Jane Viola

LICENSE: 471.008401

(847) 436-6082

Jane Viola's Blog

Open Houses – Tips when Home Shopping

Posted On: May 22nd, 2018 12:35AM


Open houses are a wonderful opportunity for homebuyers to view and compare homes that are on the market.  Here are some things to keep in mind.


Since you will need to set aside at least half a day, make sure that you have done some research about which areas and houses you will visit and in what order.  Most important:  keep your budget in mind. 

Be Courteous

Be polite to the home owner or real estate agent present.  Don’t feel pressurized to leave your contact details if you don’t want to, but do give your name.  You can always say that you have your own real estate agent.  Remember to say thank s when you leave.

Listen and Ask Questions

Don’t express emotions, especially if you like the home and refrain from making negative comments.  Ask questions such as why the owners are selling, if any offers have been made and how long the house has been on the market may be discussed. Take note of discussions around you. These can be useful if you move forward with an offer.

Make Notes

Ask before taking pictures and write notes to remember what you have seen. If you visit several open houses in one day you might forget something important.

Note the layout, size and flow of the home.  Look at the exterior; are their signs of structural damage?  Be discreet when open cabinets and closets. Remember that wall paint can be changed.

Don’t forget to inquire about schools and other amenities in the area.

I provide complete and attentive buyer services to my clients in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. If you are ready to work with an experience, caring, real estate pro, let’s talk!

Add Comment

Home Inspection Explained

Posted On: April 18th, 2018 1:33AM


Home inspections are typically conducted before a home is sold. Their purpose is to reveal any serious issues that could affect the buyer in the long or even short term. Many sellers prefer to have an inspection done prior to listing their home to minimize any nasty surprises during negotiations. It is most important for a home buyer to insist on an inspection. If the buyer is acquiring a mortgage loan for the purchase, the lenders will insist on one.

Remember that most inspectors don’t do Radon testing; if needed look for someone who is qualified.

How long is an inspection?

A typical inspection can take anything between two and four hours depending on the size of the property.

What does the inspector do?

Close scrutiny by the inspector during a walk-through tour of the property will reveal any issues. What every inspector has utmost in his mind are problems that could impact the safety, health or financial perspective of those involved.

The property will be inspected throughout its interior and exterior. All plumbing, heating, climate control and electrical as well as appliances will be checked. Structural features which include roofing, foundations, basement, walls, windows and doors are also inspected.

What does the home inspection report include?

The report will outline any defects that are present and any potential problems and include supporting photos. The report is usually ready within 24-48 hours.

 The advantages of an inspection are:

  • you will have more negotiating power as far as the price of the property is concerned
  • there will be no expensive surprises after you purchase from un-known pre-existing problems 
  • you will be aware of any safety hazards

I have several home inspectors I refer based on proven expertise and professionalism. If you have addition questions about home inspections, contact me today.

Add Comment

How My Seller Services Stand Out

Posted On: March 16th, 2018 9:03PM



The moment that you decide to sell your home you deserve to have the best professional assistance and support. I can offer these services because of my ongoing training and years of experience in real estate.

The services which I offer cover the entire process of your home sale; from the first consultation to marketing, negotiations, final signatures, and beyond.

These are the steps that I will follow to help you market your home:

  1. Prepare a comprehensive CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) that will determine your home’s optimum selling price.
  2. I hold ASP (Accredited Staging Professional) certification. At no additional cost to you, I will stage your home so that it shows it’s best to prospective buyers.
  3. Virtual staging available for vacant homes.
  4. Arrange for showings/feedback by a professional service, making appointment requests seamless.
  5. Host well-advertised open house events, (upon request).
  6. Prompt and professional replies to all inquiries by prospective buyers or their agent. All inquiries about your home come directly to me, via phone, text or email.
  7. A well-designed and strategically placed yard sign is great marketing tool.
  8. Hire a professional to photograph the interior, exterior and special features of your home. These are essential to show off your home to the largest majority of buyers. Almost 100% of buyer’s start their search online, so the quality of the photographs are important.
  9. Hire an aerial photographer if applicable to your property.
  10. Every home on the MLS feeds into thousands of web-sites. I take it a step further by enhancing your home on every site that allows me access, by adding additional pictures and verbiage. Such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Craigslist, Trulia and more.
  11. Well-designed, custom brochures.
  12. Email marketing to known buyers, fellow agents, and association members.
  13. Promotion of your home sale on all my social media profiles.
  14. Stay in touch with you (per your requirements) on updates in the market, discuss feedback, reports, etc.
  15. I work with buyers as well, so am on top of what they are looking for.
  16. I facilitate every part of the transaction personally with you, (except your Attorney’s part) until your home has closed. 

