“Green” is more than a buzzword. In today’s real estate market, buyers, sellers, and homeowners are thinking about sustainability and green design choices more than ever before. 

If you’re among the countless Chicago homeowners or sellers who have made the decision to transform your home to be more environmentally friendly, it’s important to consider everything that comes next. You’re ready to make your home more green - now, it’s time to nail down the concrete steps you can take to move your property in the right direction. 

You may choose to focus on smaller fixes inside and outside of the house, or strive for the larger-scale green renovations that can dramatically minimize the carbon footprint of your home. Either way, you’re making big strides to bring your property into the future, which could help lower your bills, make your home more livable, and also make a dramatic difference when it’s time to sell. 

As you search for homes around Chicagoland, you’re bound to find some layouts that excite and inspire - and some that leave you scratching your head.

Our city is full of all kinds of structures, some with more space than you may actually need, and some that are cozier than you might think possible. In other cases, a space could come with an architectural flourish that adds extra dimensions or square footage to the home. In other cases, spare space could come in the form of a basement, an attic, a loft space, or even a bedroom you don’t actually need.

If you’re in the market for a home, or you’re a current homeowner getting ready to stage and sell, you may have some of these extra spaces and bonus rooms on your mind.

As a seller getting your home ready to go to market, you may find yourself wanting to talk with your broker or a design professional about how to stage or highlight a bonus room or flexible space. For buyers, even if you’ve combed through design and decor blogs for room ideas, the idea of a bonus area or flex space may leave you feeling a bit flustered.

It’s awesome you have the extra space, after all, but now comes the question: What to do with it?

People who move to Chicago for the first time often find themselves taken aback by the sheer variety of housing available. From spacious single family homes to cozy condos, from gleaming skyscrapers to humble two-flats, there’s a home for every taste and budget in the city.

But, for many, that dream home isn’t always easy to find – particularly when it comes to finding the ideal size. Plenty of Chicago homes offer gorgeous finishes, a convenient location, or top-of-the-line amenities – if you’re willing to settle for a little less space in some rooms.

But a home with a few particularly snug spaces doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker! In fact, there are countless tricks that you can use to make a small or awkward room feel bigger, brighter, and more inviting, without shelling out big bucks for renovations.

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Hiring a real estate professional you trust is no easy feat. Even asking friends and family for recommendations can leave you with a list of 20+ names. Where do you go from there?

Narrowing down the list can be a challenge, but it is a necessary process. Your real estate agent performs all negotiations on your behalf. You want an experienced and respected negotiator on your side, who similarly is able to articulate the process for you and thoroughly answer any questions you have.

Your vetting process can easily help determine these. Before you shake hands and start signing paperwork, ask your prospective agent these seven questions.

1. How long have you been in the real estate business, and how frequently do you conduct business?

You may be able to glean this information from websites like Zillow or from your prospective agent's website, but this is important information to know. Work with an agent with full-time experience upward of a year.

We emphasize full-time, as many agents can hold on to a license without much real-world experience. Valuable real estate experience is only earned through actual transactions and activity in the field. Don't put your transaction in the hands of "part-time" or "occasional" agents.

Real Group Real Estate

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2526 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

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