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If you are a Listing Agent, the Reverend has some very bad news for you:

To your beloved sellers, you are nothing more than a steer or a pork belly; a standardized, interchangeable commodity; easily substituted.

Do you honestly believe that you hold the key to moving property or making the market behave in some magical, mystical way? Yeah, keep dreaming, Merlin.

The truth is that after the first 30 days of market exposure and inertia, your seller will be lusting after the next listing agent like a hungry lion leers at a lame wildebeest. Aren’t you tired of that?

Don’t worry, the good Deacon still loves you!

Can I get an amen? …Thank you!

If you’d like to talk more about how I make buyers happy (and maybe save your soul) call or text me at 773-968-1110 or shoot me an email at scott@scottmsiegel.com

You See. You Like? You Buy!

Are you sure? I mean really sure…and how do I know?

Just because you want to rent is only half the equation. Being a bona fide renter is something that you need to prove. Especially in today’s funky market because landlords never accept offers without proof of a renter’s viability.

By prove, I mean:

1) Have a copy of your scored credit report. A free unscored report can be obtained at annualcreditreport.com

2) Be prepared to execute a basic rental application.

3) Have your last 2 pay stubs ready to go.

4) Have a Letter Of Explanation (LOX) ready to provide a global overview of any derogatory credit items.

Believe it or not, having jacked-up credit is not necessarily an automatic turn down. With the economic recession, the proliferation of divorce and the resultant wave of foreclosures and bankruptcies, decimated credit is almost de rigueur.

I am always happy to create a customized property search for you that will tempt your tummy, and have you ready to go kick some tires this afternoon, but I’m not taking even one nanosecond to set an appointment until you have demonstrated your bona fides upfront…with god as our witness.

Simply put: Time and deep market knowledge are the reverend’s only commodities for hire and you get both in spades once I verify that you are viable.

Don’t be insulted. You may very well be a ‘big macher’ and will assuredly be treated as such, but if you want to ‘get a sense of the market’ or ‘see whats out there,’ you can do that from the comfort of your own home, in front of your own computer without getting out of your ‘big macher’ pajamas.

The last thing we want to do is waste (aside from our time) other agents’ and their landlord clients’ time. This tarnishes the reverend’s reputation on the street and he ain’t fiddina let that happen.

So, when you are ready, call me for your custom property search and simultaneously get copies of the items listed above.

Then we can block some time and go find the piece you’ve been praying for.

Can I get an amen? …Thank you!

If you’d like to talk more about how I can help you buy, sell or rent Chicago real estate… and keep you out of trouble in the process, call or text me at 773-968-1110 or shoot me an email at scott@scottmsiegel.com

You See. You Like? You Rent!

Lets face it, renting Chicago real estate is not rocket science and there are three things you can do to make your renting experience brain damage free:

1) You See.

2) You Like?

3) You Rent!

Its that Simple. I create a customized property search for you. We visit your short list of top candidates and then…you rent one!

A wise man once said:“The deal of a lifetime comes around once every month” so, don’t fall into the too-long lead time/analysis paralysis trap because before you know it, you’ll be 6 months downstream, frustrated and still living in your old place.

By all means, research away, but don’t plan to actually visit properties until you are about 30 days from your target occupancy date. This will keep you focused,  allow 15-21 days to view properties, get under contract and moved in.

Conversely, if your goal is to ‘get a sense of the market’ or ‘see whats out there,’ you can do that from the comfort of your own home, in front of your own computer without getting out of your pajamas. The last thing we want to do is waste (aside from our time) other agents’ and their Landlord clients’ time. This tarnishes the reverend’s reputation on the street and he ain’t fiddina let that happen.

Simply put: Time and deep market knowledge are the reverend’s only commodities for hire and you get both in spades once you are viable, serious and ready to rent.

Then we can block some time and go find the piece you’ve been praying for.

Can I get an amen? …Thank you!

