Laurie Christofano, Realtor in Oak Park, Chicago and Suburbs

Sept. 30, 2023

Easy-Exit Listing in Chicago and Suburbs: A Reality Check on the ‘Realtors are Overpaid’ Narrative

Debunking the Myth: Are Real Estate Agents Really Overpaid?

Hey there, Chicagoland dwellers and real estate enthusiasts! Today, let's tackle a topic that's been making the rounds: the belief that real estate agents are overpaid. Spoiler alert: The reality is far more nuanced.

Addressing the 6% Elephant in the Room

You’ve likely heard the 6% commission figure thrown around. While it’s a number that exists, it’s not a one-size-fits-all deal. Commissions vary and, in my case, it’s under 6%. Additionally, this percentage only becomes payable upon a successful sale, so there’s skin in the game on both sides.

Now, let's talk about where that commission really goes. This isn't your uncle Bob's "3 Ps" approach of Putting it in the MLS, Putting a sign in the yard, and Praying buyers show up. Oh, no. I invest in your home as if it's about to hit the Hollywood big screen. We've got professional photographers for those jaw-dropping still shots, aerial drone footage for a bird's-eye spectacle, a 3D tour for virtual walkthroughs, and detailed floor plans.

But wait, there’s more! I also leverage a robust digital marketing strategy, which includes targeted social media campaigns and Google ads. So, when you think about that commission, remember: it's not for idle hands. It’s an investment to ensure your property steals the show, drawing more eyes than a Chicago fireworks display.

No Strings Attached: Because Life Happens

We get it. Life is as unpredictable as a Chicago weather forecast. One minute it’s sunny skies and the next, you’re caught in a downpour without an umbrella. That’s why long-term commitments can be daunting, especially when you're dealing with something as substantial as selling your home.

Enter the easy-exit listing agreement. Think of it as your real estate safety net, designed for those "just in case" moments. Maybe the market takes a surprising dip, or perhaps a life event suddenly puts your moving plans on the backburner. These things happen, and when they do, the last thing you need is to feel trapped in a contract.

This easy-exit agreement is not just a clause; it’s a philosophy. It’s about respecting that your circumstances can change and that you need the freedom to adapt. It keeps me accountable too. Just as a chef's reputation is only as good as their last meal, my role is to continually adapt and pivot to make sure you're getting the best deal, no matter how the tides turn.

So, relax. With this no-strings-attached approach, you're never locked into a decision you can't reverse or adapt. Because when life gives you curveballs, you should have the liberty to switch up your game plan.

A Pedigree of Precision: Where Every Nook and Cranny Matters

They say the devil is in the details, but let's be honest, that's where the magic happens, too. My background in studying to be a pediatrician—think lab coats, microscopes, and medical textbooks—taught me that a keen eye for detail can be the difference between success and, well, a less favorable outcome.

That's why, when it comes to real estate, I approach each property as though it’s a complex case study. I’m not just glancing at the broad strokes. I'm diving deep into the nooks and crannies, scrutinizing those spots that could either be a home's charming feature or its hidden pitfall. Is that crown molding a historic touch, or is it hiding something more sinister? Do those wooden floors sing with character, or squeak with age?

And let's not even get started on contracts. In a realm of legalese, where one misplaced word can tip the scales, my attention to detail becomes your best advocate. I go over contracts with a fine-tooth comb, ensuring that every clause serves your best interest. If there's a loophole, we'll know about it. If there's an advantage to be gained, we'll seize it.

Oh, and because no home is complete without a touch of Mother Nature, I even attend to the details of your home's natural appeal. You might just find some pollinator-friendly plants to welcome not just the homebuyers, but the local butterflies and bees as well.

So, when you're entrusting someone with selling your home, remember: detail isn't just a buzzword to me; it's my pedigree. And it's what sets your listing apart in a market that often rewards the thorough over the cursory.

The Local Advantage: More Than Just Numbers, It's About Neighborhood Nuance

When it comes to real estate, local know-how isn't just an edge; it's a lifeline. Living my entire life in Chicagoland has filled me with an intimate understanding of its neighborhoods, from the hidden pockets of serenity to the bustling community centers. Sure, market stats can tell you a lot, but they can't guide you to that secluded park where the locals have their Sunday picnics or the mom-and-pop bakery that's been serving the best pastries for generations.

