Local Flavor: The Whistle Stop Cafe

the whistle stop cafe

It’s a sunny morning and you wake up hungry for breakfast. You’ve heard about this little joint down the street and thought you would check it out. As you walk into the cafe, you are immediately greeted by the nostalgic decor. Postcards of local train depots, Fox Lake and Ingleside, from the late 1800s. The other train themed décor you see is from the 1950s. The feeling is cozy and comfortable and you are ready to eat!

Welcome to the Whistle Stop Cafe!

Melinda and Butch Conrad are the owners of this amazing little establishment, the Whistle Stop Cafe. They have been running this cafe since 1996, that’s 22 years this spring!

They have regulars. Regulars that are there like clockwork. Why? Because the food and the customer service is outstanding.

Two sets of regulars grace the long table by the window, an early morning crowd starting at 5am, and then another that forms a couple hours later. Daily diners.

Surrounded by the model train decor, they have a “meeting of the minds,” solving the world’s problems, talking about local events, and greeting most of the people who walk in the door by name.

Talk, you say? Not just having their noses in their phones? Old school stuff – actual conversation.

Good Eats!

Outside of the atmosphere, the Whistle Stop Cafe is known for their homemade pies, from taffy apple pie – to their famous homemade custard that goes into their banana cream pie.

And fresh from scratch biscuits and gravy.

And great coffee.

Have we hooked you yet?

You slide up to the counter, just like the one you remember from when you were a kid. The counter is from when the building was originally a drug store. Melinda said that they even found Bayer-aspirin when breaking the original flooring up.

So what else is there to eat here? The Whistle Stop Cafe is known for its breakfast foods. But should you not like breakfast, their lunch menu is well rounded and popular. They have frequently rotated specials, like the buffalo chicken wrap or their ½ sandwich ½ soup specials and ½ calorie pie (half slice).

For the record, who wants a half slice of their luscious homemade pies? Give me a WHOLE slice please!

Whistle Stop Cafe is a favorite among the locals. As one local put it, ‘Go for the biscuits and gravy, stay for the people and atmosphere. Even while busy, the servers do their best to make sure your coffee is piping hot and always refilled. Many find the speed at which food pours from the kitchen surprisingly fast.

The only thing locals said they would like to change would be to add a dinner option, as the Whistle Stop cafe is only open 5am – 2pm.

Spruced Up & Ready for Fall

A few weeks ago Melinda and Butch temporarily closed The Whistle Stop Cafe for a little light sprucing up. This included fresh coats of paint and maintenance to keep the kitchen running like a well-oiled machine. They’ve also decked out the cafe for the fall and holiday season!

Stop in and grab a bite at The Whistle Stop Cafe for breakfast and lunch. You will not be disappointed!

PS – Stop by the Lakes Realty Group Facebook Page and enter our contest before 10/20 to win a $50.00 Gift Certificate to The Whistle Stop Cafe!  Winner will be announced on 10/23! 

Love ‘em or Hate ‘em – HOAs

Love or Hate HOAs

In our area there are so many beautiful homes on the market. As you shop, you may wonder about the pros and cons of purchasing a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA). There are a few things to consider with an HOA.

Homes with HOAs have a lot of perks. Most subdivisions, condos, or townhouses with a Home Owners Association will have impeccably manicured yards and common areas. The primary purpose is to maintain and upkeep the neighborhood common areas, such as the pool, private gym, gathering hall, entrance landscaping, playgrounds and security.

Generally speaking, these homes tend to have higher property values as everyone has to keep their house and yard up to a certain level. Many of us have dealt with “that neighbor” that has the incessantly barking dog or plays very loud music until 4AM every single weekend. With an HOA, you may have recourse through official channels, instead of creating personal conflict directly with the neighbor.

Everyone in the neighborhood signs a detailed contract when they purchase their home in a HOA controlled area, therefor the HOA directors generally have some legal responsibility to handle situations permanently.

It is important to carefully read the HOA guidelines before finalizing the purchase of a house. Sometimes HOAs are reasonable and the rules are carefully considered before being enforced. While other HOAs are the opposite and extremely strict, even limiting the number of vehicles allowed in your own driveway, what landscaping/plants/trees you use, and other decisions that would normally be personal decisions. Some HOAs have design committees that can dictate the color of the exterior of your house or what mailbox you use, in order to maintain a certain look and feel to the community.

