Joanne Metz

LICENSE: 471.006018

(708) 502-2127

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Tips for Making the Most of Open House Visits

Posted On: June 27th, 2018 2:01AM



Thinking of buying your first (or next) home? Add visiting open houses to your ‘to-do’ list. They are a great way to learn more about an area’s amenities, and the homes in that area. I have hosted many an open house in my years as a REALTOR®. Let me share with you some tips to making the most of your visit.

  1. 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.  
  2. Be polite to the home owner or real estate agent present.  Don’t feel pressured 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 thank the host when leaving.
  3. 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 when deciding on an offer.
  4. Pay close attention to the layout, size, and flow of the home.  Look at the exterior; see if you find any signs of structural damage.  It’s OK to open cabinets and closets to take note of storage space but be discreet. Keep in mind that wall colors can be changed.
  5. Ask before taking pictures and jot down notes to help you remember what you have seen. Be sure to put the address of the home with your notes so you don’t confuse homes upon review. Don’t forget to inquire about schools and other amenities in the area. If you are visiting several homes in one day you don’t want to forget something important.
  6. If a REALTOR® is hosting, be sure and ask for any information he/she has available. Many times agent’s provide school lists, utility info, tax information and more about the home.

As a selling agent, I believe in the benefit of holding a home open. As a buyer’s agent, I provide tips like these and more to my clients so together we can find their perfect match in a home. 

Happy to visit anytime you are ready to talk real estate.

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Selling Your Home in Low Inventory Market

Posted On: May 21st, 2018 1:42AM


The housing market has proven its resilience over the years. A decade ago it had hit rock bottom with prices falling to historical lows. This housing crash is now a distant memory as prices have steadily increased over the last five years. 

With a strengthening economy, rising employment figures and low interest rates buyers are flooding the market that has too few homes to sell. This low inventory has many causes and includes: homeowners who prefer to renovate rather than move, baby boomers who have decided not to downgrade, decreased development of new homes, distressed properties converted by investors into rentals and millennial buyers purchasing their first homes. 

There are sellers who are driven to sell by the tax changes which will be implemented in the 2018 tax year. They are trying to stay within the deductible tax limit on their mortgage interest and in areas with lower property taxes. 

If you are looking for a quick sale in this seller’s market, then keep the following in mind: 

• Spring and early summer is an optimal time to sell 

• Consult with your agent to ensure that you price your home correctly; an overpriced home can stagnate on the market 

• A CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) is the best way to find the true worth of your home and how to best market it 

• Even though there is a demand for homes remain practical about what your home will sell for, according to your area 

• Tackle any touch ups and make sure that your home is tidy 

• Stage your home to make it appealing to prospective buyers 


I offer thorough valuation estimates, strong marketing strategies, and a keen eye for the local home-selling climate. Think of me as your trusted REALTOR® for your next home sale. 

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How I Price Your Home for Sale

Posted On: April 18th, 2018 1:37AM


Pricing your home correctly is the key to a timely home sale. Price too high, you get no offers. Price too low, and you leave money on the table.

I use the following criteria to arrive at a viable target selling price for your home.

  1. Sales in your area: One of the biggest factors in pricing is recent sales. My REALTOR® status allows me access to real-time home sales data via the Multiple Listing Service. I see what similar homes have sold for in the last 0 – 12 months in your neighborhood. Similar homes have about the same square footage, were built around the same time, and have comparable features.
  2. Features: Does your home have a unique feature, like additional living quarters or a swimming pool? If it’s a feature that is in demand, I recommend a higher price.
  3. Condition: Can people move right into your house or will some work have to be done? Deferred maintenance, like roof leaks and running toilets, don’t necessarily have to be fixed, but they may hinder getting top dollar.
  4. Other factors: If a new large, company headquarters is being built nearby, I might recommend a higher price since there will be people moving into the area. A dilapidated house on your street might effect your home’s value negatively.

If you are thinking about selling, please call me and I will do a thorough home valuation, complete with a visit to your home and diligence when researching comparable sales in your area. I always discuss the reasoning behind my comparative market analysis.

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Buying a Home, Your Finances

Posted On: March 17th, 2018 6:23PM


As exciting as it to buy a home, it’s important to think about your finances early, before you sign on the dotted line. I have a discussion with my clients so they are well-informed and well-equipped when it comes to their financial investment as homeowners.

Take time to contemplate these important areas.

Keep equity growth top of mind: From start to finish, don’t lose sight of the benefits that equity growth in your home provides. With every decision you face throughout your home buying journey, ask yourself “Will this contribute or take away from the equity I plan on building in my home?”

Be realistic when you plan: Make a list of the things you desire (vs need) in your next home. You may be able to have both, and that’s great. Most important is to address your primary needs. Take an honest look at your current income and expenses; keep in mind the big costs you expect to come up in the future (college, family vacations, cars, etc.). Try to learn a bit about mortgages on your own and avoid the temptation to max yourself out once you do sit down with your mortgage lender. Having a frank conversation with everyone in your family will go a long way in making the best decisions long-term.

Find a mortgage lender you trust: A great mortgage lender will be aware of all your loan options, be willing to educate you on the loan process, and make proactive suggestions based on your particular situation. It’s OK that you don’t know all the ins-and-outs of mortgage lending. Once you find the perfect fit in a loan officer you’ll feel supported and confident in your decisions.

Lean on me for advice: As your REALTOR®, I do not have a mortgage lenders license, but I do know a lot about mortgages. I have a relationships with several reputable lendeSavers. Reach out early and allow me to be there for you when you first start contemplating your home purchase.

Reach out anytime if you are thinking of buying and have questions. Text, call or email! As your Chicagoland northwest suburbs REALTOR®, I am here to listen, help you make a plan, and work for your best interests.

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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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