When Maria Devins is asked about her job, she’ll tell you it’s not a job to her—it’s a passion. Her clients are “not only everything, they are the only thing that matters.” And it’s this devotion that fuels her to help clients make the best real estate decisions, all while protecting and guiding them in a difficult and emotional process. This no-nonsense Palatine broker learned personally that sometimes people hired to look out for your best interests can end up failing you.
“Twenty-two years ago, my husband and I bought our first house. It was a horrible experience,” says Devins, a Park Ridge native. “In my opinion, this broker was not looking out for our best interests. The day we closed, the hot water heater, furnace, refrigerator, and oven failed. We managed to move forward, but I remembered feeling betrayed, disappointed, and not protected.”
Fast forward 11 years later and—with her husband’s encouragement— Devins decided to make a positive difference for people and got her broker’s license. As Devins reflects on the experience, she views this chaos in the market’s history as “the best education I could’ve received because I learned how to navigate and negotiate in the worst possible market while helping my clients achieve their goals.” Devins was determined to be the broker clients could count on throughout the transaction and beyond—overseeing every detail and hurdle, from strategic marketing and inspections to appraisals and negotiations.
“I’m not a one-shot deal. I’m your broker for life. That only happens when I earn and continue to earn my client’s trust by being consistent and worthy of their business and their referrals,” explains Devins. “Buying a home is still one of the most important financial decisions a person can make. I don’t want my clients to be heartbroken. I want them to love where they live, and at the end of the day, close the door, take a deep breath and say ‘I’m home.’”
She demonstrated that “can-do” mantra early on in her career with her first listing in 2008. Devins was taking the train home from the Baird & Warner Institute of Training when she saw a woman crying. Due to the market crash, the woman and her husband were buried under two mortgages they couldn’t afford. When Devins handed the woman a tissue, she noticed her name badge from Baird & Warner. They talked, the couple hired Devins, and two weeks later the home was sold.
“From that day forward, I have given my clients the same personal approach because every one of their circumstances is unique and special,” says Devins. “Paying attention to every detail ensures the smoothest journey for my sellers, buyers, and relocation clients. As a Certified Real Estate Negotiator, relocations specialist, listing and buyer’s broker, it’s absolutely critical for me to know my markets so my negotiating skills can maneuver and ultimately capture my clients’ needs. Negotiating must be a delicate balance of give and take where both buyer and seller walk away feeling satisfied that they’ve achieved their goals.”
Experience representing all sides of the transaction gives Devins additional insight and the confidence to advise clients every step of the way. “I’m pretty black and white and I don’t sugar coat anything. My clients deserve the truth and the knowledge I know so they can make the best possible decision. I want them to be smart and savvy, because my husband and I weren’t back then. It’s about empowering my clients, guiding, protecting, and serving them always—working both for and with them.”
Today, that house the Devins’ bought all those years ago is freshly rejuvenated, updated, and renovated with loving care and is the place where wonderful family memories continue to be made. Time and determination overcame initial setbacks, yet Devins is grateful for what the experience has taught her.
“It’s about turning a negative into a positive. It’s the way I’ve lived my life. I’m grateful to my husband and my children for their love and support. I’m blessed to do what I love doing these past 11 years—finding the right home for people to live, love, and enjoy life, and to work for the best company. I’m thankful to my clients, their business, and their referrals,” she says, adding: “I’m always fighting for my client, in every possible way, every time, all the time—and I will never stop.”