We are here today with Chase Michels. He is a top producing Real Estate Agent based in Downers Grove, Illinois. He has a knack for matching the right buyer with the perfect property.
Q: Chase, can you tell me what inspired you to start a career in real estate?
A: My mother and now business partner, Patti Michels, has been a real estate agent serving the western suburbs of Chicago for over 20 years. I think seeing her work hard, develop great relationships and grow her business from the ground up really influenced me early on. I was also drawn to the idea of a career that enabled me to be creative and also be my own boss.
Q:What has been a key element of your success?
A: We approach every transaction as if we were doing it for a family member. I think this goes a long way with our clients. Whether it be pricing a home, marketing a listing, or working with a buyer,we put our client’s interests first and foremost. I think they appreciate us being upfront with expectations and following through on what we say we are going to do. Our goal at the end of every transaction is to have a satisfied client; if we do that we increase our chances of future referrals and lifelong customers.
Q: Some people think it doesn’t matter who you get for an agent, as long as they can show them the property. What are your thoughts on this perception?
A: Hiring an agent with knowledge of the area, access to off-market homes, relationships with other agents and negotiating skills is a tremendous value to any buyer. A good agent will not only save a client time and money, but they will also help navigate the buying process and avoid possible pitfalls along the way. Furthermore, an experienced agent has relationships with local lenders and real estate attorneys that will help facilitate the transaction.
Q: What price point defines a luxury home inIllinois?
A: We do a majority of our business in Downers Grove, which is a suburb of Chicago. A luxury home in this area is $800,000+. A luxury home in Chicago is typically $1,000,000+. Clients willing to spend this type of money want an ideal location with high-end finishes. More recently, “smart amenities” have become essential for many luxury buyers.
Q: Are their differences in selling a luxury property versus the common market?
A: In our market, selling a luxury home is much more challenging and time-consuming than selling a home at a lower price point. Over the last 12 months, a luxury home in Downers Grove has taken an average of 164 days to sell, comparatively, a home selling for less than $800,000 has only taken 93 days. This is partially due to the fact that there is a much smaller buyer pool for luxury homes. To overcome the hurdles of selling a high-end home it is imperative to be priced competitively with other homes for sale in the market. We also focus our marketing on targeting the right audience for a high-end home. Using precise demographics available through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media allows us to get our listings in front of the most probable buyers.
Q: What trends have you seen in the luxury home market in Illinois? What’s happening now?
A: We have recently seen a lot of luxury home buyers choosing to build their own homes. When we get in the high-end price range buyers typically know exactly what they want and are willing to pay for it. This shift away from buying luxury resale homes has really decreased the amount of potential buyers for homes on market.
Q: What is the most common problem you see your clients have in selecting a property?
A: We often see buyers struggling to find the “perfect” home for them and that is not always possible. We advise our clients to create a list of home features that they feel are important to them and then rank these features from most to least essential. Items such as location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, proximity to schools and parks, lot size and square footage are typically unchangeable and should rank higher on the list. Items such as interior finishes, kitchen cabinetry, appliances, paint, flooring, landscaping and overall shape of the property can be changed and should typically rank lower on the list.
Q: What are the top three questions a buyer should ask about a property, and why?
- What is the history of the home and repairs? It is important to know all past issues with a home to understand what future costs may be incurred.
- What is the listing price based upon and how does it compare to other similar homes sold in the area? Look up the previous purchase price of the home and ask what improvements have been made since then.
- How long has the home been on market and is the seller motivated? If the home has been sitting on the market for a while or the seller is very motivated to sell, we can use this as leverage to get it for the best possible price.
Q: What advice would you give to a close friend looking for a home; what should they look for in an agent?
A: I would recommend they get online and research the most active agents in their price range for that specific area. Past client reviews are a great resource when looking for an agent. Narrow it down to a few agents and then meet with them. Does the agent seem to have local market knowledge? Do they seem trustworthy and honest? Do you connect with the agent and feel comfortable working with them?
Chase was born and raised in Downers Grove, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign with a degree in Economics and Finance. Chase adds value to any client with his advanced knowledge of the marketing process and the ever-adapting technologies that come along with it. Over the past two years, Chase and Patti Michels have sold over $35 Million of real estate in Downers Grove and are among the top producing agents in the area.