Be aware, HOA services do come with a price. There are HOA fees that are paid monthly or yearly that help to pay for these services. Sometimes the HOA can be as little as $100 per year.  Some HOA fees are quite exorbitant, skyrocketing into the $700 range per month. Carefully consider the HOA fees, and then the benefits to determine if an HOA is right for you.

In some parts of the country, finding homes without an HOA is very difficult, so your choice is more limited. In our area, there are an abundance of houses that both have an HOA controlled community and those that do not. Now that you have a little more information on its benefits and difficulties, what have you decided? Will you buy a home with an HOA?

13 Common & Comical #OpenHouseProblems

Cat hissing

Who doesn’t love an open house? Sometimes, the answer to that question, it turns out, is the Realtor® hosting it.

Not that the idea of pairing someone with his or her dream home isn’t thrilling, but there are plenty of moving parts agents need to put in place before presenting a home to the public.

From signs and balloons to snacks and pets, the struggle is real. So real, in fact, that there’s a hashtag to lament these common #openhouseproblems. Check out this list and see if you’ve experienced any yourself.

1. Shoe switcheroo

This photo definitely makes a case for wearing uncommon footwear. Though it may seem a tad unprofessional, it could be time to bust out your old Chuck Taylors or Birkenstocks!

2. Toilet troubles

Drank to much liquid…now what?!?!? #openhouseproblems #realtorlife #thestruggleisreal #maybetimetomeettheneighbors

A post shared by Nicole Waggoner Malubay (@nicolemalubayrealtor) on

It’s important to stay hydrated, but not having access to a usable toilet makes for a long and uncomfortable afternoon.

3. Furry nemesis

Something tells us kitty just isn’t in the mood to receive guests today! Dealing with pets — especially those with strong personalities — is one of the challenges of the job. Maybe once that doorbell starts ringing Grumpy Cat will release his hold on the iPad.

4. The cost of decorating

Balloons help buyers locate an open house but they sure are a pain to transport. This agent isn’t the only one dealing with the hazards of helium! Corralling these free-floating orbs is no picnic as you’re about to see.

5. Bad snack choice

In a business where scents really matter, taking a hard boiled egg isn’t the best idea. If you ever needed an excuse to eat an apple pie or cinnamon roll for lunch, here’s your justification.

6. Poorly-timed landscaping

Of course you’d like the property to be well-kept, but most Realtors® would prefer that all maintenance take place before the open house, not during it!

7. Creepy baby

All the creepy. #openhouseproblems

A post shared by Joel Teeling (@joelteeling) on

While this doll is only slightly less freaky than Chuckie, at least this little lady isn’t crying or fussing, right? Perhaps someone suggested staging this room as a nursery? An odd move for sure, but for some Realtors® nothing is shocking.

8. #FOMO

The only thing worse than being stuck inside on a beautiful day — all by yourself — is the ability to hear other people having a blast outdoors. Kind of takes you right back to your childhood days of being grounded, doesn’t it?

9. Drive safely

What could possibly go wrong!? #OpenHouseProblems

A post shared by Louisiana Real Estate Broker (@ronnieleegeorge) on

More balloon-related problems! Let’s hope this guy doesn’t have too far to travel ‘cause he can’t see a thing behind him.

10. Stay put!

so thats where my balloons went 15 min after i tied them outside my open house!!

A post shared by Misty Newsome (@tnrealtorgirl) on

And after going to all that trouble to get those #@!% balloons to their final destination, they have the nerve to up and fly away! What’s a Realtor® to do?

11. Well-heeled … but maybe not well-suited for the task

Sure, these heels are stylish but they’re definitely not what you want to be wearing as you set up and take down open house signs — especially when the ground is soft.

12. The temptation to binge-eat

Letting cookies go to waste feels like a sin, so when no one else is indulging agents are often compelled to try a treat or two. (Or more…) Plus, nothing helps pass the time like a tasty snack.

13. Hit and run

Setting up those signs (and keeping them up!) can prove more challenging than one might think.

