Thursday, February 27, 2014

What Style is Your Home?

Do you know everything about your home (or the home you are listing)? Do you know the distinguishing traits that make your home appealing? If not, this could help you determine the basics, like what architectural-style your home is. Below are five of the most popular architectural styles in the US.

1. Colonial-Style Homes
Colonial-style homes are distinguishable by their brick or wood facades. They are usually two-three stories and have a kitchen and family room on the first floor with bedrooms on the second. This is one of the most popular styles in America, originating in 1876.

2. Contemporary-Style Homes
The name originally referred to architect-designed homes built in the 1950s-1970s (but includes recent decades now). These types of homes are built with simple forms and geometric lines, glass, open space and innovative designs, and a sharp contrast in materials, textures and levels.

3. Victorian-Style Homes
These homes are inspired by the Victorian era (1860-1900). Homes of the Victorian era are romantic and have a lot of ornamentation and detail found in everything from the fabrics and patterns to colors and textures.

4. Tudor-Style Homes
These homes were built to resemble the style of the 16th-century Tudor dynasty in England (and are sometimes referred to as medieval revivals). Today’s Tudors very loosely resemble the late medieval homes with common features like steeply pointed rooftops, large chimneys, decorative wood trimmings and tall narrow windows.

5. Mediterranean-Style Homes
This style of architecture flourished in Southern California during the 1920s and 1930s and is still popular today, typically in warmer climates. They usually have a U-shape floor plan surrounding a courtyard to promote cooling and cross ventilation. They are distinguished by a low-pitched red tile roof, arches and a stucco exterior.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Getting Your Home Ready for Sale

Time Required: Seven to Ten Days

Here's How:

  1. Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
    • Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.
    • Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
    • Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
    • Say goodbye to every room.
    • Don't look backwards -- look toward the future.
  2. De-Personalize.
    Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."
  3. De-Clutter!
    People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.
    • If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
    • Remove all books from bookcases.
    • Pack up those knickknacks.
    • Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
    • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
    • Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
  4. Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets. 
    Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think ofthe message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
    • Alphabetize spice jars.
    • Neatly stack dishes.
    • Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
    • Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
    • Line up shoes.
  5. Rent a Storage Unit. 
    Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces offurniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"
  6. Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
    If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
  7. Make Minor Repairs.
    • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
    • Patch holes in walls.
    • Fix leaky faucets.
    • Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
    • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
      (Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")
    • Replace burned-out light bulbs.
    • If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!
  8. Make the House Sparkle!
    • Wash windows inside and out.
    • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
    • Clean out cobwebs.
    • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
    • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
    • Clean out the refrigerator.
    • Vacuum daily.
    • Wax floors.
    • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
    • Bleach dingy grout.
    • Replace worn rugs.
    • Hang up fresh towels.
    • Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.
    • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.
  9. Scrutinize. 
    • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
    • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
    • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
    • Make sure window coverings hang level.
    • Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
    • Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You're almost finished.
  10. Check Curb Appeal.
    If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get her inside.
    • Keep the sidewalks cleared.
    • Mow the lawn.
    • Paint faded window trim.
    • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.
    • Trim your bushes.
    • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.

    Watch Weintraub's video about Preparing a Home For Sale.

Crawford Group Sotheby's International Realty is Pleased to Announce our Newest Broker Associate Lucus Drzewiecki

Crawford Group Sotheby's International Realty
is pleased to announce our newest broker associate 
to our Hinsdale office
Crawford Group Sotheby's offers the leading marketing and technology tools in the industry.  Strong national and international referrals / local network with offices in Hinsdale and Harbor Country MI

Wednesday, November 28, 2012



Chicago, IL Sept. 19, 2012 Crawford Group Sotheby’s International Realty, a luxury real estate firm based in Hinsdale IL, and New Buffalo MI, recently participated in the 2012 Sotheby’s International Realty®Leadership Forum, which brought together more than 220 network members worldwide.

This dynamic, three-day event, which was held Sept. 10 to 12 at The InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile in Chicago, provided a unique opportunity for Sotheby's International Realty brokers, owners and managers to network and share best practices.

“The annual Leadership Forum provides a great value to our firm,” said Chris Crawford of Crawford Group Sotheby’s International Realty. “It offered the opportunity to network with some of the world’s most talented real estate professionals and learn more about the industry and the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s vision for the future.”

Crawford Group Sotheby’s International Realty, which has offices in Chicago Suburbs and Michigan, offers exclusive Sotheby’s International Realty marketing, advertising and referral services designed to attract well-qualified buyers to the firm’s property listings. In addition, the firm and its clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house, which promotes real estate referral opportunities with auction house clientele.  

As a Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate, the firm also has the unique ability to refer its real estate clientele to the auction house for jewelry, art, unique furniture and collectible appraisal services. Property listings from Crawford Group Sotheby’s International Realty also are marketed on the global website, as well as on the firm’s local website,

“The Leadership Forum brings together our network members from all over the world with the common goal of sharing their own unique experiences,” said Michael R. Good, chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “This year’s conference provided attendees with an overview of the exciting results of the brand’s exclusive global marketing relationships, highlighted the power of the network as evidenced by its strong referral system and offered presentations from owners and operators worldwide on how to create stronger company cultures with the ultimate goal of building organizations with the highest level of quality service available.  The event also provided insights from some of our most successful owners into recruiting strategies, growing through mergers and acquisitions and leveraging the unique relationship with the Sotheby’s Auction House.”

Crawford Group Sotheby’s International Realty is located at 40 East Hinsdale Suite 200 Hinsdale, IL 60521 and 44 South Whittaker Ave New Buffalo MI 49117. For additional information, please contact Illinois Office 630.323.4800 and Michigan Office 269.469.3729. The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 12,000 sales associates located in approximately 625 offices in 44 countries and territories worldwide.