If you’d like to talk more about how I can help you buy, sell or rent Chicago real estate… and keep you out of trouble in the process, call or text me at 773-968-1110 or shoot me an email at scott@scottmsiegel.com

You See. You Like? You Rent!™

Are you sure? I mean really sure…and how do I know?

Just because you want to buy is only half the equation. Being a bona fide buyer is something that you need to prove. Especially in today’s funky market because sellers never accept offers without proof of a buyer’s viability.

By prove, I mean:

1) If you are a cash buyer, have a Proof Of Funds Letter (POF) ready to give the good reverend before we even schedule a showing or

2) If you are financing your purchase, have an Automated Underwriting System (AUS) Pre-Approval for me (NOT a Pre-Qualification letter).

I am always happy to create a customized property search for you that will tempt your tummy, and have you ready to go kick some tires this afternoon, but I’m not taking even one nanosecond to set an appointment until you have demonstrated your bona fides upfront…with god as our witness.

Simply put: Time and deep market knowledge are the reverend’s only commodities for hire and you get both in spades once I verify that you are viable.

Don’t be insulted. You may very well be a ‘big macher’ and will assuredly be treated as such, but if you want to ‘get a sense of the market’ or ‘see whats out there,’ you can do that from the comfort of your own home, in front of your own computer without getting out of your ‘big macher’ pajamas.

The last thing we want to do is waste (aside from our time) other agents’ and their seller clients’ time. This tarnishes the reverend’s reputation on the street and he ain’t fiddina let that happen.

So, when you are ready, call me for your custom property search, simultaneously get a copy of  last month’s asset account statement or speak with your banker and get pre-approved.

Then we can block some time and go find the piece you’ve been praying for.

Can I get an amen? …Thank you!

If you’d like to talk more about how I can help you buy, sell or rent Chicago real estate… and keep you out of trouble in the process, call or text me at 773-968-1110 or shoot me an email at scott@scottmsiegel.com

You See. You Like? You Buy!™

Can I get a witness? Does anyone even know the difference?

Now, were not talking about Co-Ops in the crunchy sense like a kibbutz or an ashram, which by the way do represent in the spiritual feeding department. We are talking about two separate and distinct forms of equitable ownership in Chicago real estate that are as different as apples and oranges.

Let’s take a closer look:

Characteristics of Co-Op Buildings:

1) Owners own shares of stock  in the corporation that owns the building. There is no fee simple interest in the real estate. You will own a pro-rata percentage of the entire corporation based upon the number of square feet your unit represents.

2) Owners must be approved by the co-op board. There is no pay-to-play in co-op land. Prepare for a fairly rigorous application and background investigation. This may be more intrusive than you expected.

3) The co-op board determines your down payment. Usually a minimum of 20% is required as a down payment, which may render this form of ownership out of reach for first-time or even move-up buyers.

4) Financing is hard to come by. Co-op financing is definitely a specialty and is offered by only a handful of banks. The good news is that because of the high down payment requirement, a buyer will not have PMI to deal with.

Characteristics of Condo buildings:

1) Owners own a fee-simple interest in their condo. Basically, you will own everything within the 4 walls of your unit and your parking space. The other unit owners, collectively via the Homeowners’ Association (HOA) own the remainder of the common and limited common elements of the development (roof, exterior walls, hallways, landscaping, parking garage, etc.)

2) There is no board approval. Well, in most cases there is no board approval process. There are older buildings out there who still have relics of discriminatory policy on their books. In their misguided attempt to restrict ownership of condominium units, some early condo boards elected to follow the lead of their cooperative brethren and require board approval. In today’s funky market, this is frowned upon by the agencies FNMA & FHLMC and the FHA and, in fact, in order to get their developments approved for FHA financing, some boards have elected to expunge the offending language/policy from their documents. Welcome to the 21st century!

3) Your personal creditworthiness determines your down payment. To a large extent, financing, although not as easy as in the past, is currently very attractive interest rate-wise. The only limiting factor determining your required down payment is your ability to make a down payment and your desired loan program. For qualifying developments, you can put as little as 3.5% down! Can I get an amen?