Local Flavor: PetPalooza in Lake Villa

Petpalooza Lake Villa

Furbabies! Most of us have one or five. The weather is perfect, it’s the weekend, so what is a fur parent to do?

Go to the FREE Petpalooza event in Lake Villa, of course!

When and where is this funtastic event?

Location: Lehmann Mansion in Lake Villa, IL.
When: Sunday, September 24th. 11AM – 4PM.
For more information and to vote for the cutest costumed pet, click here.

Radio Station 102.3 XLC is hosting a special event for pet owners and animal lovers alike. Bring your doggies, cats, turtles, snakes, lizards or birds (or other pets) for an afternoon that is sure to be a barkingly great time!

This event will feature interactive games and activities with your pets.


If you’re in the market to add a pet to your family, adopt-an-animal sponsors will be present with applications and available animals looking for their furever homes. They will be happy to help you find the perfect furbaby to add to your family.

Bombshell Bullies Pit Rescue
Fat Cat Rescue
Lambs Farm, partnered with The Anti-Cruelty Society
Reach Rescue
Pat Saurs Pet Birds


Multiple activities available for your whole family. Kids can get a balloon twisted custom just for them. Jump in the bouncy houses. And get a caricature likeness made. Adults can take advantage of the photo booths to document this fun occasion.

And don’t forget people watching, that’s always a great activity!

The festival food is always the biggest hit at events like this. Yes, you will be able to get your hand dipped corn dogs and elephant ears here.

You also have the chance to watch live canine trick demonstrations, doggie dock diving (did you know there was such a thing?), lure agility courses, and other doggie demonstrations.

Not into dogs? No problem! They will have a meet and get close to the Tempel Lipizzan horses. There will also be reptiles, lizards, snakes, turtles and other animals to pet.

Not enough entertainment for you? There will also be live music with Winnie Cooper, and Fun Times DJ will be spinning some tunes!


This amazing event is provided by the following generous sponsors:

Ray & Raymond Autogroup
Acres Group
Animal Hospital of Lake Villa
Bauer’s Catering
Bella’s Bouncies Party Rentals 
Country Financial, Chris Manrose
Family Chiropractic and Sports Rehab
Leaping Lizards Events
Lehmann Mansion
Salon Bliss

6 Awful Reasons for Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent


There are millions of homes bought and sold every year, most of them with the help of a real estate agent. However, there is still a segment of the population that chooses to go it alone when it comes time to sell or buy a home.

There are different reasons for this, many of which aren’t very good. The only good reason might be if you’re an agent yourself, and even then, it might be better to work with another agent so that you’re not letting your own emotion cloud your judgment. Here are some of the worst reasons for not hiring a real estate agent:

1. To save some money

You might think you’re guaranteed to save yourself money by not hiring a real estate agent, but that’s not true. It’s very likely that it will cost you money during the process because of all of the potential pitfalls that you’re not even aware of. There are multiple points in a real estate transaction where making the right decision, or knowing what to look for will save you thousands of dollars. Real estate agents know this.

2. Because you think you’re a great negotiator

You probably think you’re a great negotiator, and you might be, but you also might not be as good as you think. In fact, there are many billionaires and CEO’s who openly admit that they aren’t good at negotiating, and oftentimes have other people negotiate on their behalf. Again, understanding real estate, and what factors may affect price are things that a real estate agent knows that can help with negotiation, and will get you a much better deal.

3. You read about a bad experience someone had

Of course there are horror stories on social media and forums about people’s experience buying and selling a home. This shouldn’t deter you from hiring an agent to guide you through the process, because you’re much more likely to find yourself in a nightmare scenario if you go it alone. There’s an important thing to remember about the nightmares you see online; people are much more likely to post about their negative experiences than their positive ones. There are lots horror stories about hospitals, restaurants, and hotels too — that doesn’t mean you’ll never leave the house again, right?

4. Because you saw a real estate show on HGTV

We all love real estate shows. It’s a lot of fun to sit back and watch a shockingly good-looking couple flip a home and make a $50,000 profit in less than 30 minutes. But it’s important not to confuse television with reality. You can’t learn everything you need to know from watching tv, otherwise this country would be full of expert martial artists, race-car drivers, and stand-up comedians. Hire someone with real-world experience to help you along.

