Long Grove & Northern IL Real Estate

Carol Best | Luxury Homes and Real Estate Blog | Barrington, IL

Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barrington, IL Area


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 185

Healing & Wellness Center - Journeys in Lakemoor, IL

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

A close friend of mine who has Lyme disease has been feeling some relief from the therapy offered here.  Lyme disease is not easily understood or controlled. While I cannot personally speak to it because I do not have Lyme, I am sharing my friend's input as sometimes it seems options are few and too many drugs can have a very negative effect on your body.

Journeys Healing & Wellness Center
137 Route 120
Lakemoor, IL 60051







Shipping your Vehicle - 8 Tips

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

When shipping your vehicle via an auto transport company to your new destination, you should take note of the following 8 tips & how to prepare it for the shipping process:

1. Wash your car before the carrier picks up your vehicle.

2. Clean the inside - remove all possessions that are not secured/tied down or attached.

3. Disable the alarm.

4. Don't gas up - leave as little fuel in the car as possible.

5. Check for leaks - the transport company may refuse to ship it if it leaks oil, etc.

6. Check tire inflation - they should be properly inflated.

7. Remove custom accessories - like a spoiler.

8. Lock the car. Only the transport driver will be moving the car on and off the truck.

Check the reviews of the transport company on Yelp. Good luck!

posted by Carol Best**


Buyers - How are YOU Being Represented by your Buyers Agent?

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Not all Buyer Agents are Created Equal - As a buyer, do you know how you are being represented? It could impact your negotiations and possibly cost you more money... not to mention possibly "ticking off" a seller/owner.

Common Etiquette:  For the most part, all buyer's agents receive an email feedback request after showing a property, which asks them to answer 1-5 questions via email - it could involve simply "checking" a box on the form! The listing agent and owner simply want a little feedback of what the renter/buyer client thought of the owner's property. Many FULL-SERVICE agents gladly provide that feedback and sellers are then informed. As a buyer, are you working with a full-service agent?

Now, please keep in mind that seller may have spent hours cleaning the house, or gotten all the kids and pets out of the house, turned on all the lights, and perhaps shoveled the walk or drive in preparation to have your buyer's agent show their home. The least that buyer's agent can do is to provide feedback - which might take all of 10-20 seconds of the buyer's agent.

So that said, now that I have my place on the market, I'm going to "call out" by initials only, those agents that showed my property in mid-December of 2014 through January of 2015. So thank you for showing the property - you only did half your job!

These agents apparently have so much business that they are unable to provide feedback. The reason why this is sooooooo obvious is because my automatic feedback system sends an agent a maximum of 3 emails [one every other day if they do not respond to the first or 2nd request]. After 3 requests, we just forget it. Keep in mind this isn't just "about me" because my sellers feel the same way - how rude to not provide simple feedback!

Showings but ZERO FEEDBACK by these agents after 3 requests by the following agents [initials only] that work @ a brokerage in the cities indicated:

A.L. @ P. E. in Schaumburg

K.H. @ R in Schaumburg

​H.I. @ N. R. in Arlington Heights

M.B. @ R. D. in Elk Grove Village


Vote NO - Barrington Home Rule!

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

As you likely know, the Village of Barrington has placed a binding referendum on the November election ballot asking the voters if Barrington shall become a home rule unit of government.  Legally, local governments only have the power afforded to them by the State.  However, home rule authority provides local governments the same power as the state except those powers which the state specifically limits.

The North Shore – Barrington Association of REALTORS together with the Illinois Association of REALTORS (IAR), via REALTORS in Opposition to Home Rule, has taken a position in opposition to Barrington’s endeavor to become home rule.  Historically, NSBAR and all other local Illinois REALTOR Associations have opposed home rule efforts.  The reason being is that home rule is usually a precursor to increased fees, taxes, and regulations on real estate – including real estate transfer taxes.  What is more, home rule municipalities can exceed the property tax cap and incur unlimited debt without voter approval.  It is important to know that even if the current Village Board pledges to limit these powers, such promises cannot legally bind current or future Village Boards – they would be free to ignore those promises at any time. 

