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Connie Abels

Direct: (773) 442-2357
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Below is a very simple, easy to understand, dialogue for the purchase of a property and makes it sound very easy.  Truth is, a property purchase is a complicated process with at least 15 different people involved in your purchase who need to work together to make it go smoothly.  The purchase of your property is likely to be the most important, most expensive investment you have made to date.  Isn't it wise to work with someone who is experienced in this process and knows how to handle questions and concerns you may have?  My nearly 30 years of experience will help guide you.  Anytime, you can reach me at 773-442-2357 or with any questions or to ask me to work with you to represent you on your purchase.  

This is a simple summary to get you started.  There is a lot more information that I can provide as we work together, but I hope the following is helpful to you.

FIRST TIME BUYER? Is 2016 the year you have decided to make this decision?  Many first time buyers realize that although sometimes the thought of ownership is a bit frightening, the benefits of ownership can be great.  I have been helping first time buyers for almost 30 years find their first home.  I have given over 30 seminars on this topic and am a first time buyer expert.  

First Time Buyer Concerns

First Time Buyers are concerned with not knowing the process, they are afraid of making the wrong move, and get advice from websites and everyone they know and do not know how to sort through the enormous amounts of information to make good, solid decisions when buying their first home.  They don't understand all of the terms.

If you work with me and my team, will go through the steps that you will need to do with patience and explanation.  To be successful in buying, you need a great team.  I can refer you to expert professionals, such as attorneys, lenders, and inspectors, who will assist you in the process.  If you have questions, I am always available to provide answers or I will refer you to the right person.  If you have questions now about where to start, what is the best timing, or any other questions, just give me a call at 773-442-2357 or email me at

What is a Short Sale? A short sale is the purchase of a property where the seller knows that the value of the property is less than the amount he owes on his mortgage. When you make an offer on a short sale, the bank does not own the property, the seller still does. The seller will take your offer and ask his bank if they will consider it. The seller gets no benefits or proceeds from the sale, they are simply relieved of the debt.  The short sale process is often very lengthy, because the banks have a complicated process before they can waive the debt. Before you consider a short sale, be sure you have flexibility in your present living situation due to the undetermined time it can take. Expect that the offer you make will get counter-offered. It doesn't always happen but often the lender will require more than you offer. This is normal, too. The good news is that if you have patience and flexibility, you will often be able to purchase a great property under value.  There are a lot more details for me to explain if we are working together, so if you have other questions, please contact me at 773-442-2357 or and I will respond.

Is a Foreclosure Purchase different that a Short Sale Purchase? Yes! In a foreclosure, the property is now owned by the bank that made the original mortgage, not the seller.  The foreclosure process for the bank to get possession is long, and by the time it is listed for sale, it has usually been vacant for some time.  Often there is considerable damage to the property due to weather, vandalism, or a seller who leaves angrily. You will be able to have a property inspection once your offer is accepted, so be sure to allow for possible repairs.  The short sale purchase process is lengthy, but a foreclosure sale can close quickly (14-45 days). Be aware that you will always buy a foreclosure "as is", without any warranties, and will be required to sign the lenders amendment after your offer is accepted.  In a condominium in Illinois, you may have to pay up to 6 months back assessments.  There are other things in a foreclosure purchase that you should know and I can help you with. Feel free to contact me at 773-442-2357 or

So now you know about short sales and foreclosured, what about a "regular" or standard sale purchase?  The first step in any purchase is to determine how you will buy it and how much you can spend.  If you are planning to pay cash, you will need to be able to provide a bank statement indicating that you have the cash available.  This is called "proof of funds".  If you are planning on getting a mortgage, your first step should be to contact a lender for a "pre-approval" letter.  This pre-approval letter should indicate the maximum mortgage you are qualified for, how much you plan on putting down for a down payment, and the type of loan you will be getting (conventional, FHA, VA, etc).  The type of loan is very importanat information. This allows me to know what properties to show you, and how to write a contract on your behalf. If you are qualified for an FHA or VA loan and you want to purchase a single family, condo, or 2-4 unit, I will need to be sure it meets FHA/VA guidelines.  I try to do that before we even see the property. The lenders I refer you to are well versed in these types of properties, too, and will be very helpful in answering a lot of your concerns.  If you are going with a conventional loan, there are other requirements for these, too, which I will help you sort through.