5. You think you’re the only one who knows how much your home is “really worth”

You love your home, and it’s likely that you love it and appreciate it more than anyone else does. It’s completely natural to not only develop a sentimental attachment to where you’ve spent years of your life, but to also appreciate all of the repairs, upgrades, and other special details that you know and love. But just because you believe your home should be priced a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s what the market will bear. Having a business-minded, detached approach to pricing and selling your home is critical to a successful real estate transaction.

6. Because… “How hard could it really be?”

Some lessons in life are only learned through experience. Real estate agents have studied, been through it, and know that conducting a real estate transaction can be a potential minefield if you’re not careful. As a buyer or seller, it’s important not to minimize the difficulty and effort that goes into closing on a home. Hire a real estate agent, and let them worry about the difficult aspects, you’ll be glad you did.

Why Do Real Estate Agents Ask If You’re Pre-approved?


Have you ever walked into an open house, or called a real estate agent about a listing, and within minutes, they’re asking you if you are “pre-approved” for a mortgage?

If you haven’t, then you have never walked into an open house or called an agent. Or at least enough of them…

Just wait. It’ll happen.

And you’re going to feel like it’s pretty pushy for them to ask that.

It’s like a joke.

It makes you feel like telling real estate agents this knock-knock joke…

You: Knock-knock.

Real estate agent: Who’s there?

You: Nunya.

Real Estate Agent: Nunya who!?

You: Nunya business if I’m pre-approved or not! Just show me the house, and I’ll get pre-approved if I even like the house. I can definitely get approved for a mortgage. Probably way more than this stupid house anyway. So, stop asking if I’m pre-approved.

Try it…maybe the agent will laugh! Or, maybe not. Depends…

But it’s no joking matter.

It depends on the agent. Agents have different personalities. They all come across different ways. They all handle how they meet, greet, and chat with consumers in different ways. There’s no one way to “be”, as a real estate agent.

But every single real estate agent should be asking you if you’re pre-approved. But many do not. Because they feel like it is a bit pushy and forward. Because he or she worries about offending you. But they should ask…

…because it’s entirely relevant for them to know.

…because it’s entirely important for you to be pre-approved.

It might come across as a pushy, or invasive question. Maybe that is because of how an agent asks the question. Or when the agent asks the question. Or, simply because you don’t know that it’s a question that should be asked.

But it is not a joking matter.

And you should expect the question, be prepared to say that you are pre-approved, and…you should actually want the agent to ask you that question.

It’s not like a first date.

If you were going on a first date with someone, and one of the first things the person asked about was how much money you make, and can you afford the date, you’d feel like that was pushy and weird.

Rightfully so. You don’t go in for a kiss the minute you meet each other, let alone ask for a hand in marriage. There’s some build-up.

Beyond that, there’s some time that needs to be spent together before probing questions about finances are asked. That kind of stuff comes way after even the first kiss, because finances are a pretty private, intimate subject. Even more intimate than a kiss…

Which is why it seems so invasive when an agent you’ve just met asks you if you’re pre-approved. It feels like they’re asking you some pretty private, intimate stuff that’s none of their business.

But asking for a pre-approval isn’t like going in for a kiss. It isn’t a marriage proposal. And it isn’t probing on the part of the agent.

It is a necessary question, and an important piece of information for the agent to know. And for you!

Why does an agent ask you if you’re pre-approved?

Agents aren’t asking you if you’re pre-approved because they’re looking to size up how much you can spend. (At least not most agents…)

They want and need to know that you are serious, and qualified to buy a house.

And they certainly have their reasons for wanting to know…

  • Real estate agents need to make sure they’re working with someone who can actually buy a house. They don’t get paid until and unless the person they’re working with buys a house. So, this is a matter of being careful about who they spend their time with. It might sound selfish…but you can’t fault them for that. They’re in business. Nobody cuts them a paycheck. And showing people houses is not a public service or charity work. Even working with someone who is pre-approved doesn’t guarantee them that they’re going to make any money. But at least it’s an indication that the person they are working with can do something.
  • Agents also need to know how much you’re pre-approved for in order to advise you as well as possible. Picture an agent showing you houses for weeks, and months. You finally find “the one”! You get all excited about the house, and you want to make an offer, only to find out then that there’s no way you could afford the house. This leads to heartbreak and aggravation…for both of you. It doesn’t do either of you any good to go through all of that only to find out you can’t afford the houses you were looking at…or even buy one at all.
  • And, to a degree, this is a safety precaution. You might not believe this, but agents are in a pretty risky position. If they just say OK to every person who calls and asks to go see a house, with absolutely no proof or verification of who the person is, that puts them at risk. Sure, a pre-approval won’t necessarily stop an evil person from doing something, but this is a pretty basic precautionary request.

