Joanne Metz

DRE: 471.006018

(708) 502-2127

My Blog

Expectations for Housing in 2018

Posted On: February 20th, 2018 8:56PM

It’s been an interesting 2018 already when it comes to housing and homeownership. Here’s a list of the expected changes in the housing market for 2018.

As your trusted REALTOR® serving Chicago’s Northwest Suburbs, I would be happy to speak with you 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 expectations look like they may affect your housing situation, and you would like to have a meaningful conversation about your options… let’s talk.

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The Difference Quality Photos Make to a Home Sale

Posted On: January 17th, 2018 6:45PM


Most homebuyers start their home search online. The photographs of your home could be the deciding factor on whether they request more info, or schedule a showing appointment.

For my seller clients, I have professional quality photos taken of the exterior and interior of their home.

Here are a few of the benefits of using a pro photographer :

  • Your home is likely to sell faster!
  • They specialize in housing shoots.
  • Their turn-time is fast; your photos are ready promptly.
  • You can review their portfolio and confirm their abilities.
  • They own the right equipment.
  • The provide the right size photos, for print or web use.
  • You’ll have photos that appeal to the buyer’s emotions.
  • They use software to enhance the photos.
  • You’ll get advice on how to stage your home.
  • The photos will to appeal to future buyers.
  • Multiple Listing Services requirements for pics will be met.
  • Your main exterior photo will showcase your home in its best light.
  • The unique areas of your home are included.
  • Small areas are not neglected, like laundry rooms or half baths

As I mentioned, included in my marketing strategy is professional quality photos for your home. You deserve this valuable home-selling effort that entices buyers to visit your home.

Let’s talk if you are considering a move soon!

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Make the Most of Your Chicagoland Home Sale

Posted On: December 14th, 2017 10:58PM

No matter the market conditions when selling your home, you want to present it to prospective buyers in the very best condition, and in the very best light.  Doing this requires just a bit of energy.  The return is more than worth the effort; you’ll reap the rewards when you receive the best price and terms for your home.

Keep the following in mind to make the most of your home sale.

Clean & Declutter

Make sure clutter is put away and your house is clean before taking pictures or showing your home.  You want your property looking its best, and having a clean and organized home to show is one of the easiest ways to impress a buyer.  A deep cleaning of your home will make the difference in how others see it. Carpets, decks, pathways and outbuildings must be spotless.

Find Your Paperwork

Owning a home comes with so much paper!  Before listing, locate any manuals, warranties (especially for big items, like foundation and roof replacement) and your survey (if you have one).  You don’t want to be tearing your house apart at the last minute looking for paperwork!

Have Great Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is important.  Replace a broken letterbox or missing numbers.  Make sure that gates are repaired, pathways are even, the garden is neat, and the garage door is working.

Know Your Competition

It doesn’t hurt to go to your neighbor’s open house (or browse photos on the web) to see what you’re going up against.  Seeing other homes buyers have to choose from might change what repairs you make, or maybe even your listing price.

Inspections Are Your Friend

A homeowner is required to disclose what they know is wrong with a property. Sometimes you forget a small repair because you’ve lived with it for so long. Other times you didn’t realize an item needed repairing.  Having an inspection helps you disclose known issues with your home, and prepares you for repairs a buyer may request.

If you are thinking of selling in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, let’s talk soon! My REALTOR®  services are comprehensive, professional, and always conducted with YOUR best interests at heart.

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Title Commitment in Real Estate - Explained

Posted On: November 16th, 2017 12:01PM

Every buyer who is about to close a real estate transaction will receive a copy of the title commitment several days before closing (the signing on documents) to review it.

What is a Title Commitment?

A title commitment contains the terms, conditions and exclusions that will be in the final signed copy of the insurance policy which will be issued by the title company to the buyer after closing. It lists all the details about the property and promises to issue title insurance if all stipulations are met in Section B.

This title insurance policy protects the new owner in the event that an issue might crop up that could affect the ownership title of the property. For the same reason, if the new owner is buying with a mortgage, the lender will also require one known as a lender’s policy.

The title commitment consists of:

  • Schedule A: legal description of the property, sale price, loan amount, lender details and the names of the buyers and sellers.
  • Schedule B: requirements (of which all have to be met and include: tax payments, recording the new deed and loan documents, release of liens and proof of identity), exceptions stipulated by the title company and exclusions which the title company cannot cover e.g. government regulations or any arising bankruptcy claims)

What are buyers protected from and how?

Some deeds could be claimed by heirs, be forged or they could have been executed under false or expired power of attorney. The title insurance searches all public records for any such issues that could prevent a clear transfer.

Why review the title commitment?

The commitment does not guarantee that all issues arising after purchase will be dealt with by the title company. Consider any exceptions carefully; if any issues arise over any of these you will not be able to turn to the title company to solve them.

It is best to have the title commitment read by your attorney to ensure that you completely understand the exceptions, and which terms are unacceptable. This will avoid any nasty surprises at a later date.

Buying a home is big deal! I counsel my buyers so they are well-informed and comfortable. Think of me to be your trusted REALTOR® for your next purchase in the Chicagoland area. 

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Tips for Working with Mortgage Lenders

Posted On: October 20th, 2017 3:18PM

The purchase of a new home means a long-term commitment of repayments to a mortgage lender. This can be anything from 15 to 30 years. It is vital to do some homework before choosing who you take your business to.

If you are a first-time borrower, you will need to find a lender that has a staff of professional and well-trained people to guide you through the process. This will be made easier if you ask around; family members, friends, or your trusted REALTOR® (like me!) are usually best.

Talk to at least three lenders to get an idea of the interest and the fine print pertaining to the loan agreements. Learn what types of mortgages are available and the specifics of each type.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and question anything that does not seem right; especially where closing costs and fees are involved.

These 5 questions are essential:

  1. How do they communicate with clients and how fast do they respond to messages?
  2. How long will the process of preapproval, appraisal and closing take?
  3. How much will the down payment be?
  4. What fees will you be responsible for and will they waive any of these?
  5. If no waiving for fees, can the fees be added to the mortgage?

Always check the lenders credentials and make sure that they have a good professional standing before making your choice. The state’s department of banking will have a list of credible mortgage bankers and so will the division of real estate.

If the lender is not state-regulated then a good place to look at their record would be with the local office of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers or the Better Business Bureau. The Library of Congress has an index of all state and local government websites to make your search easier.

Remember: Even though it is important to find a good lender, a lower interest rate is just as important when taking into consideration how much money you can save over the lifespan of the loan.

As a Chicagoland REALTOR® for 30+ years, my clients and I have worked with many lenders. I understand how critical the loan process is. Here are two lenders I refer with confidence. Please mention Joanne Metz when you give them a call.

Ernie McBrearty, Main Street Mortgage, Inc.

630 529 1009 (Office)

630 302 1511 (Cell)

One Tiffany Pointe Suite 204

Bloomingdale, IL 60108


Linda Hanson. Wells Fargo

Home Mortgage Consultant - NMLSR ID 442632

847-240-2346 (Office)

708-278-5501 (Cell)

1100 E Woodfield Rd Suite 420

Schaumburg, IL 60173

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