Once you get your pre-approval or have your proof of funds, then we will begin the fun part--shopping for your home.  With the benefits of the internet, I set you up so that you will get notified with real-time data when a property is newly on the market, a price change, or back on market.  This is different that working through Zillow/Trulia, or any of the other public sites.  When you find a property you want to go see, I will make the appointments for us to view them.  I can help you as we are going through the property with ideas (if you need them) for furniture arrangements, rough estimate of costs of possible changes that you may want to do, and other questions you may have to determine if this is the right property for you.  

Once you select a property, I will help you with the paperwork and answer any questions you may have.  Once your offer is accepted, I will assist you with the purchase process.  There are many other details to this process that I will assist you with and each purchase is unique.  My nearly 30 years of experience will help guide you.  

I am reachable at by phone at 773-442-2357 or by email at


Are you thinking of Selling your Property? It's not as simple as it may sound.  (If you owe more than your property is worth, it is urgent that you read the last section here first! I can save you money and your credit)

If you have sold a property before or if this is your first time selling, it can be as complicated and detailed as your purchase. Mistakes can be VERY Costly.  Your goal is to sell your property at the best price possible, as soon as possible, with the least amount of stress, right?

The first step is to select a Real Estate Professional (Realtor) to help you. (Choose ME!)  If this was easy, our business would not have been around for almost 100 years.  Realtors have to abide by license laws of the state and have very strict codes of ethics that they are bound by. You will want to select a Realtor with experience that can guide you through the process of preparing your home, pricing it properly, deciding on the best timing to put it on the market, the contract negotiations, and getting you to a smooth closing. It is very important coordinaing your timing especially if you are planning a purchase of a next home.  My almost 30 years of experience has helped many sellers through this process successfully.  You can contact me anytime at 773-442-2357 or, if you want me to help you start the process.  

I can provide a FREE market analysis for you if you are simply just thinking of selling and want to know the value of your property.

Many Realtors "list" your property in the MLS and you never see them again!  This is the largest complaint that many sellers have about Realtors.  Sellers complain that there is no communication, and that they have no idea what is happening with their sale, what the buyer's thought that walked through their home, why the home is not sold yet, what to expect and more!  Not Me! I work hard at communicating with my seller clients so they know exactly what is happening with the sale of their home.

When we speak the first time, I will be asking you questions about why you are selling.  This is important to me as your Realtor representative because there are often times of urgency that require different counseling by me.  Reasons such as a job transfer, unable to meet financial obligations, illness or a death, and change in your family status are often more urgent reasons for selling and the process is slightly different to meet each of these personal situations.  Sometimes, it is not price, it's timing that is the most important factor in your sale. Once I know why you are selling, we discuss timing.  We talk about the fact that I could sell your home in a week and where would you go?  I like to know you have a plan if the home sells quickly. I can help you detail out a plan specifically for you if you contact me at 773-442-2357 or  A plan is absolutley necessary to avoid very stressful situations.  

Pricing is the difference between if your property will sell or not. My goal is to get the best price possible for you.  I recommend pricing of your property based on my near 30 years of experience evaluating the comparable properties in the immediate neighborhood. 

If needed, I may make recommendations to help increase the value of your home, or simply make it more "saleable"that you may want to do before putting it on the market.  Usually it is an area to de-clutter or some minor fixes.  I rarely will recommend that you make substantial improvements prior to selling since it is unlikely that the cost of those improvements will result in recouping these costs. The recommendations I usually make will make your property more "sale-able".  My goal is to work with you and help you meet your needs, whether it is a quick sale, or getting the best price possible for your home (or both).

My job is to market your property to get it SOLD! When I list a property for sale, I most often will hire a professional photographer so your property is featured in it's best light. My photographer also creates an interactive floor plan for your property. I also develop a website specifically for your property and get that property listed on every possible website so it can be seen by all potential buyers. The property specific website I create for you takes a lot of my time, but it allows me a lot more room than just the multiple listing service (MLS) listing to describe your property to potential buyers. It allows for more property details, photos, neighborhood information, and it allows me to cross-market my listings.  Each of my websites has a link to my other current listings so that my sellers get marketed on all of my websites.  Feel free to preview some of my property-specific websites.  Contact me at 773-442-2357 or for a list of some of my current listings.

Another task that I do that many of my competitors do not is that I like to show my own listings, if possible.  I rarely will use a lockbox for a showing, only if I am unable to attend that showing myself or one of my team members is unavailable. I like to show my own listings because I am the best Realtor to describe the property, the building, and the neighborhood, because I know it better than some agent from another area who is bringing a buyer.  I feel I owe it to my sellers to try to be there at each showing to be able to provide feedback from that showing, too.  I can't always be at each showing, but it is something that I try to do.  When I can't, I make sure that the Realtor doing the showing gets as much information as possible from me before the showing.  I always try to get feedback from the showing for my sellers, too, as I know they are anxious to hear what is happening.  I am always available to my clients.