You won’t find these gems in a glossy brochure or a scripted sales pitch. These are the secrets only a lifetime resident knows, and they're precisely the kind of personalized insights I bring to the table when helping you find your next home.

Technology as a Tool, Not a Gimmick: The Future is Digital, and So Is Your Property Journey

Let's face it, technology has seeped into every facet of our lives, and real estate is no exception. But unlike some, who use tech as a shiny object to distract you, I harness its true potential to make your life easier. Virtual home tours? Check. Seamless digital transactions? You got it. Everything from signing a contract to virtually walking through a potential new home can happen with the tap of a finger.

And no, it's not about replacing the human element of real estate; it's about enhancing it. By leveraging technology, we can focus on what really matters: securing the best deal for you while making the process as smooth as a freshly paved Chicago road—which, let's be honest, is quite an achievement!

What Goes On Behind the Curtain: A Day in the Life

Imagine, if you will, a bustling café in downtown Oak Park on a crisp morning. The scent of fresh coffee beans fills the air, mingling with the quiet hum of business chatter. At a corner table, Jane, a young woman eager to buy her first home, sits across from me. She’s visibly nervous, chewing her pen as she scans a sheaf of intimidating documents. I guide her through the labyrinth of legalese, highlighting key terms, breaking down the verbiage into digestible bits. But as her eyes meet mine, I see more than just queries about contract clauses. I see the dream of a perfect home, a private sanctuary, hanging in the balance.

Now, let's fast-forward to the afternoon, shall we? Picture a quaint house in one of Chicago’s western suburbs. The staging looks like something straight out of a lifestyle magazine, but what you didn’t see is the elbow grease that went into it. The late-night strategy sessions pondering whether to place the vintage couch against the east or west wall, and the multiple trips to Home Depot for that perfect shade of “welcome home” paint. Oh, and let's not forget the pollinator planting I’ve woven into the garden, a welcome mat for the butterflies and bees, as well as the home buyers. The home now sings a visual serenade to every potential buyer who walks through, but this harmonious atmosphere didn’t compose itself overnight.

The evening sets in, and it's negotiation time. Cue the dramatic music as I dial into a conference call with the sellers. It's a bit like a poker game, played over a speakerphone. A few pleasantries are exchanged, then the moment of truth: the initial offer. I hold my breath. The sellers counter. I exhale, counter back, and then the waiting game begins. Every second feels like an eternity. Finally, an agreement—excitement fills the air, but it's tempered with the bittersweet knowledge that the process is far from over.

As the clock strikes midnight, my phone buzzes with an urgent email. A deal is teetering on the brink of collapse due to a last-minute loan issue. A sense of urgency floods over me; this is a Rubik's Cube that I have to solve before dawn. Equipped with 16+ years of experience and a never-quit mentality, I dive into the problem, knowing that someone's future home hangs in the balance.

You see, the life of a real estate agent is not a highlight reel of swanky open houses and champagne toasts at closing. It’s a tapestry woven from intricate threads of contractual minutiae, tactical problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. And guess what? Each thread is essential, delicate, and demands expertise to handle.

So, the next time you hear the phrase "Realtors are overpaid," remember this peek behind the curtain. Understand that the commission isn't just for the end result; it’s for the labyrinthine journey, filled with highs and lows, that gets you there.

The Value Proposition

So, the next time you entertain the thought that real estate agents are overpaid, remember that you're not just paying for a service, you're investing in expertise. And when it comes to one of life's biggest investments—your home—that's a pretty valuable commodity.

Ready to take the plunge or just want to talk shop? Either way, I’m here for it 🤙📲

— Laurie

Sept. 27, 2023

Chicagoland’s Trusted Senior-Friendly Real Estate Agents

Navigating the Golden Years: How We Guide Seniors Through Life's Big Moves

Today, I want to dive deep into something incredibly close to my heart: Helping seniors make those often complicated, sometimes bittersweet, yet ultimately empowering life changes. For those who’ve trusted me since 2007 to guide their real estate journeys, you know this is more than just a job for me—it’s a calling.

