How to locate realtor in Chicago

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Topic Author
Electrum
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:39 am

How to locate realtor in Chicago

Post by Electrum » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:09 pm

Hello Friends -

Our daughter and SIL live in Chicago, and they have asked that we seriously consider moving to Chicago to be nearer to them. We are planning to do just that, in 3-4 years, but want to begin gathering information now.

Tower condo living close to downtown interests us, so we thought we'd start our information quest there. Speaking with one or more realtors who specialize in downtown towers seems to be a good starting point. We would take up only an hour or so of their time (visit to their office), with the understanding that our move is 3-4 years away. We have a list of questions to ask, and pretty well thought our idea of what we want in a building. This forum has been very helpful in that regard.

How does one go about locating an appropriate realtor? I checked the Chicago Association of Realtors website, but their Find a Realtor page isn't very helpful. Can anyone make a recommendation? Please PM me if necessary.

This website lists Chicago neighborhoods:

http://www.thechicago77.com/chicago-neighborhoods/

Using their definitions, we are interested in the Centeral area (Near North Side, Loop, Near South Side). This is a large area, but towers may be concentrated only in certain parts. We are visiting Chicago in September, and hope to speak with some realtors then.

Thanks for your help,
Electrum

Jack FFR1846
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Re: How to locate realtor in Chicago

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:14 pm

I'd think you'd want to rent for at least a year first.
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Topic Author
Electrum
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:39 am

Re: How to locate realtor in Chicago

Post by Electrum » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:23 pm

Yes - the plan is to rent a year in a building we are interested in, but first we need to identify that building, and that is where consulting with realtors comes in.

bloom2708
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Re: How to locate realtor in Chicago

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:23 pm

A lot will change in 3-4 years.

I would just research online (zillow, realtor.com) until ~1 year out.

Renting for 1 year is a good idea too. 3-4 years is just too far out.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead

megabad
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Re: How to locate realtor in Chicago

Post by megabad » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:44 pm

Electrum wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:09 pm
How does one go about locating an appropriate realtor?
I got a chuckle when you went to the Assoc of Realtors site.

Side note, I would consider it bad form to sit down with an agent more than 1 year away from intent to purchase unless I had a close personal relationship with the agent and he/she was ok with it. I also don't really see the point since the whole city landscape could change in 4 years. A quick phone call might be ok, but I wouldn't want to waste more than a minute or two.

When you get a little closer to the move, the ways I have found realtors is either through local friends/relatives (like your daughter). Or I find them by looking at the real estate transaction records. In Chicago downtown, the easiest way for me is to pull all the firms with contingent properties in the area and of the class I am looking at buying. Usually this will reveal 1 or 2 top agencies or agents that have early access to attractive properties. Then you just have to narrow down to the specific agent. I walk into the office and tell them I am looking to find the right agent for me but I am particular. I have a 5 minute conversation and ask them what their philosophy is. If it jives with mine, we good, otherwise I tell them that I just have a different approach and am too difficult a customer to work with them. TBH, realtors are a dime and dozen nowadays with the advent of easy internet searches of the MLS. Just don't get a complete dud. I chose the last guy because he chopped a little off his commission and no one else would. He was young but did fine and I saved thousands. Obviously, YMMV.

Topic Author
Electrum
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:39 am

Re: How to locate realtor in Chicago

Post by Electrum » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:25 pm

megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:44 pm
Electrum wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:09 pm
How does one go about locating an appropriate realtor?
I got a chuckle when you went to the Assoc of Realtors site.

Side note, I would consider it bad form to sit down with an agent more than 1 year away from intent to purchase unless I had a close personal relationship with the agent and he/she was ok with it. I also don't really see the point since the whole city landscape could change in 4 years. A quick phone call might be ok, but I wouldn't want to waste more than a minute or two.

When you get a little closer to the move, the ways I have found realtors is either through local friends/relatives (like your daughter). Or I find them by looking at the real estate transaction records. In Chicago downtown, the easiest way for me is to pull all the firms with contingent properties in the area and of the class I am looking at buying. Usually this will reveal 1 or 2 top agencies or agents that have early access to attractive properties. Then you just have to narrow down to the specific agent. I walk into the office and tell them I am looking to find the right agent for me but I am particular. I have a 5 minute conversation and ask them what their philosophy is. If it jives with mine, we good, otherwise I tell them that I just have a different approach and am too difficult a customer to work with them. TBH, realtors are a dime and dozen nowadays with the advent of easy internet searches of the MLS. Just don't get a complete dud. I chose the last guy because he chopped a little off his commission and no one else would. He was young but did fine and I saved thousands. Obviously, YMMV.
Thanks for your reply. I guess we will sit tight for a while. I like your idea of checking RE records.

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willthrill81
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Re: How to locate realtor in Chicago

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:45 pm

Electrum wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:25 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:44 pm
Electrum wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:09 pm
How does one go about locating an appropriate realtor?
I got a chuckle when you went to the Assoc of Realtors site.

Side note, I would consider it bad form to sit down with an agent more than 1 year away from intent to purchase unless I had a close personal relationship with the agent and he/she was ok with it. I also don't really see the point since the whole city landscape could change in 4 years. A quick phone call might be ok, but I wouldn't want to waste more than a minute or two.

When you get a little closer to the move, the ways I have found realtors is either through local friends/relatives (like your daughter). Or I find them by looking at the real estate transaction records. In Chicago downtown, the easiest way for me is to pull all the firms with contingent properties in the area and of the class I am looking at buying. Usually this will reveal 1 or 2 top agencies or agents that have early access to attractive properties. Then you just have to narrow down to the specific agent. I walk into the office and tell them I am looking to find the right agent for me but I am particular. I have a 5 minute conversation and ask them what their philosophy is. If it jives with mine, we good, otherwise I tell them that I just have a different approach and am too difficult a customer to work with them. TBH, realtors are a dime and dozen nowadays with the advent of easy internet searches of the MLS. Just don't get a complete dud. I chose the last guy because he chopped a little off his commission and no one else would. He was young but did fine and I saved thousands. Obviously, YMMV.
Thanks for your reply. I guess we will sit tight for a while. I like your idea of checking RE records.
Find a good accountant and ask him/her for a recommendation for a good real estate agent. S/he will likely be able to do so or at least refer you to someone else who can provide a recommendation.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

Chadnudj
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Re: How to locate realtor in Chicago

Post by Chadnudj » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:47 pm

OP -- if you're interested, I live in the area, and would be happy to refer you to a good realtor I used, and the names of others I know that friends have used (that I only didn't use because I already had a relationship with my realtor). Feel free to DM me.

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