Will Chicago Real Estate be the Bright Spot
in the Pandemic? 

It’s clear that home is more important than ever, because the residential real estate market is moving in Chicago!

  • Purchase contracts on homes have doubled since the end of March
  • New Listings are up 40%
  • Prices are nearly 2% higher than this time last year! 

Below, I have answered the top market questions that I am asked daily. New market influencers are occurring every day – but for the moment, we seem to have hit a stride and we can answer your concerns with some confidence. Reach out if I can help with anything – small our large. It’s my pleasure to serve you!

Sending you my best wishes for health, safety and prosperity through this time!

Olivia Carlson


Are you able to show and close on homes right now?
Real estate is an essential service, but it looks very different today! Showing traffic is way down because there is an enormous amount of pre-vetting that is happening before buyers walk a property. Today, buyers must provide a pre-approval letter and Covid disclosure, complete a virtual walk through and drive past a property – all before finally stepping foot inside the home. Many high rise buildings are not allowing showings at all. It might sound cumbersome – but it’s actually a breath of fresh air for sellers who typically go through a barrage of showings to non-serious buyers. It’s also helping buyers to articulate their home requirements better and they are finding homes faster. Closings are curbside and simplified.

Will prices be slashed by the pandemic? 
Prices are remaining stable (and UP!) and demand is still strong. If a property is sitting on the market, it’s typically because it needs updating, it entered the market already overpriced, or they haven’t allowed showings. The home is sitting, not because of the pandemic, but because of the product. In addition, Chicago is always a more conservative city without a lot of dramatic highs and lows in real estate values, like we might see in San Francisco, Miami or Seattle. 

Are we going to have a real estate market like 2008? 
All signs point to no. First, demand is strong and prices are steady. Second, economists are not expecting a wave of distressed properties to hit the market because lending practices are dramatically different than they were before The Great Recession. Having this recent history, Banks are going to loathe a repeat of shortsales and foreclosures, but will instead be busy renegotiating mortgage terms for those who can’t pay. 

How do I sell my home fast and for the most money? 
Good looking homes still sell fast. If a property is visually appealing and priced right, it will sell. If your home is dated or needs some “styling,” it will sit on the market. Buyers want to purchase an aspirational property that fits their instagram dreams. The home has to be visually positioned to compete. This might mean investing in updates and staging before going on the market. I’m happy to help your success by offering my experienced advice to guide you to accomplish updates. Tap into us – we can help you prep your home for the market – even if you don’t plan to sell in the short term!

Can I get a jumbo loan? 
Jumbo loans are mortgage loan amounts generally over $510,400. There was a moment last month where major lenders were not granting mortgages over that amount. There are still a few lenders who no longer offer jumbo loans or they have significantly tightened their lending in that sector. However, the mortgage market has seemingly settled, for the moment, and plenty of lenders are granting jumbos with less than 20% down. Transactions less than $510K were not significantly affected, but expect an employment verification on closing day and a higher credit score requirement than before. Happy to connect you with the right lender for the transaction.