More Than Just a Move

Let’s be real; we’re not just talking about moving furniture and knick-knacks from one place to another. We're talking about relocating lives, re-homing memories, and most of all, guiding people through a stage of life that often comes with its own set of emotional baggages. That's why my services extend beyond real estate. My team includes organizers, contractors, packers, and everyone else you’d need to make this crucial transition as smooth as a Chicago hot dog—no ketchup, naturally.

When the Personal Becomes Universal

Now, let's get personal for a moment. My own mom decided she wanted to trade her downsized, carefully renovated condo for a different one across the hall (it had a MUCH better view 😆), just 2.5 years after she moved in. The shift wasn't just physical; it was deeply emotional. During her new place's renovation, she bunked with my family, serving us a poignant lesson: Life is short. If your space isn't filling your heart, it's time to find one that does. This experience taught me to infuse my professional life with a certain kind of sensitivity, recognizing that sometimes the need for a change comes sooner than expected. And that’s perfectly okay.

Your Guide to Downsizing

I know that contemplating such a significant move can be overwhelming. So, for those mulling over the idea, or if you have family members who are, I’ve got a go-to resource that's chock-full of valuable insights: my comprehensive Downsizing Guide. This guide walks you through the logistical and emotional aspects of downsizing, from the first “maybe it’s time” to the final signature on your new place.

Let's Start This New Chapter Together

If you or someone you love is facing this juncture, let’s not tread lightly. Instead, let’s embrace it as the life-changing, enriching experience it can be. Life's too short to stay rooted in dissatisfaction, and sometimes a change of scenery can be the most liberating decision you make.

Ready for your next chapter in the storybook of life? Click here to download the Downsizing Guide and let's make this transition one for the books!

Sept. 26, 2023

Stop the Hate in Real Estate

Breaking Silence, Breaking Stereotypes: Chicago’s Real Estate Industry Takes a Stand Against Hate

"Good fences make good neighbors," Robert Frost once mused. But hey, wouldn't a good neighborhood that stands against hate and discrimination make an even better community? Welcome to the blog, where today, we're diving into something more serious than where to get the best deep-dish pizza in town—although, come on, that's pretty serious too.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

Why Now?

Real talk. Our nation's feelings towards diversity and inclusion are more tangled than a pair of earbuds left in a pocket. According to Pew Research, a staggering 81% of Americans believe Black people face discrimination. Hispanic people? 76%. And let's not forget the Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities—71%. Women, 4 in 10 face discrimination at work. And for my LGBTQ+ folks? The Human Rights Campaign declared a "National State of Emergency." These numbers aren't just stats; they're a magnifying glass on the fractures in our society.

The Pledge - Not Just Words

Now, let’s strip this down to the studs: What's this pledge all about? Participating professionals commit to combating discrimination and hate, promoting homeownership for all, and believing—no, insisting—that they can influence their community for the better. No more standing idly by while someone's dream home becomes a nightmare due to prejudice.

The Real Estate Majority - Agents of Change

Now, here’s where things get passionate. As real estate pros, we're not just key-holders; we're gatekeepers to communities. We can either oil the creaky wheels of the status quo, or we can be the battering ram that breaks down the barriers. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), we contribute between 15-18% to the U.S. GDP. We're not just moving houses; we're movers and shakers in society.

So What's Next?

What's next is, we roll up our sleeves and get down to work. We foster dialogues, not just transactions. We don't just negotiate contracts; we negotiate a better future. After all, it's not just about selling homes; it's about building a society we're proud to live in.

So, whether you're buying, selling, or just scoping out the market, remember: You have a role to play in making your community a better place.

And for my Realtor friends: Take the pledge. Be a catalyst for change. Because really, isn't it time the "real estate majority" steps up to make every community feel like home?

Let’s be more than deal-makers; let’s be peacemakers. Ready to make some magic? Let’s do it! 🌈🏠

Stop The Hate in Real Estate is the collaborative effort between The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and WomanUp! to Stop the Hate in Real Estate. To learn more, visit

Sept. 25, 2023

Is Buying a Starter Home a Good Investment?

Your First Home: A Stepping Stone, Not a Finish Line

When it comes to purchasing a home, particularly the first one, it can feel like a balancing act—a tug of war between your dream wishlist and the ever-so-tempering budget constraints. But here's the good news: buying your first home doesn't have to feel like you're compromising your dreams. It's a pit stop, not the final destination.

