“With the purchase of our new home complete and preparations underway for a move out of state, we were under pressure to sell within a tight timeframe. An extremely challenging seller’s market added to our anxiety, but Eileen Brennan successfully navigated us through the process and we closed the sale just in time for our move! Eileen’s experience, market knowledge, and determination were essential to the process. She really came through for us and we highly recommend her services.“
“Eileen helped us find a new home, and sell our old one. We were selling a large, one-of-a-kind apartment. A similar apartment in our building sat on the market for more than 2 years so we were prepared to wait. With Eileen’s help in providing a realistic listing price, fabulous pictures to post online, and an attractive brochure, we had our unit under contract in 3 weeks! We closed on schedule, near our asking price, and were able to successfully transition to our beautiful new apartment. Eileen helped us look at numerous apartments that answered our needs on paper, that eventually led to the perfect apartment in the perfect building!”
Colleen & Steve
“Eileen is a godsend. She managed a particularly challenging purchase for us from abroad. We bought a condo from afar, sight unseen, with only the benefit of FaceTime and Eileen‘s guidance. It is even more lovely than we had hoped. Her instincts and experience are unmatched, and we are so pleased and grateful.”
Syed & Aliya
“We were introduced to Eileen Brennan in summer of 2014 through Cathy Condon from Sothebys in Village of Hinsdale, where we had lived for 27 years. It was at first a casual research project given to Eileen to show us condos in Chicago Downtown area. We just wanted to get some idea since we never lived in downtown and did not know what to expect. For over 3 months Eileen showed us many places. She came to know our wishes and desires. Still we were not sure of leaving Hinsdale. After quite a bit of research and Eileen’s patience with us, we started to like a few places in the South Loop. We started to seriously consider one place (The GRANT) which we both liked. Things started to click and due to Eileen’s excellent research, we ended up signing a contract. We were lucky to work with Eileen who came to understand our needs and never pushed us in making a hasty decision. This is a testimonial of Eileen’s great work. She is marvelous to work with.”
Karen & Lee
“Eileen was a fantastically patient and professional realtor, giving us much time and energy as we navigated the purchase of our condo. It was also a downsizing operation and she took the time to explain all the possibilities to us as well as the pratfalls. She was tough when she needed to be, no nonsense and no time wasted. We would recommend her to any potential buyer or seller.”
“Eileen is such a good communicator-essential in the process of buying and selling your home.”
Elissa and Chet
“In today’s tight real estate market, Eileen was able to help us find an off-market condo unit .She was able to creatively contact potential sellers directly to create a rare opportunity for us to purchase the unit per very specific guidelines we required. We were able to close within a challenging timeframe and without her persistence, expertise, and care, we would not have been able to get it done. We are so thankful for Eileen who went above and beyond to help us find our new home!”
John & Lynne
“Eileen listened carefully to what we were interested in and then showed us properties that were truly promising. This made our search from out-of-town both efficient and rewarding. We are very happy with the result.”
“We found the ideal home thanks to Eileen’s incredible knowledge of the Chicago condo market. Her honesty, integrity, professionalism and follow through were remarkable — the best service we have ever experienced in a real estate transaction. We love our new home and are certain we would never have found it without her.”
Dan and Jerry
“Between my partner and I, we have bought a total of six properties and sold three. neither of us have ever worked with anyone so professional, so efficient and so conscientious of their customer. Most importantly Eileen is not afraid to tell it like it is which is extremely important in the sale or purchase of a home. we would be happy to talk with anyone that is considering using her as their agent to share with them, in more detail, the outstanding experience that we had with Eileen.”
“Eileen showed unfailing enthusiasm and persistence in moving the process of our new purchase and the rental of our current condo unit. From the very start, in showing us condos for sale, facilitating the offer to purchase, following through with the lender and completion of our purchase, she always proactively made sure that things were going well and that all the components were being handled. She exhibited the same persistence in renting the condo unit we put up for lease. Her actions always demonstrated that she was concerned that we were satisfied customers and that she would do whatever is needed to be sure that things got done. She also used an understated, friendly approach which never felt like she was being overly pushy in our direction around making a decision. I strongly recommend her for any customers who are lucky enough to have her in their court.”
