As thoughts turn to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, @Properties Senior Broker Brandie Malay Siavelis has her thoughts centered directly on springtime, and for good reason.
“I already have a handful of lovely listings I am preparing for sale that will come on after the holidays,” Siavelis says. “It should be a solid sales cycle in 2019 with mid-term elections behind us and interest rates still very low.”
And while spring may still seem very far away, the fact is that in the real estate market, it really is just around the corner. If you are even considering entering the market come 2019 as either a buyer or a seller, Siavelis says its time to start doing your homework.
“More than ever before, buyers really make an effort to educate themselves and understand what is a value and what is not,” says Siavelis, who has appeared as the real estate expert on HGTV’s Designed to Sell and Hidden Potential, and on Bravo’s Property Envy. “That means that sellers have to really bring their ‘A’ game when they enter into the marketplace.”
It’s this inside knowledge that makes enlisting an experienced broker essential to ensuring a successful real estate transaction. While it may be tempting for buyers and sellers to make decisions based on websites and hearsay when entering into a market, it’s important to tread carefully.
“Some of these aggregate websites, for example, use computer algorithms to estimate the value of your home, and sometimes that value is just not accurate,” she says. “We as brokers are in and out of homes every single day and we understand the nuances of a particular home. We know if a home has top-of-the-line finishes or has deferred maintenance or if its next door to something undesirable. You need an experienced broker to know that sort of information.”
Of course, Siavelis says she feels extra lucky to be able to work and live in a place such as Chicago, whose long list of amenities continues to attract buyers.
“Chicago is an amazing place to live,” she says. “From the restaurant and the theater scene to our sports teams to being so close to Lake Michigan, it really is hard to beat in terms of value. In fact, the cost of living is still very reasonable compared to other major metropolitan cities.”
With 17 years in real estate and more than $200 million in closed transactions behind her, Siavelis says there are still some things that she would love to cross off her real estate bucket list.
“I feel like I have accomplished a lot in my field and I am very grateful,” she says. “But if I had to choose something, I would love to do a television show that fixes up homes for our veterans. This segment of the housing population can be overlooked and it goes without saying that they are very deserving. Having a show like that on television would hopefully bring more light to the subject.”
And while Siavelis may have her business-savvy mind already focused in on the spring, she also looks forward to spending the holiday season with those she loves.
“I always love watching my boys play hockey, and I’m hoping that my husband and I can carve out some time to take a special trip sometime soon. I would also love to try and run a half marathon. It’s been a whole decade since the last one so I really feel like it’s time I do it.”
Brandie Malay Siavelis is a senior broker at @Properties, located at 30 Green Bay Road in Winnetka. For more information, call 773-968-4550, or visit chicagototheshore.com.