The Life Progression of Homeownership

I recently caught up with my friend Amanda over coffee, and her journey provided some valuable insights. A few years back, she made the leap into homeownership with a modest 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo in an up-and-coming neighborhood. Since then, her life, dreams, and budget have evolved—and so has her living situation. She sold her starter condo, upgraded, and is already planning her next real estate move.

The key takeaway? Your first home is part of your life's progression. It's the prologue to a story filled with twists, turns, and a good deal of character development (literally and metaphorically!).

The Silent Benefit of Home Equity

Buying a home isn't just about having a place to hang your hat; it's an investment in your future. Each mortgage payment you make builds home equity, which serves as a financial safety net. Need to refinance when interest rates drop? You've got it covered. Been eyeing a big-ticket purchase or a dream vacation? You can cash out some of that equity to make it happen.

The Numbers Speak Volumes

Statistics reinforce the benefits of jumping into homeownership. According to a recent study, homeowners who purchased 3-6 years ago have seen a 22.1% increase in their property value. And those who bought 7-10 years ago? A staggering 46.6% appreciation. In layman’s terms, that's your financial wellbeing giving you a high five.

Your Next Step

If this sounds overwhelming, fear not. I've crafted a comprehensive guide that will hold your hand through the entire process. My "Let's Find Home: Buyer Guide" is designed to provide a detailed walkthrough, complete with assessments that help you gauge your readiness for this significant life step. Plus, it comes with tips to make the best part of real estate—the showings—a breeze.

So, if you’re ready to take that first step but need a little guidance, simply click here to download the Let’s Find Home: Buyer Guide.


Home Value Appreciation: Homeowner Expectations Vs. Reality

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Start searching for your dream home now


Sept. 22, 2023

Decoding Real Estate Commissions

Why You Shouldn't Go It Alone: A Friendly Guide to Real Estate Compensation

So you've been scrolling through article after article, trying to wrap your head around the nitty-gritty of real estate compensation, right? Let's break it down in a way that makes you feel like you've just discovered the secret recipe to Grandma's famous cookies!

Why Do Seller's Agents Pay Buyer's Agents?

"Wait, what? I'm the one selling. Why am I paying the buyer's broker?" Good question! This quirky system has been around for ages, and it's actually your BFF in disguise. It invites more buyers to the party and creates a level playing field for small businesses to compete with the big dogs. Essentially, it pumps up your home's visibility, making sure that more eyeballs mean more offers and potentially a higher sale price.

How It All Works

Picture the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as a massive, well-organized flea market where homes are the hot commodities. When you list your property, it becomes the star of the show. Buyers' agents come flocking, lured by the commission you're offering. But here's the catch: This doesn't cost the buyer a dime. So, more buyers feel empowered to wade into the market.

Cha-Ching Benefits

  • An $8.2 trillion increase in housing wealth from 2010 to 2020.
  • Helped 6.3 million new buyers get keys to their first homes.
  • For sellers like you, 30% more cash in your pocket than going solo.

What If Things Were Different?

No MLS means:

  • Running to every broker in town to find the right home (imagine the gas bill!).
  • Questionable, inconsistent information (we've all seen those sketchy listings).
  • Fewer choices for everyone (kinda like when Netflix removes your favorite show).

So, How Much Are We Talking?

Here's the tea: It's somewhat negotiable. Every listing agent sets their own menu of services and fees, so you’ll understand what you’re paying for and why, and be comfortable paying your superstar broker (ahem, that would be me!). The idea is that the system makes everyone eager to work harder, better, faster, stronger (thanks, Kanye).

FAQs: The Quick 'n Dirty

  • Why not make buyers pay? It'd be like asking your dinner guests to bring their own silverware. It's just not classy, and it would turn off a lot of potential buyers.
  • Is there a “one-size-fits-all” fee that real estate brokers charge? Nope! Think of it like ordering a pizza in Chicago: you’ve got options, honey! The market is the ultimate decider when it comes to fees, giving you the flexibility to choose how saucy (or economical) you want to be. Whether it’s a straightforward commission or a creative “success fee,” there’s a menu of choices thanks to a competitive landscape fueled by our lovely local MLS. In this arena, brokers have to bring their A-game, offering you a smorgasbord of services and pricing models to fit your needs. So go ahead, pick your toppings!
  • Why pay a broker when I have Google? Google can't negotiate, can't offer local wisdom, and most certainly can't comfort you when your stress levels go through the roof. That's what I'm here for!

