Thursday, July 13, 2006

To do or not to do Dual Agency

Dual agency is one of those terms that as a realtor was drilled into my head during training, but one sellers or buyers rarely think about or even know about. First, let's start with a quick definition of dual agency. Dual agency is the practice of "representing" both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction provided each have given their written consent. You may ask, well how can a dual agent represent both the buyer and the seller, isn't it a conflict of interest? In reality you don't truly "represent" the best interests of buyer or seller. The seller is looking to get the highest price possible for their property, and the buyer is looking to pay the lowest possible price and in the midst of this the agent needs to remain impartial and keep each parties position confidential. In my opinion as an agent, I think it's a tricky place and I find that my clients, buyer or seller, want to have someone to advise them and look out for their best interests exclusively. I'd love to hear your opinions or if you have been involved in a dual agent transaction, how it went and if you would do it again.

Monday, July 10, 2006

North Ave Bridge Construction Project

For those of us who watch the minutes of our lives tick away as we attempt to cross the North Avenue bridge, finally, it is being widened to four lanes and will remain open during construction. That's the good news. The bad news is that the project will not be completed until the very vague timeframe of Fall 2007. For the full details including what the new bridge will look like and all that jazz, check out the CDOT website.

Pets need homes too!

We all love our animals and they are undoubtedly an important part of our lives. More and more, people treat pets like family. I even call my 2 cats, Puc and LuLu, my children and have my parents calling them the grandkids. Anything to take a little pressure off! Puc and LuLu make me laugh, cry, and sometimes I want to wring their necks when they misbehave, but seriously I can't imagine not having them in my life. With this trend, more and more condos are permitting pets of all shapes and sizes to reside with their human companions, but there are still many condos out there that have pet restrictions or do not allow pets at all. Pet restrictions are not uncommon, especially in high-rises, and can vary from the maximum weight a dog can be to a maximum number of animals that are allowed. Periodically you run into a condo that requires a pet deposit and they generally don't discriminate between cats and dogs. In a highly unusual scenario, I even had a client who loved a particular building so much that he was willing to pay a $600/year fee so he could keep his cat. Now that's love! If you have pets or are thinking of making an addition to your family in the future, this is something to consider as part of your home search criteria. I have seen too many people search without this in mind, find their dream home and give up their beloved pet as a result. With so many pet-friendly options available in Chicago, there is no reason to make this sacrifice.