I don't do dual agency. Dual agency is when a real estate broker represents the buyer and seller on the same transaction.  I don't believe in it and won't do it.  If I have a listing and a buyer does not have an agent (I always ask before the showing) I let them know that I represent the seller, and if they want, they can hire their own agent (that agent needs to be at the first showing).  If they choose not to have an agent, I let them know that I can provide them with contract paperwork to make an offer, assist them with financing, and answer any questions about the property, and treat them honestly and fairly, but that I only represent the seller.  My sellers are relying on me to give them advice and knowledge about that transaction and I can't do this properly if I represent both sides. When I represent buyers, I do not enter into a dual agency situation.

Why RE/MAX? Oftentimes, I am asked why I am still a RE/MAX broker, and not out on my own as a broker of my own office, or with another local, large, non-franchised office.  The reason I am a RE/MAX Broker is because my Sellers deserve to have not only local exposure or state exposure, but international exposure for their properties.  RE/MAX is an international Franchise in more than 100 countries world-wide. Chicago is a world-wide destination and I have worked with buyers from all over the world looking for property in Chicago. Often they tell me they saw the property on the site in their home nation.  Think about this when you are thinking of listing with a smaller or only local company and not an international franchise.  There are many great local companies in Chicago, but they do not provide international coverage.  Although being with RE/MAX is more costly to me as a broker,  I do and I think it is worth my cost to stay with RE/MAX for the benefit of my seller-clients.

If you are behind in your mortgage and facing foreclosure, talk to me about a Short Sale!  Financial difficulties are stressful enough, and even more so when you fall behind in your mortgage.  Now you are worried about where you will live, how you will catch up your payments, what your friends and family will think, what will happen to your credit, and more! Here is why you may want to consider a short sale rather than go through foreclosure...

In a foreclosure, when you are behind in your payments, there is a process and your lender will take back your home.  There are various lender programs available if you decide you want to keep your home that will work with you so that you can afford the payments. Sometimes, this isn't possible for you or a smart move.  IMPORTANT INFORMATION! In a foreclosure, the bank takes back the property (a lengthy process) and then will resell the property.  You are responsible for the difference between the price of what the bank eventually sells the property, and what you owe remaining on your mortgage, back interest, fees, etc. for up to 10 years!  This means if you get back on your feet, potentially your lender can, for up to 10 years, try to collect that difference by collecting on that foreclosure judgement.  Imagine, you are on your new job for a few years and there is suddenly a wage garnishment.  This doesn't always happen, but it could.  You have a better solution than allowing a foreclosure.

You can do a short sale. A short sale is an agreement between you and your bank to sell your property at a lesser amount that what you owe. In a short sale, because this is a work-out agreement, once it is complete, you typically do not have to worry about the lender coming back for the remaining balance. Most of my seller clients do not end up paying anything other than a few minor costs. You do not have to come up with money to pay my commission!  My commission is paid by the bank to do this for you so you do not have to come out of pocket for my cost.  Because of my experience in these short sale, I can help you with timing (important) and make other recommendations that will benefit you both in the short term and long term.  I will discuss this with you personally.

Anyone can do a short sale if their property is "underwater" (owes more than it is worth). I have helped doctors and lawyers do short sales on their property as well as people who are unemployed.  Sometimes, if a condominium, your building won't let you rent it out and you can't afford to pay two mortgages. NOW WHAT?  If you need to sell your property and it is worth less than you owe, you can do a short sale. Once the short sale is completed, your credit will repair very quickly provided the rest of your credit is good. (approximately 6 months).  I am very experienced in this process.

Like a foreclosure, anytime there are financial difficulties, there is a lot of stress. If you  or you know someone who is facing foreclosure, I urge you to have them contact me.  I have many tips on getting through a short sale without losing all of your assets.  I am not going to share all of my tips on a successful short sale on line here but would be happy to meet with you to discuss this. I urge you to contact me.  I can be reached at 773-442-2357 or  I CAN HELP! I am a Short Sale Expert!

Whether you are ready to sell your home now, are considering it in the future, are in trouble with your mortgage, or simply want to know the value of your home, contact me at 773-442-2357 or

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