morrison Home Team News, Neighborhood Focus | No Comments

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:

 

John

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.

Liz

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!

Lisa

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!

Crystal

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:

Winter Wonderfest:

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!

Christkindlmarket:

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.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

-The Morrison Home Team

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!

MHT Favorites: Books We Love

By | Morrison Home Team News | No Comments

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.

 

MHT’s Show-Ready Check List

By | Featured Listings, Selling a House | No Comments

Here at Morrison Home Team, we know that it is hard to live in a home while you are trying to sell it. Constantly tidying up, leaving the house at a moment’s notice, and trying to impress people who you don’t know is exhausting! Here is our list of tasks to help you out when it comes to getting your house show-ready for any type of buyer:

Make it Less Personal

This neutral space in our listing at 1 Jane Lane is so relaxing and welcoming to anyone.

Do your best to make the home as impersonal as possible. Family photos, artwork on the refrigerator, even framed pictures on the desk. All of this can distract buyers and could keep them from being able to picture themselves in your home. Along with depersonalizing, it is also wise to neutralize aspects of your home. For example, any shocking wall color or busy wall paper might intimidate potential buyers if they think they will need to repaint the entire home because it doesn’t match their décor. Creating a neutral environment will help welcome all sorts of potential buyers.

Make it Squeaky Clean

We love the simple, clean, elegance in this bathroom at our listing at 241 Biltmore Drive in North Barrington.

This might be the cheapest way to stage your home: getting your hands dirty to make sure everything is clean! Dust those shelves, vacuum all that pet hair, bleach that bathtub, is it time to have those carpets cleaned? If you work hard to make your space as bright and shiny as possible, it will pay off! Decluttering also falls under this category. Take some time to box up and store items that are just taking up space in closets and other hidden spots throughout the house. The effect will make the storage spaces seem larger without so many things stuffed in there. Decluttering also goes for surfaces: only keep the necessities. For example, in your bathrooms, keep soap and maybe a hand towel out on the counter by the sink. Put away anything else such as toothpaste, toothbrush holders, makeup, etc. Making everything less “busy” will make the space more calming to those walking through.

Make it Fresh

This updated kitchen at our listing at 239 W Russell Street is absolutely stunning!

Is your wall color looking a bit bland? Or maybe you have some cracked tile in the bathroom? Sometimes tackling projects like these can breathe fresh air into an otherwise tired home. Even something as small as purchasing new pillows for the couch or bedding for the beds can make the space look more updated. Think about what buyers are currently looking for, what colors are popular right now, what decorating styles? This will not only catch a buyer’s eye, but hopefully attract them enough to make an offer.

Make it Bright

We love this sunroom at 23630 Glenbarr Lane!The numerous, large windows, light furniture, and light walls effectively bounce more natural light throughout the home.

Looking for another easy way to stage your space? Just add light! That can be a lamp or light fixture, or simply opening up the blinds and window treatments all the way. Another trick we tell our clients is to add a mirror to a small space to bounce light across the room and to make it feel larger. Having lighter colored furniture can also trick the eye into making a space look larger by enhancing the effects from the lighting.

Make it Noticeable

Just look at the pops of color out on the patio of our listing at 14 Longmeadow Drive! We love how bright and happy this space looks. Definitely draws our eye!

Create focal points in every room that draw the eye towards spots you want to be noticed. Would you like buyers to notice your beautiful brick fireplace? Place some bright flowers on the mantel to draw the eye there. Or, hold attention in the relaxing master bedroom by adding a headboard to the bed. This maximizes space and adds a more luxurious feel to the room. Want to show off your beautiful patio or deck? Add some brightly colored pillows to the outdoor furniture and disperse a few potted plants! These tricks will show off the best features in your home without taking the focus off the other positive aspects!

Are you thinking about listing your home? Contact John Morrison of the Morrison Home Team at 847.409.0297 with any questions about beginning this process.

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.

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