The Sun-Times media group opined on how home rule impacts real estate: “Under home rule, towns have no borrowing limits and don’t need voters to agree to incur greater debt.  Such local control is a nice concept but often hasn’t worked well and has been a disaster for some towns.  …home rule authority, as it is, must go.  If not, you may be gone from your home.” 

The Tribune writes: “Municipal advocates insist that home-rule power has largely improved towns, but the Tribune found suburb after suburb has gone deep in the hole...”

Jim Tobin, the President of Taxpayers United of America states: “Home rule is one of the most financially devastating schemes Illinois politicians have ever come up with.” 

Former State Representative Harold Katz says: “[Home rule proponents] want to take from you your historic right to make the final decision at the ballot box if a substantial policy issue arises… There [is] no reasonable necessity for people to give up their democratic rights to participate in the governing of the village.” 

Over in neighboring Lake Zurich, where they too will be voting on home rule, Village Trustee Jeff Halen warns: “[With home rule] we are opening the residents to a proverbial signed, blank check for future taxes.”  He goes on to call home rule a “lose-lose situation.” 

It’s no wonder that 85 percent of Illinois municipalities are not home rule. 

REALTORS in Opposition to Home Rule is strongly urging a “NO” vote on Barrington home rule; we hope you will take that into consideration when you vote.  Of course, ultimately, the decision whether or not to become home rule will be made by the voters of Barrington.  Voters will weigh the arguments in favor and in opposition and vote accordingly.  NSBAR and IAR are only one spoke in the wheel of varied community interests contributing to the debate.  If you have any further questions or concerns, please be sure to contact me at hhandler@iar.org or 847-480-7177

Thank you.

Howard Handler, MPPA
Government Affairs
Illinois Association of REALTORS

** Do you like politics and public policy? Do you want to help shape the direction of REALTOR lobbying efforts? Want to give back to your industry? Consider joining your local association's Government Affairs Committee. Contact me by email or at 847-480-7177 for further details. 



5 Luxury Staging Tips by Carol Best - Top Agent

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Ever wonder why some homes sell for more than others?

Pictures & Proper Staging = More $$

1. Original artwork - think of renting artwork, if you don't have any of your own, or make an offer to a local gallery to showcase it for sale on your wall. If you know a local artist, offer to showcase their work.

2. Spotless garage - YES, the walls and ceilings should be painted!  It is a huge plus if the floors are sealed.  Showcase having plenty of storage by removing old metal shelving and beat-up cabinetry.  Keep it off the floor, except for the vehicles. 

3. Fabrics, finishes, linens and lighting - buy some Egyptian cotton towels, use up-lighting for the corners to bring the room alive and cast interesting shadows on the ceiling.  Moon lighting in the trees or showcasing the front entrance will make your house stand out from all the rest!

4. Never buy matching furniture!  A characteristic of high-end homes is that furniture rarely matches, meaning the sofa and love-seat should be of complimentary materials, not identical, as if purchased in a set.

5. If you are interested in buying or selling, contact Carol Best today @ 773-799-5939 or CarolBest @ me.com for a confidential consultation.  Carol has been successfully representing Buyers & sellers for over 20 years!

posted by Carol Best**



Understanding Property Taxes in Illinois by Carol Best - Top Agent with Coldwell Banker in Barrington

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

IL Property Tax Explanation via YouTube Video:

Click here to access the hotlink to a very thorough video that is published via the Illinois Association of Realtors.  The property tax explanation is complex - perhaps this will help you understand the details.

Posted by Carol Best - Top Agent @ Coldwell Banker in Barrington, IL 60010 **


10 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends - 2014

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Here's a short post on what's hot in new design trends:

1. Open kitchen floor plans create a better social space - furniture-type cabinetry is "in"

2. Transitional styles - a style that is not dated in the next 3-5 years

3. Quartz countertops are "hot"

4. White cabinets with blended finishes - think grey paint to enhance the SS appliances

5. Changing depth and heights in cabinetry - greater interest

6. Under-mount sinks for a more-sleek simple look

7. Glass, ceramic, porcelain and metal back splashes + creative use of these tiles

​8. Touch-activated faucets

9. Satin nickel, bronze, oil-rubbed finishes

10. Larger showers in the master bath suite

Posted by CarolBest @ me.com - Top Agent


Chicago's Credit Rating

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Moody's Investors Service downgraded Chicago's credit rating just one notch to Baa1 with a negative outlook, putting it only three notches above junk-bond status.

