Whether we see it as evidence of the advance of a wider green homes movement or simply of rising environmental consciousness, Naperville area green homes are becoming properties with a distinct marketable sales advantage. What were once viewed as altruistic gestures practiced by only the most dedicated preservationists are going mainstream—and at a rapid clip. The National Association of Realtors® recently found that 70% of those surveyed believe eco-friendly features add value to a home. In other words, the practical advantages of ‘going green’ are becoming more and more evident to prospective buyers.

For sure, one reason for the increasing popularity of green homes in our area is a growing and sincere concern about sustainability.
But there’s also another reason: a growing and equally sincere desire to save cash!

There are in fact a number of practical reasons why green homes save their owners money—

    • Tankless water heaters are one example of a technology that’s been around for a while, but which is now gathering popularity. The engineering is based on the fact that constantly storing and re-heating of a volume of water means wasting a lot of energy. Tankless units don’t store heated water; instead they pass it over coils that are only energized when hot water is needed. As a consequence, tankless water heaters can actually save their owners up to 50% on hot water costs!
    • As global critics increase their cries for the conservation of fresh water, the idea that green homes can make a major difference is gaining traction. The EPA’s website lists multiple ways that green homes can save the precious resource, from WaterSense-labeled faucets and toilets to high-efficiency showerheads.
    • Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can make the most dynamic contribution to green homes. Regularly-maintained Energy Star appliances, combined with home management practices like heating and cooling only areas that are in use via programmable thermostats can make a welcome dent in the monthly bills.

Together with the ongoing wallet relief that green homes provide their owners every month, changing over to ecologically championed household appliances and practices is an increasingly practical exercise. When it comes time to sell your Naperville area home, too, being able to provide those penny-pinched utility bills can make all the difference to cost-conscious prospects. For more ideas on ways you can increase the value and sales appeal of your own property, we hope you won’t hesitate to give us a call!

According to the Reuters news service, the home market for those with high net worth incomes (HNWI) has remained surprisingly strong — even when there were dips in other sectors. Luxury homes are hot on the radar of those with the means to swing multi-million dollar purchases.

One listing tactic for the marketing of luxury homes — whether in Kenilworth,, Hinsdale, or here in Naperville– is the “pocket listing.” Pocket listings give the owners of luxury homes the ability to conduct a discreet, private sale by keeping it off the Multiple Listing Service. The most common reason my sellers opt to steer clear of the MLS is to give maximum leeway concerning general public knowledge of the offering.

I recall seeing one notable recent example (I believe it was reported by TMZ): the simultaneous pocket listings of both of their high-end homes by celebrity pair Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. For public personalities whose careers are dependent on careful nurturing of their images, maintaining control of public access to their domestic doings can be viewed as a business necessity. Instead of being exposed on the usual multiple-listing services, it’s marketed directly by their agent.

Selling Naperville luxury homes through pocket listings can also provide the homeowner and agent the maximum ability to vet potential buyers. Too, business people wishing to avoid upsetting customers or employees can avoid speculation that they may be leaving the area. And for those who are wary of listing their luxury homes during a less than roaring market, a pocket listing leaves the door open to selling to the right buyer for an ideal price.

However (and it’s a big however), the same qualities that make pocket listings an attractive path to a discreet sale also carry a notable drawback. By their very nature, pocket listings severely cut down the number of potential buyers — considerably cutting down the chances of reaching the best possible sale price. If you are an adherent of the axiom any publicity is good publicity, a pocket listings word-of-mouth technique (the first cousin of no publicity) probably isn’t an attractive alternative.

If you are looking to sell your home with little fanfare, call me to discuss your options and the pros and cons of each. Local luxury homes can sometimes be well served when they stay in the pocket!

When you Google “seeking the best professional,” in about a half a second you are presented with 403 million candidates (not to play favorites, SearchEngineWise, when you ask Bing the same thing, it gives you a mere 62.6 million…which might actually prove more useful, since it would only take you a little more than a year to scan each for 2 seconds).

Narrowing the quest, when you Google “seeking the best Realtor®,” it gives you just a few less than 2,000,000 likely results. Since anyone seeking the best real estate professional to buy or sell their home isn’t after one eight states away, almost everyone quickly narrows the search to ‘best Realtor in Naperville.’ That number varies from time to time, but almost always more than 500,000 show up (the ones at the top are paid ads).

This isn’t actually as whimsical a quest as such results suggest: it’s a quite serious undertaking. Even if you are a veteran homeowner—someone who has bought and sold homes multiple times in the past—today’s market is so vastly different from what it was even ten years ago (thank you, Internet!) that you need to connect with a Realtor in the Naperville area who will bring you success in this vast new arena. This will be someone whose marketing know how is as current as this morning’s Tweet—but whose depth of knowledge and experience in adroitly handling the old-fashioned local workings (and, alas, paperwork) are also encyclopedic. Today, your “best Naperville area Realtor” will have mastered it all.

So, what’s the right way to go about finding her/him? What’s a homeowner or prospective home buyer to do when they are bound and determined to actually find the best professional in the area? There are positive steps to take:

    1. Word of mouth: ask around to people whose opinions are substantial. Even if you are looking to sell and someone whose opinion you trust has experience only as a buyer, take the agent’s name. The best Realtors in your area are great on both fronts!
    2. When you are out and about in the neighborhood, note the “For Sale” yard signs planted in the lawns of appealing-looking properties. Jot down the agent’s contact number.
    3. Check the newspapers (and even notices posted on local store bulletin boards) for open houses…then attend them!
    4. Check the local MLS: see which agents are prominently represented in the Naperville listings—especially for properties in the same general price range. Look for eye-catching, well-written listings.

And finally, having compiled a list of your likely suspects, take the final and most important step of all:

1. Stop Googling—and start interviewing!

The search for the best Realtor in your town will take a bit of energy—and a bit of your time—but given the significance of the task ahead, is guaranteed to be worth your while. Since you’ve found my western burb blog, I hope you will put me on your list of best area Realtors—please don’t hesitate to give me a call!