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

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

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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

‚Äč8. 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.
**

Custom Roofing in Cary, IL 60013

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Winter roofing problems?  If you live in the north or northwest suburbs of Chicago, call Custom Roofing in Cary, IL.  Their employees do an awesome job of clearing your roof of snow or ice.  They are dependable, affordable and most importantly they are reliable and do what they say they are going to do.  These guys did a great job, worked until 6:30pm on a weeknight in the cold.

For all your roofing needs, call or email them and tell them Carol Best referred you.  Here's their contact information:

Custom Roofing, Inc.
Cary, IL 60013

Phone:  847-639-8400 or email them @ info@YourCustomRoofing.com & ask for Ken S. 

Here's their website hot link too:  www.YourCustomRoofing.com  **

 

2014 Design Trends for Kitchens & Baths by Carol Best - Top Agent in Barrington, IL

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

I love it when my friends and past clients stay in touch - they want to know what's hot and what's not.  I am delighted to help - I would never want them to make a design or home improvement decision that is not in their best interests.  When it comes to their future ROI, certain improvements are better than others.  So with a little help from one of my favorite publications, Professional Remodeler Magazine, here's a quick recap of the latest 2014 Design Trends.

Top 8 Kitchen Trends for 2014

  • Open design to family room perhaps
  • Islands - get creative & out of the norm for a statement
  • Floating shelves - more casual look
  • Appliance finishes
  • Apron/farmhouse sinks - keep it simple w/clean lines
  • Refaced kitchen cabinets - can you believe it?
  • Lighting - check out LED & energy efficient
  • Counter top material - black in color - consider quartz or black granite w/a leather finish!

Top 8 Bath Trends for 2014

  1. Stand-alone tubs
  2. Radiant heating
  3. Natural stone & custom tile
  4. High-quality faucets
  5. Multi-generational design
  6. A spa experience
  7. Free-standing & hovering vanities & cabinets
  8. Appliance finishes - stainless is still preferred but a natural matte grey is also desirable.

For answers to your questions please send me an email - here's an easy hotlink to contact me: CarolBest @ me.com or call 773-799-5939 **

 

 

 

What your home is or is not Worth by Top Agent Carol Best

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Question:  How does a buyer determine what price they will offer for your home?

Answer:  Buyers that will actually live in and occupy your home [not investors], typically will view from 6 to 50+ homes currently for sale. Buyers do not always look within the same zip code or school district, depending on their specific needs.  In this market they have lots of homes from which to choose.  Younger buyers do the online research and now tell the agents what homes they have time to view.

The real market value of your home is what a buyer is willing to pay, coupled with [hopefully] a lender that works in the area/community, if the buyer is not buying with all cash.

*The buyer will make an offer, based on today's market & the current inventory available [your competition].

*If they need financing, any uptick in rates means the buyer can afford less.

*Based on the perception of the condition & the location of your home.

*How easy it is for them to make an appointment to view your home.

That said, the value of your home is NOT:

-What you have in it

-How much you have it insured for

-What it appraised for

-What you either want or need out of it.

The value of properties changes every minute of every day, including the actives, pendings, solds and new listings that just came on the market.  Property values are a moving target.

If you have questions or would like to talk with a top agent, email CarolBest @ me.com for more information or call her @ 773-799-5939**

Coldwell Banker is #1 posted by Carol Best - Top Agent

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Coldwell Banker and the real statistics:

82,000 sales associates worldwide - yes we have offices all around the world

3,100 offices

100+ years of success & professionalism w/results

2012 year-end results of:  $178 Billion in total sales volume

Previews International - the world's leading Luxury real estate marketing program

 

Posted by Carol Best - Top Agent with Coldwell Banker in Barrington, IL 60010 |

cell # 773-799-5939 **

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 181

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All Information Deemed Reliable but Not Guaranteed. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity program of Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC. Real Estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo or the Broker Reciprocity thumbnail logo (a little black house) and detailed information about them includes the names of the listing brokers. Some properties which appear for sale on this website may subsequently have sold and may no longer be available. The information being provided is for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. ©  Copyright 2014 Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, Inc. | Copyright © 1992-2014 Carol Best, Barrington, IL - All Rights Reserved. No text, artwork or images may be copied, or reproduced without the express written permission of Carol Best.
Note: If your home is currently listed for sale or lease with another broker, this is not a solicitation for business, simply an informational e-mail.
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