Still with me? Perfect! If you want to tap into these perks and get a slice of the good life (or should I say, the good sale), don't be a stranger. Give me a ring, and let's make this the smoothest, most lucrative deal you've ever been a part of. Trust me, you won't regret it!

Ready to get started? Call me, Laurie, your ultimate guide and advocate in the labyrinth of real estate! Let's make selling your home as enjoyable as a Chicago street fest.

Laurie Christofano, leading Realtor at RE/MAX In The Village 

☎️ 630-248-1976

(My interpretation of NAR’s article on Real Estate Commission Facts)

Sept. 19, 2023

How to Spot Overpriced Homes in Chicagoland: Expert Tips

Is It Worth It? How to Decode Property Prices Like a Pro

Hello, Chicagoland homebuyers! If you've been skimming through home listings lately, you've likely come across that age-old conundrum: is this home really worth the asking price? Oh, the drama, the suspense! Fear not, I've got just the keys to unlock this mystery for you. 🏡🔑

Know Your CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)

Before you even think about making an offer, you need to get acquainted with the CMA. No, it's not the latest fad diet or a mysterious secret society. It's your blueprint for understanding home values in your desired area. A well-crafted CMA can be a game-changer in your home-buying journey. But for the nitty-gritty on how to use it to your advantage, you'll have to check out my guide.

Time on Market: A Telling Indicator

A house that’s been lounging on the market for a little too long could be giving off some "too expensive for my own good" vibes. How long is too long, you ask? Ah, that's a juicy detail I've saved for my guide. 😉

Appraisal vs. Listing Price: The Real Deal

Here's the thing: an appraisal isn't just a hurdle to clear during the home-buying process. It’s the financial reality check we all need but might not want. If there’s a discrepancy between the appraisal and the listing price, you’ve got some negotiating to do. But how to do it like a pro? Yep, you guessed it: it's in the guide.

Interior and Exterior Upgrades

If the home you're eyeing seems to be stuck in a time capsule, chances are it's not worth the hefty price tag. But what upgrades add real value and what’s just window dressing? A sneak peek of that is in my guide!

Emotional Pricing: Keep the Tissues, Please

Ah, sentimentality, it has a way of sneaking into the least expected places—including property prices. Understanding when a price is inflated due to emotional attachment can save you thousands. Want to know how to spot it? My guide's got you covered.

Ready to Become a Home Pricing Detective?

If you're chomping at the bit to get all these insider details (and I know you are), click the link below to download your FREE copy of "Is It Worth It? Decoding Property Prices."

Download the Guide Now!

Don't settle for less than you deserve; arm yourself with the knowledge to make the smartest investment of your life.

See you in the field,
Laurie 🌟

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Start searching for your dream home now


Sept. 15, 2023

Realtor in Berwyn Breaks Home Sale Records

Setting Record Sales in Berwyn: How We Leapt Towards One Seller’s Dream Home

The moment I stepped into Latechia’s home, I knew this was going to be a journey unlike any other. She wasn't just selling her rowhouse in Berwyn; she was funding and planning a dream—her dream home out-of-state. But what neither of us anticipated was setting a record-breaking sales price in Berwyn's housing market.

The Challenge Ahead

Selling any home is like solving a unique puzzle. Each home, each seller, and each buyer brings its own set of challenges and opportunities. Latechia needed someone who could guide her through the labyrinth of the real estate market, and she trusted me to be that person.

A Home Unlike Any Other

As soon as I stepped into Latechia’s rowhouse, I knew it had special qualities. Built in 2005, this home defied Berwyn’s norms. Modern amenities, spacious living areas, and a unique flair—it had it all. I decided then and there that we weren't just aiming for a sale; we were gunning for a record.

Making Moves

The open house was the game-changer. I made sure to invite top-selling agents from Chicago and the suburbs to add a layer of competitive atmosphere. The house showcased itself, but I wanted to make sure it shone in the best possible light.

The Record Breaker

When that record-breaking offer landed on the table, Latechia and I couldn't believe our eyes. We did it. We didn't just sell her house; we made history in Berwyn. And for Latechia, this wasn't just about money; it was about life, dreams, and her future new home out-of-state.

