Thursday, December 6, 2007

Questions and Answers

A few weeks ago, your guides began posting a lot of questions and answers. Questions were submitted by readers; not necessarily clients. We're delighted to be of help whenever we can and certainly appreciate the suggestions for blog posting topics.

From a couple weeks ago through this week, the nature of the questions appears to have changed. While your guides are always eager to share knowledge about Real Estate, how transactions work, and Chicago in general, it is always in the back of our minds that the blog is a way of reaching out to customers in the hopes of working wtih them as clients.

We hope to post on topics that readers find interesting. We hope those readers come to consider us experts in the field, and perhaps utilize our services in a transaction one day.

Certain types of questions coming to us make us uncomfortable with answering them for a couple of reasons. Let's look at some of examples, first:

I recently entered a contract to purchase a preconstruction condo. The developer signed the contract, but now I've been told that the developer sold the land and the development plans to another developer so my contract is no longer valid. Can they get out of the contract with this sale?

Does anyone have any information about Catalyst condos, to go up at Washington and Desplaines in Chicago? Also, R & D 569 condos? Thank you very much!

I bought a unit in a pre-construction condominium building. The cielings in the model were finished. I was recently informed that the cieling will be unifinished and in order to obtain finished cielings I must purchase an upgrade. Is this type of practice common? Should I press my agent to negotiate on this point?

Do we know anything about X/O condos in the south loop?

I am thinking of buying a condo 100 E. Walton. Any comments on this property?

These types of questions seem to be falling into one of two categories.

Questions an attorney should answer.

Any questions that has the word "legally" in it should immediately cause readers to seriously addressing these concerns with their attorney. And if the reader does not already have an attorney, then should consider hiring one. Very often, the services of an attorney will be needed since often times the question addresses an issue that appears to cut and dry, but an attorney must take the action to guarantee the desired outcome.

Questions that your agent can and should answer. Sometimes asked too late.

Your guides very often have knowledge that would be ordinarily shared with someone in a agency relationship with us. We have past experiences with developers, knowledge of reputations of builders and firsthand experience with many of the projects inquired about.

Unfortunately, the time to ask these kinds of questions is before a deposit is left, or a reservation agreement is signed. The person to ask is your Real Estate Agent ~ not by anonymous posting on an advice board.

Since we're not in an agency relationship, it's actually against the law to give this sort of advice and counsel. Only after formalizing a client-agent relationship by agreeing to the terms of a Buyers Agency Agreement can an agent give advice such as: reasons not to buy, point out other properties that might work better, protect your best interests, share confidential information about the other party in your transaction, and other duties under the agreement.

Plus, asking a pro for advice after the decision has already been made about pursuing a particular property or development means that you're basically asking for valuable advice for free. We would be happy to share all our in-depth knowledge with you if we are representing you as our clients. But asking for opinions after you've already found the property means that we're already cut out of the transaction.

In almost all of these instances, the services of your Buyer's Agent would also be free of charge to you. Sellers in Illinois and here in Chicago are most delighted to have you represented by your own Real Estate Pro. It makes their job a whole lot easier and frequently the commissions are paid for by their seller or their developer.

So if you're out there in the market, get your Real Estate Pro on board with your program sooner rather than later. The benefits are plainly evident by the questions posted above.