How does this work?
Mainly, there are two ways you can buy, sell or rent a property. First, you can do it yourself. The second way is when you hire a real estate broker. When you sign an agency agreement with a broker, you are officially hiring the broker—it's an employment agreement. In short, when you hire a licensed real estate broker to represent you in a real estate transaction, an agency relationship is created.
How much do real estate agents charge in Chicago?
Compensation to the agency varies and is negotiable. We do not publicly quote fees or rates because we want to avoid claims of price fixing or anti-trust violations. Typically, broker commissions are paid from the seller's gross proceeds and at the time of closing. However, flat fee agreements can exist. Each client is unique.
What areas do you specialize in?
We maintain razor sharp focus in servicing the following downtown Chicago areas: River North, Gold Coast, Magnificent Mile, Streeterville, LakeShore East, the Loop, West Loop, South Loop, Printer's Row, Randolph Market, Fulton Market, Greek Town, Museum Park, Prairie District, Old Town, East Lakeview and Lincoln Park.
Is my information confidential?
Yes. Privacy and confidentiality is one of our top priorities. Your information is never shared nor sold to outside vendors for any reason. It is centrally stored with our company to assist efficient and timely movement of your file.
Do you hold earnest money deposit?
Yes, we can hold earnest money. Although, typically we have the lawyer or escrow agent hold it. Escrow money is held in a non-interest bearing, FDIC insured, segregated account—as required by law. And can be audited by the State Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Transfer of buyer's earnest money to the closing agent for the transaction may be made up to two (2) business days prior to the scheduled closing.
What happens to earnest money upon cancellation?
A transaction exists once an agreement has been reached and a real estate contract or lease has been signed. For earnest money to be returned, both parties to the contract must mutually agree in writing. Upon written approval from both parties to the transaction, we will initiate the return of earnest money by the end of the next business day.
If the release of escrow money is contested by one party, we shall continue to hold the deposit in escrow according to the State's Department of Professional Regulation Administrative Rules. If the principal parties to the transaction have not reached an agreement within six (6) months from the date of initial request—then we must turn the funds over to the State Treasurer.
What is dual agency?
Dual agency refers to when the [same] broker represents both the buyer and the seller in the [same] transaction. For example, if you hired a broker to sell your property, then that broker is your agent. Meanwhile, a couple weeks later, that same (your!) broker gets a call from an investor who wishes to hire the broker for buyer representation services. After viewing multiple properties, the investor decides they happen to like the property you're selling. Although there was no way of originally predicting this, nevertheless, the broker is now in a dual agency scenario. And must obtain written permission from both the seller and the buyer to act as a dual agent on this example transaction. Simply stated, dual agency implies conflict of interest.
What's your strategy to sell high-end homes?
Most brokerages are busy trying to solve yesterday's problems. Relying on the MLS and Zillow. In other words, 99.9% of brokerages really aren't marketing nor running paid advertising to your property. They're merely putting it on the MLS, which then pushes the listing to Zillow... and the MLS and Zillow are marketing the property... boring. Here's the problem with that approach: when your listing shows long market times, as often happens when using the MLS, it makes the property look bad. Indeed, we can also use the MLS and Zillow; but that's not where we would start.
For high-end listings, we deploy a method where we can market the property to affluent Americans who are looking—and can afford—to buy $2MM+ homes. Because chances are, the buyer of a luxury downtown Chicago property will be a cash buyer, and may not be from Chicago. Our digital business platform is purposely designed to leverage big data, Ai and people based marketing so we don't have to use the MLS or Zillow from the outset. While better targeting high-net worth buyers.
How to buy a condo in Chicago?
In a nutshell, buying a condo in Chicago boils down to three phases. First, you'll want to make sure you're pre-approved for financing (if you intend to use a bank). This would also be a good time to ask a real estate broker for unique insider info. So you can learn current market trends and pricing tactics.
Second, when placing an offer, you can expect to sign some paperwork. The first papers are what we call pre-contract disclosures. These are the environmental disclosures a seller must provide to a buyer—before the actual purchase contract is signed. Expect to sign the pre-contract disclosures and the purchase contract when you submit an offer. Likewise, prepare to hand over your earnest money check as well.
Third, after seller and buyer mutually agree on a purchases price, the lawyers receive and compile all the signed documents for the Title company to process. This is called the "attorney review" period. Among other things, at this time you'll order your property inspection and final mortgage approval. Assuming nothing nefarious turns up in the attorney review phase, the deal will get granted a clear to close—and a closing date will be scheduled.
Can you recommend an attorney if needed?
Yes. We can also recommend certified property inspectors and direct lenders if you need a loan. Moreover, we do not get compensated by the companies we refer you to. We recommend these professionals solely based on the quality of their work.
What do the best Chicago realtors know?
There are three key components to what we do. First, we utilize special tools to uncover and crosscheck each asset's value: price. Would you go shopping for yachts, if you didn't know how large boats were priced? Pricing knowledge is what separates the men from the boys. Secondly, there's marketing. HK® is a digital marketing expert. And last but not least, there's negotiation.
How do I start?
If you determine that we are the right fit for your wealth strategy, the next order of business is for you to sign an exclusive brokerage agreement that gives HK® Luxury Realty the exclusive right to represent you in your real estate transaction. Feel free to contact us. We look forward to working with you.