Why you should want an agent to ask if you are pre-approved.

Even if you have just started browsing for a home just a little bit, and haven’t gotten pre-approved (yet)…at least expect the question. Don’t be offended when you’re asked if you are.

In fact, pay closer attention to the agents who do ask if you’re pre-approved! The ones who ask make it easy for you to find a great agent to work with.

Because if they’re asking that question, it’s a good sign that they are thorough and thoughtful about how they do their business. That’s the type of agent you want to have on your side when you’re buying a house — one who’s careful from the get-go. One who pays attention to the details. One who isn’t going to waste your time any more than their own. Or allow your heart to be broken when you fall in love with a house you can’t do anything about.

And if you want to get some really good attention and service from the best agents you come across, don’t even let them have to ask if you are pre-approved…

Get pre-approved before you even start looking. And let the agent know you’re pre-approved before they even ask. You’ll set yourself apart from almost every buyer the agent has ever met.

Why You Shouldn’t Let A Website Tell You Your Home’s Value


Picture this…

There’s an inexperienced real estate agent in your town.

He hasn’t sold any homes yet.

He wants to drum up some business.

So, he climbs up onto your roof and paints what he estimates to be the value of your home.

He feels like this could be a win-win:

YOU get to know the value of your house, so he was helpful to you, without even having to meet with him…

… and HE gets to show you how that he knows his stuff. Hopefully you’ll turn to him for help once you want to sell your home.

But you’re kind of ticked off, aren’t you?

First off, this guy painted on your roof. That’s just vandalism.

Beyond that, he wasn’t even close to accurate! The value he painted up there is tens of thousands of dollars off.

He didn’t even see inside your home

You notice he did the same thing to all the other houses in the area.

He seems off on the value of all of them.

It’s still kind of intriguing, though, because you’re like, “Hmm, I always felt like Bill’s place was worth less than mine. Looks like I was right. But there’s no way Gary’s house is worth more than mine, that agent is craaaazy. Unless maybe Gary did some major remodeling inside…”

But how would the agent know? He never even went inside your neighbor’s house. Or your house. Or anyone else’s house.

He just eyeballed everyone’s house from outside, and took a quick peek at some data available to the public. Then slapped his estimate up on your roof for everyone to see.

His estimates are all over the place. Some high. Some low. Once in a while he seems to be somewhat in the ballpark.

His “value” affects your actual value

Beside the fact that this guy vandalized your roof, now you have people sizing up the value of your home based upon a number he came up with, without even seeing inside your home.

It was careless and thoughtless.

He lacked respect for your privacy, your equity, and ultimately your wealth. The value of your home can now be viewed by anyone, for whatever reason they feel.

It would be even worse if you were in the middle of trying to sell your home, and now you have buyers pulling up, seeing your painted roof, and considering his estimate when (and if) they make an offer.

Can you imagine if a real estate agent actually did this?!

You’d probably want to report him to the police, his real estate broker, the real estate commission… and all of your friends, family and neighbors.

You’d want everyone to know not to trust this guy, or give him any business.

Online valuation sites are basically doing this to you

You’ve probably seen or heard about websites where you can look up the value of your house (or anyone else’s house) for free.

It seems great because there’s no need to even talk to a real estate agent. Just pop in the address, and voila, you get to see the value of the home.

You might figure that it’s super accurate, since they use fancy algorithms and stuff.

However, these online real estate valuation sites are all basically painting a number on your roof, without ever having gone inside, and without ever having sold a house. And they’re definitely not experts in your local market.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it.

They’re using public data to come up with their estimates. They didn’t steal anything. They didn’t actually paint on your roof (they just hover a value over it digitally).