A Dream Set in Motion

The sale meant Latechia could set her plans into full swing. She’s now on her way to a dream home that’s being built specifically for her, far away but closer to where her heart wants to be.

From Latechia Herself

In Latechia's own words: "I am currently using Laurie to sell my home in Berwyn and she has been nothing short of EXCELLENT!!! She responds in a timely manner - she is pleasant and kind - she makes herself available to you - she is supportive to your needs as a seller - she is intelligent about the business and knows her stuff!!!! interviewed several realtors before selecting Laurie and she has been absolutely AMAZING!!!!"

As Latechia starts this new chapter, I'm reminded why I love what I do. Real estate isn't just about transactions; it’s about human stories, life changes, and, every once in a while, making history.

Thinking of Making a Move?

If you're thinking about selling your home and want to work with someone who not only understands the market but also understands the emotional and life-changing aspects of moving, reach out to me. Let's make your own dream a reality.

Sept. 13, 2023

Pros and cons of buying a 100+ year old home in Chicago or Oak Park

The Vintage Charm or Vintage Harm? Pros and Cons of Owning a 100+ Year Old Home in Chicagoland

Hey there, Windy City explorers! Laurie here, your friendly neighborhood real estate aficionado, bringing you another hot topic. Today, we're diving into a topic as layered as a deep-dish pizza—owning a 100+ year-old home in the Chicago area.

Pro: Character Overload

Let's start on a high note, shall we? Old homes are like a fine wine; they get better with age. With their hardwood floors, stained glass windows, and intricate moldings, these architectural darlings bring charm that new builds just can't replicate. Plus, you'll have the perfect backdrop for hosting your own version of "Downton Abbey" (butler optional).

Con: Renovation Nation

While you might fall in love with those vintage tiles, be prepared to also fall into a pit of renovation. The word "quaint" can quickly turn into "I can't!" when you realize you've got knob-and-tube wiring or outdated plumbing. You might spend more time with your contractor than your significant other for a while.

Pro: Craftsmanship and Quality Materials

Talk about being built to last! These homes often come with better lumber, intricate woodworking, and even cedar structural beams. “Already stood firm through every storm. Superior craftsmanship and materials,” raved one Facebook commenter.

Con: Size and Design Quirks

People back in the day didn’t live the way we do now. Expect smaller closets and rooms that might not fit your modern sectional. One Facebook comment hit the nail on the head: “furnishings today are a lot larger, so don’t fit a lot of older homes.”

Pro: Prime Locations

Location, location, location! Many old homes are located in established neighborhoods, often near downtowns, parks, and public transit. So you're not just buying a house; you're snagging a lifestyle that includes Sunday strolls to the local farmers' market and a shorter commute to downtown Chicago.

Con: Not So Energy Efficient

Remember, a 100-year-old home was not built with today's environmental consciousness in mind. Your new vintage darling might guzzle energy like a '74 Cadillac drinks gasoline. Upgrading to green technologies will be your pocketbook's new best friend.

Pro: A Home With a Story

Every nook and cranny has a story to tell. There's nothing quite like knowing that your home has seen the Roaring Twenties, the Swingin' Sixties, and now the...Streaming Twenties? You're not just a homeowner; you're a historian!

Con: Potential Historic Restrictions

Speaking of history, owning a historical home might mean you're subject to certain zoning or restoration laws. Want to paint your Victorian purple? Check the local guidelines, or you might have more than just your neighbors talking.

Pro: Strong Community Bonds

Older homes often come with older communities, and that means neighbors who actually know each other. Cue block parties, neighborhood watch, and that sense of community that's straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

Con: That Price Tag, Though

Finally, let's talk dollars and cents. Historic homes can carry a premium price, especially in high-demand areas like Oak Park. And don't forget the maintenance costs that come along for the ride.

Pro: Squeaky Stairs & Safety

One humorous yet poignant pro? “Teenagers can’t sneak up the stairs after curfew without getting caught… they will always squeak! The stairs, not the kids.”

Must-Do: Professional Inspection

Before you fall head-over-heels, have a professional home inspector give the house a thorough check. Plumbing, wiring, structural integrity—get it all inspected. One commenter advised, “They need to give you a detailed report. Everything that needs major fixes should factor into how much you pay for the house.”