The city's rating had been A3 after Moody's lowered it 3 notches July of 2013, due to Chicago's enormous unfunded pension liabilities.

Moody's downgrade said the pension debts "threaten the city's fiscal solvency absent major revenue and other budgetary adjustments adopted in the near term and sustained for years to come."  Except for Detroit, which is in bankruptcy, Chicago is now the lowest-rated major city in the nation - surely not good news for all of us who reside here!


Give Yourself a Raise!

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt


Managing Under-Performers at Work

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

The below article is from the Pro-President's Resource Organization:

How to Manage Under-Performers
by Ray Silverstein

For most small business owners, handling an under-performing employee can be extremely challenging. After all, we don't run our small businesses like big, impersonal corporations. We know our employees personally; we work side by side with them. Often, we strive to create a family feel within our workplace.
But if someone isn't pulling their weight, that's money out of your pocket. They're hampering productivity, jeopardizing accounts, and endangering morale. If you have a slacker in your midst, who's picking up the slack?
Ask yourself: can you afford to carry this extra burden, especially now, when business is so tight? If you allow this to continue, you are only hurting your business.
When it comes to dealing with mediocre employees, you have two choices: get them up to speed, or get them off your payroll. Either way, you start at the same point.
If you handle this wisely, you'll give that employee a chance to turn things around, while safeguarding your business. But if you proceed rashly, you can set yourself up for a wrongful termination lawsuit. Here's how to do it right.  
Getting Someone on Track
Managing employees is a process. It involves ongoing communication and documentation. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs learn management skills on the fly, so often there's no formal process in place.
No matter how small or informal a firm is, employees need to know what's expected of them. It's good for them, and it's good for you. That's why job descriptions and performance reviews are such great management tools. Don't use them? It's time to start!
Meanwhile, if you're dealing with a problem employee, the first step is to communicate with him. Plan this meeting carefully; be factual, specific, and cool-headed about it.
One thing you need to determine beforehand: is the problem due to lack of effort, or lack of skill? Is this something training may rectify? If so, draw up a training plan and make it part of your meeting.
Frame your expectations in quantifiable terms. Rather than tell an employee he isn't producing enough widgets, give him a specific daily production goal. Now he's got a goal to aim for and you have a yardstick to measure against. Be sure to schedule a follow-up evaluation.  
Make sure the employee understands this is a warning. Document your expectations; ask the employee to sign the document. This becomes proof you provided advance notice, which may protect you against potential legal action.
Making the Break

Hopefully, your employee will make great progress during the probation period. If so, continue with ongoing reviews to keep performance on track.
But what if your employee makes little or no progress? Well, you can continue trying to work with him. However, usually it is in your best interest to end things cleanly.
If you do terminate him, get that in writing too, in the form of a signed severance agreement. Like a written warning, a formal agreement may protect you from a future lawsuit. But how do you get an employee-especially an angry or opportunistic one-to sign it?
Offer a severance package. In return for X weeks or months salary, your employee agrees not to pursue legal action. Offer an amount that seems fair, one you feel good about.
Once the employee signs the agreement, he has a fixed number of days in which to recant. Withhold payment until after this period and spread the payments out to discourage a change of heart. (Don't know what a severance agreement looks like? For a free sample agreement, call me at 800-818-0150 or email Ray@ProPres.com.)
Making the Leap
Yes, it's still difficult letting someone go. But here's a thought that might spur you to take action.
Remember, when the economy is tight, like it is now - it's a great time to upgrade your staff. There are many talented people hungry for work. Do you really want to turn them away because you're stubbornly holding onto a proven under-performer?
During tough times, smart entrepreneurs grab onto every advantage that presents itself. A burgeoning talent pool is one of the few upsides of a downturn, so seize it. The bottom line is, when times are hard, you can't afford to be soft.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 185




Contact Information

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Coldwell Banker Barrington, IL | Homes-Real Estate
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Northwest Suburbs|Chicago IL
Call or Text: 773-799-5939



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