They post disclaimers about their accuracy (or lack thereof), at least if you really, really look for them.

Plus, who would you even report them to anyway?!

Start valuing real estate agents’ values

The thing is, these sites exist because people tend to like them, and look at them. They wouldn’t exist if people didn’t continue to click on them. But people do.

They certainly are convenient, and entertaining, even if they are not accurate.

Many people just don’t want to deal with real estate agents, until and unless they have to. But that’s actually what you should be doing if you want an accurate value of your home.

Great real estate agents take a lot of time and pride in estimating the value of a home. This is not something you can do remotely by simply reviewing public data and algorithms.

In order to be accurate, even a local real estate agent needs to see inside of your home.

So, instead of encouraging these online valuation sites to exist, by visiting their sites and clicking around…

…click on a local real estate agent’s site, and invite him or her in to take a look at your house, and come up with an accurate value.

Don’t rely on an online valuation.

And, whenever possible, spread the word about the inaccuracy of these online valuations because they can affect the perceived value of your home… and beyond. And they will exist as long as people continue to pay them any attention.

Pay attention to real estate agents instead.

Sell Your Home with Feng Shui Staging


So you want to sell your house. You have read up on why staging is important in the sale of a house.  You’ve also heard about this thing called Feng Shui staging and it has your head spinning a bit. The premise is that you want to create energy flow throughout your home, and make your house more aesthetically pleasing.

Let’s break down this type of staging to simplify what it is, and how you can use it to bring appeal to potential home buyers.

What is Feng Shui Staging?

Feng Shui literally means “wind-water” and it has been used in China for hundreds of years.  It is a set of rules that define how spatial arrangement and orientation can enhance the flow of energy in a home. So naturally that would apply to staging a home to give it the right “feel.”

Feng Shui Staging Outdoors

Buyers naturally look to the right first when examining a home, with this in mind, placing the For Sale to the right of the door invites buyers to look closer. For maximum effect, have all the flowerbeds, bushes trimmed and an inviting path to the front door.

For a more welcoming entryway, make sure the door is freshly painted a contrasting color of the house. Add healthy flowers with rounded leaves in beautiful planters on both sides of the door with a new door mat to “greet” potential buyers. Many Feng Shui sites recommend placing a wind chime at the right corner of the home and adding a water feature to the front of the home by the entry.

Feng Shui Staging Indoors

The first 6-8 seconds of walking into a house usually determines whether a buyer will want it. To get the most out of those precious seconds, you want to show them the best room first. Delineate this room with colorful rugs and relaxing patterns. Have the couches and seating arranged to face the door, welcoming visitors into the home.

By removing all the personal effects in each room, you are allowing potential buyers to envision their own personal belongings in that room. Decluttering the entire house and removing all personal items and photos removes the tension of too many items and allows the energy to flow more freely, showing buyers that there is room for their possessions.

Get rid of dark, gloomy or sad wall art. Add cheery, brightly colored and positive wall art to lighten the mood and make the rooms feel more welcoming. Leave the wall paint color neutral tones to offset the colors. When accessorizing, rounded shapes are best as sharp shapes and corners are said to cut the energy.

A clean house is key, pay special attention to the windows and corners of the house. Make sure that everything is sparkling clean and fresh.

Staging the dining area with plates, silverware, napkins and a beautiful centerpiece provides a welcoming view for potential buyers. Yellow is an excellent choice of color in the kitchen as it aids digestion. Bowls of fruit, oranges, lemons, limes or apples is considered a sign of prosperity as well as being lovely decor.

With some of these Feng Shui staging tips, you will create a warm and welcoming environment to visitors and encourage potential home buyers to want it for themselves.

3 Ways Real Estate Agents Actually SAVE You Money During Your Home Sale


One of the main gripes that people have with real estate agents is their commission. Many homeowners (mistakenly) think, “Why should I pay a real estate agent to do something I’m perfectly capable of doing myself?”

The reason people avoid working with agents is because they think it’s going to cost them money. But in reality, working with a qualified real estate agent is worth far more than what you’ll pay in commission. In fact, working with a real estate agent can actually make the process of selling your home less stressful, less time consuming, and less expensive.