Every home seller is different! I will determine your needs and our transaction will be tailored according to the custom needs of your requirements or expectations.

Thinking of selling, or know someone that is? Let’s talk soon.

Add Comment

How My Designations Benefit Home Buyers and Sellers

Posted On: February 20th, 2018 1:00PM

Real estate professionals can’t only rely on market performance. Acquired skills are imperative to best serve our clients. Taking care of your needs as a home buyer or seller involves expertise in many areas: communication, market knowledge, negotiation, staging, technology, real estate guidelines, and more. 

I pursued and maintain certification or designation above what is required to maintain my license in these areas so I can be the best REALTOR® possible.

ABR (Accredited Buyers Representative)


The focus of this designation is to work with home buyers. The knowledge I’ve gained elevates my skills as a real estate professional in understanding your needs as a buyer. I also know how to stay on top of trends andcncsrs issues that affect homebuying; I pass this info on to you.

GRI (Graduate REALTOR® Institute)

The essence of this designation is that it allows me to make the stressful task of buying or selling easier for you. I keep up to date with new technology, laws and procedures, and focus on professionalism. I can navigate the current real estate climate and help you make the best real estate decisions based on this.

CNC (Certified Negotiation Consultant)

These skills help me to effectively assist both buyers and sellers to negotiate, increasing your chances of getting the best results in the market place at any given time.

SRS (Seller Representative Specialist)

This vital credential elevates my ability to understand the standards expected by you as a seller, and to enhance my personal performance on your behalf.

SFR (Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource Certification)

I learned to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales, as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities.

ASP (Home Staging Training Course)


My professional knowledge in staging a home correctly allows clients to sell their home at the maximum possible price. Correctly staged, a home is likely to sells faster as well.

e-PRO (Real Estate Technology Training)

In this fast-paced world of technology I need to keep up to date with social media trends and new office tools. I am then abled to provide exceptional marketing and business strategies to all clients.

As you can see, I take my work as a REALTOR® seriously. As a full-time real estate professional, I dedicate my time and energy to listening to your needs, developing a personalized plan for your home sale or purchase, and then using my advanced skill-set to produce the ideal outcome. Give me a call when you are ready to have an experienced real estate pro by your side.

Add Comment

Expectations for Housing in 2018

Posted On: January 17th, 2018 9:03PM


I gathered a list of the expected changes in the housing market for 2018. As your trusted REALTOR® serving the Chicagoland area. I look forward to learning about your specific needs.

  • There is a low inventory of homes for sale and more than 50% of these are not affordable to first time buyers.
  • This will lead to new construction but due to ever rising prices of land and building costs most expansion will be in the suburbs and outlying areas of cities.
  • There are many people who are about to become first time homebuyers, including millennials, immigrants and foreign investors.
  • Many previous homeowners had declared bankruptcies in the previous crisis and are now eligible to buy after seven years.
  • Homeowners looking to downgrade or upgrade as family needs change push up demand on some properties.
  • As the cost of living rises in the bigger cities many look for job opportunities and homes in cheaper cities.
  • The rising cost of building pushes up the price of existing homes and most homeowners will prefer to stay put and to remodel existing homes.
  • Developers will concentrate their efforts on building homes for lower to middle income buyers and will have to provide to their future needs such as wider passages.
  • Most millennials prefer to live in urban areas but will most likely buy in the suburbs where homes are more affordable.
  • The new tax bill might discourage some buyers. Some homeowners might look to sell and buy in states with lower taxes.

If any of these industry expectations look like they may affect your housing situation, and you would like to have a meaningful conversation about your options… let’s talk.

Add Comment