Alison and Matt
“Eileen was knowledgeable, accommodating, patient and downright entertaining as she took us – and many times our three daughters – around Wicker Park looking for a new home. She understood right away what we were looking for and made the best use of our time. Her experience in the industry and familiarity with the market is unparalleled and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”
Michael and Trisha
“Eileen was wonderful to work with through our home purchasing experience. She listened to our wants and needs and was able to find multiple properties that covered them all. Eileen was extremely patient with us, professional and aggressive in all of the realtor negotiations, and profoundly knowledgeable in all areas of real estate. The stressful experience that is home purchasing was made enjoyable and tolerable by Eileen’s due diligence and attention to detail.”
Emily and Mike
“We were first-time buyers, and Eileen guided us through the intimidating and daunting purchase of our first home. She listened to our needs and gave great advice throughout the whole process. Eileen’s honest and open communications immediately gained our trust. Her patience and experience comforted us while making progress in our search. We recommended Eileen to our friends and [they gave her] the same glowing praises. We plan on going to her again when we move and expect to have another great experience.”
“The service I receive from Eileen Brennan is amazing! She is a true professional who is committed to providing the very best of service to her clients. With the personal attention she gives, it feels at times as if I am her only client. She and her assistant make a stressful time in life very bearable. I highly recommend working with Eileen Brennan. She always has the client’s best interest at heart!”
“From the very first meeting, we knew Eileen was different from other realtors. She listened carefully to our needs, took us under her wing and found us the perfect home! Over a year later, she still checks in on us. She’s more than a realtor, she’s a trusted friend.”
Susan and Jeff
“Working with Eileen Brennan is a pleasure because she is a wonderful, honest person – and the finest agent in the Chicago market today. We will definitely be working with her again!”
Michael and Barbara
“Our experience with Eileen was just terrific from start to finish. She took the time and effort necessary to understand our requirements not just for today but also for the future as we look to start our family. She designed a plan to introduce us to only the most suitable properties, so that our time was spent most efficiently. Most important to us, however, was the personal touch; Eileen undertook to find us a HOME, rather than simply a HOUSE, and that has made all the difference. We would, and have, without hesitation recommended Eileen with the strongest of endorsements.”
“Buying a new home can be really stressful, especially if it’s a purchase you are making on your own. But the right real estate agent can make all the difference in ensuring peace of mind and true satisfaction in the process. Eileen takes the time to really understand her client’s preferences and desires – even to assist you in figuring these out for yourself when the choices seem overwhelming. She is patient, straightforward, full of integrity and completely reliable. Eileen is someone you can trust and very savvy about the market, home quality, the neighborhoods, safety, plus she has a broad range of resources to provide additional expert opinion. And if you have to devote your free time to house-hunting, she’s a delightful person to be around.”
“Eileen knows the Chicago real estate market. Period. She always is available with good advice and strong attention to detail. She quickly understood our needs and interests, and showed us only qualified properties–she never wasted our time. Eileen told us she would put us in a good building, and when we were ready to sell, our property would sell. She was right: we had an offer within 10 days. In addition to being very professional, she’s a good person. We like working with Eileen. We have bought two properties and have sold one property with Eileen, and we’d work with her again in a heartbeat. Also, we’d recommend Eileen to anyone who’s serious about the Chicago real estate market.
“Eileen was absolutely the most exceptional and professional agent we have worked with. We started working with Eileen back in February. She did an excellent job of qualifying our needs for a home and quickly determined our style. When finally found the one, we were excited to provide an offer but met a difficult negotiation in a trying market. Eileen negotiated with ease and ensured that our needs were met in the process. We are happily moved in and glad to have had the opportunity to work with Eileen. If the circumstance calls for it we will not only refer Eileen, but use her again for our own needs.
Top Tips for First-Time Buyers
Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that aren’t absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably won’t get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you’re looking for.
Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
- One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
- A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you’ve cut out from the newspaper.
- Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
- Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you’re attending a series of showings.
- Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?
Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don’t make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget such essentials as:
- Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
- Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
- Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
- You want to check to see that no changes have been made that weren’t agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That’s why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is high recommended. Please email me or call me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.