4) Financing options abound. Any one of the large national or regional banks offer a full array of loan programs from which to choose and to a lesser extent, certain mortgage banking companies should be able to provide your financing.

What You May Not Have Known (or didn’t want to know) About Co-Ops:

Co-op buildings, although more closely associated with the greater New York metropolitan area, (think: The San Remo, The Dakota & The Majestic along Central Park) do exist in the Chicago real estate market. Two notable buildings are: 999 N. Lake Shore Drive and The Edgewater Beach Apartments. Typically, co-ops are grand vintage buildings from the 1920’s that are an architecture junkie’s nocturnal emission. Giant birthday cakes of carved limestone and terra cotta topped with clay tile or oxidized copper icing. Mmm-Mmm-Good!

Not so fast. Despite the visual treat, this form of ownership has very dark (and seldom discussed) roots. Due to the inherently restrictive nature of the board approval process and the somewhat onerous down payment required by the corporation, co-op buildings were tacitly able to perpetrate outright racial discrimination. But I digress. That’s a sermon for another day.

Can I get an amen? …Thank you!

If you’d like to talk more about how I can help you buy, sell or rent Chicago real estate… and keep you out of trouble in the process, call or text me at 773-968-1110 or shoot me an email at scott@scottmsiegel.com

You See. You Like? You Buy!™

Lets face it, buying Chicago real estate is not rocket science and there are three things you can do to make your buying experience brain damage free:

1) You See.

2) You Like?

3) You Buy!

Its that Simple. I create a customized property search for you. We visit your short list of top candidates and then…you buy one!

A wise man once said:“The deal of a lifetime comes around once every month” so, don’t fall into the too-long lead time/analysis paralysis trap because before you know it, you’ll be 6 months downstream, frustrated and still living in your old place.

By all means, research away, but don’t plan to actually visit properties until you are about 60 days from your target acquisition date. This will keep you focused,  allow 30 days to view properties &  get under contract and provide your lender 30 days to get you closed.

Conversely, if your goal is to ‘get a sense of the market’ or ‘see whats out there,’ you can do that from the comfort of your own home, in front of your own computer without getting out of your pajamas. The last thing we want to do is waste (aside from our time) other agents’ and their Seller clients’ time. This tarnishes the reverend’s reputation on the street and he ain’t fiddina let that happen.

Simply put: Time and deep market knowledge are the reverend’s only commodities for hire and you get both in spades once you are viable, serious and ready to buy.

Then we can block some time and go find the piece you’ve been praying for.

Can I get an amen? …Thank you!

If you’d like to talk more about how I can help you buy, sell or rent Chicago real estate… and keep you out of trouble in the process, call or text me at 773-968-1110 or shoot me an email at scott@scottmsiegel.com

You See. You Like? You Buy!™

Like the good book says: Your Lawyer, Your Doctor & Your Real Estate Broker are the keys to your Life, Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness.

The Holy Trinity!

Many buyers & sellers of Chicago real estate inexplicably choose to withhold certain information that is critical to the good reverend’s full understanding of their deal. And that lack of information adversely affects my ability to properly serve as your agent…your guardian agent…and thus represent you with the highest level of integrity and competence in all Chicago real estate matters.

Just as you are completely honest with your lawyer about your guilt or innocence and similarly forthcoming with your MD in matters of your health and wellness. So too should you be with your Chicago real estate broker.

Remember, we three professionals take very seriously our roles as guardians of your Life, Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness…a sacred trust if you will. We are trained to make sure the acquisition, disposition and maintenance of your most important assets are handled competently and professionally.

If you find yourself chuckling at the notion of your current Chicago real estate broker being deserving of their place in your Pantheon, then perhaps you need a new Chicago real estate broker.

Can I get an amen? …Thank you!

If you’d like to talk more about how I can help you buy, sell or rent Chicago real estate… and keep you out of trouble in the process, call or text me at 773-968-1110 or shoot me an email at scott@scottmsiegel.com

You See. You Like? You Buy!™