So there you have it, a platter of pros and cons served Chicago-style. Ready to start your vintage home hunt or still undecided? Either way, I'm here to guide you every step of the way—with or without a lab coat!

Until next time, may your homes be cozy, your negotiations smooth, and your deep-dish pizzas plenty!

Start searching for your old home with good bones now.


Sept. 12, 2023

Unlock Informed Home Buying & Real-Time Market Reports in Chicagoland

Elevate Your Home Search with's Upgraded Features

Attention, Chicagoland house hunters and market enthusiasts! Are you tired of sifting through countless listings without a real sense of what you're looking at? It's time to level up your home search with's newly upgraded features.

The All-New Enhanced Listing Reports

Say goodbye to the one-dimensional property listings of yesteryear. Our enhanced listing reports now include:

  • Customizable Mortgage Calculators: Tailor your mortgage estimates based on different scenarios and payment plans.
  • Up-to-Date Market Trends: Get real insights, like Oak Park 60302's median listing price, which saw a whopping 25% year-over-year increase last month.
  • Instant Market Reports: Compare each listing to the most similar home sales in the area, making your decision-making more precise than ever.

Market Temperature? We’ve Got That!

Curious to know if your targeted neighborhood is hot, cold, or somewhere in-between? Our 'Market Hotness' report is now available, giving you the latest temperature reading of the market. Spoiler: 60302 is fairly hot heading into the fall market!

Walkscore, School Reports, and More!

Location matters, and so does the community. That's why our listing reports also include:

  • Walkscore: A comprehensive score based on the listing’s walking proximity to amenities like shops, parks, and schools.
  • School Reports: In-depth data on the schools in the vicinity, so you can plan your future right down to the district.

Ready for a more intelligent and informed home search experience?

Navigate to today to take advantage of these robust features and connect with Laurie Christofano, a leading Realtor in Chicago and suburbs.

Sept. 5, 2023

Simplify Your Life: The Chicagoland Guide to Downsizing This Autumn

From inventory checks to finding the perfect smaller space, learn how to navigate the ups and downs of downsizing your home this fall.

Ah, fall—the season of pumpkin spice, cozy sweaters, and for some of you, the perfect time for a fresh start in a smaller space 🍂 I'm Laurie Christofano, your local Chicagoland Realtor, and today we're diving into the hows and whys of downsizing your home this autumn season.

Why This Fall Is the Perfect Season for Downsizing 🍁

Less Competition

Fall often sees fewer buyers in the market, giving you the upper hand. While everyone else is settling into the school year or finalizing holiday plans, you'll have first dibs on the prime downsizing opportunities out there.

Climate Comfort

Moving in the Chicago heat can be draining, and let's not even talk about the icy winter. Fall offers that happy medium where you can move without the weather-related drama. Plus, you get a season's grace period to address any heating quirks before the big chill hits.

Laying the Groundwork 📝

Inventory Assessment

Before you start eyeing that chic condo downtown, assess what you actually use and need in your current home. That dusty treadmill in the basement? It might be time to let go. Remember, downsizing is as much about decluttering your life as it is about reducing square footage.

Budget Check

Meet with a financial advisor to get a clear understanding of what you can afford. Keep in mind the costs of selling your current home, buying the new one, and any renovations you might need on either end of the sale.

Searching Smart, Not Hard 🕵️‍♀️

Virtual Tours

In our tech-savvy world, you don't even have to leave your sofa to check out potential new homes. Virtual tours can help you weed out the no-gos from the maybes, narrowing down your choices before you hit the pavement.

Neighborhood Scouting

Given my lifelong love affair with Chicagoland, I can offer hyper-local insights on each neighborhood. Want an active, amenity-rich community? A quiet retreat? Or maybe somewhere in-between? I've got the details.

At the Negotiating Table 🤝

Your Advocate in the Arena

Selling a larger home means you'll likely have some leverage when negotiating the sale of your current property and the purchase of the new one. Trust me to negotiate a deal that's sweeter than a slice of pumpkin pie.

Beyond Closing: The Lifelong Friendship 🏡

Saying "goodbye" isn't in my vocabulary. Once the ink dries, I'll be here, like your trusty scarf in the chilly months, to ensure you're settled and loving your new downsized home.

So, ready to trade square footage for high-quality, cozy living? Click here to kick off your downsizing journey today.