Here are three ways real estate agents more than earn their commission — and can actually save you money — during your home sale:

1. They know the right people


As the old real estate saying goes, when it comes to selling your home, it takes a village. And if you don’t have the right villagers in your corner, the process of selling your home can get expensive, fast.

During your home sale, there’s all sorts of vendors you’ll need to work with: contractors, landscapers, inspectors, tradesmen, professional stagers, movers… depending on your needs, the list can be lengthy.

Finding all of those vendors on your own will take a lot of time — and there’s no way to ensure you’re getting a good deal when you hire them. But when you work with an agent, they have professional contacts across the board and can recommend the right vendors at the right price.

Having access to your agent’s network is a huge time and money saver during the sale of your home.

2. They know exactly how to price your home


Pricing your home is tricky business. If you don’t price it high enough, you’ll be kicking yourself when you get less than what you believe your home is worth. But price it too high and you won’t get any offers, leaving your house on the market — possibly stigmatized as “having something wrong with it” — and costing you money in the process.

When you try to sell your home on your own, pricing your property can feel like a guessing game. But when you work with a qualified real estate agent, their deep market knowledge will help you price your home in a way that works for both you and potential buyers.

It’s an agent’s job to know what’s going on in your market. They know how much homes are selling for, how long homes are sitting on the market, and exactly how you need to price your home if you want it to sell quickly and profitably. This information will significantly speed up the process of selling your home AND help you fetch a higher price — both of which put money right back into your pocket.

3. They give you your time back


Many sellers who try to manage their home sale on their own start the process thinking that it’s going to require a minimal time investment. They think posting a few ads on home listing sites, hosting an open house or two, and signing a contract are all it takes to get a house sold.

But unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Selling a home is a full-time job. That’s why there’s an entire industry built around it! Homeowners who go the sale-by-owner route in an attempt to save money often find their time, and lives, completely monopolized by the process.

And, as they say, time is money.

If you’re spending all of your time trying to get your house sold, it’s taking you away from your life — your family, your job, your hobbies. And there’s no price tag for what that’s worth.

Working with a real estate agent takes all that time burden off of you. Selling your home is their full-time job, and they can devote the time and attention necessary to get it done quickly. The amount of time and hassle this will save you is invaluable.

Not working with a real estate agent to save money on commission fees makes sense… in theory. But in practice, working with a real estate agent saves you immeasurable time, energy, and cash. Any good real estate agent will more than earn their commission — and then some — before the time comes to sign the closing papers.

Greenwood Township Property Tax Appeal Information

greenwood_twpGreenwood Township Tax Appeal

Greenwood Township Property Tax Appeal Information

Greenwood Township Property Tax Appeal Filing Deadline: 08/11/17

For information on the Greenwood Township property tax appeal process, please visit our McHenry County Property Tax Appeal Guide.

Interesting Facts About Greenwood Township

Greenwood township covers an area of 35.7 square miles. Only 1.48% of this area is composed of water. The population census by 2016 was approximately 14,550 residents.

Henry Weston was the first settler in this area in 1833. His wife was the first person to die in this township. Queen Anne Prairie was named in honor of her death. He married soon afterwards. As with many of the early settlers, land was of utmost importance. Two of the earliest settlers had a disagreement on land. One laid claim to another’s property and built a cabin on it. The original owner, Lewis Boone, tore down the cabin and cut all of the cabin’s logs in two and called Mr. McCullom a claim jumper. As the situation grew more violent as the two opposing parties continued to harass each other, a lawsuit resulted, being the first in McHenry County’s docket.

Nippersink Creek runs through much of this township and provided the area with water. It had rich rolling farmlands that were well cultivated. The valley of this creek originally was heavily timbered, but early settlers used this lumber for their homes, fuel and fencing. There are several old cemeteries in this area, one of which had a monument erected in 1880 for those who lost their lives in the Civil War.

In Section 10 of Greenwood, there are several Indian Mounds. Early excavations indicate the work of Mound Builders. Artifacts and human skulls are some of the things that have been discovered in these ancient mounds.

Starting the summer of 1877, a Harvest Picnic was started by the residents there. It continued for a number of years, providing annual recreation for Greenwood’s inhabitants.