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It’s almost Memorial Day, which means vacation season is upon us, as is the opportunity to rent out your home via sites like Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway to people wanting to enjoy Chicago’s spectacular summer weather and festivals. If you’ve never been a landlord before, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Check Your Community Rules

Offering your abode for short-term rentals can be appealing if you want to earn extra income and have someone in the home while you’re away. Just talk to me first if you’re unsure whether your condo or homeowner’s association allows it and to find out whether your city or town has any restrictions. I can tell you everything you need to know about renting your home.

Package Your Pitch

Now comes the pitch. Once you’ve decided to take the plunge, it’s important to be comprehensive in your short-term rental listing. Use as many photos as possible. Keep in mind the property needs to present like a hotel room, so the photos should capture that feel. Think clean, simple, and neutral.

Pricing Your Rental

Naturally, people searching for short-term rentals compare prices. You should too, and I’ve got a lot of practice finding comparable home listings and helping clients establish their rental pricing.

Be Upfront with Expectations

From the moment you begin working with potential vacation renters, state clearly what’s expected of them. Let them know the rules you want them to follow, such as occupancy limit and regulations on smoking and pets. If you know your neighbors won’t tolerate parties, let your renters know that, too.

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Lawrence Herstel  
Lawrence Herstel
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The Vault
Baird & Warner's Role in Shaping Today's North Shore

Did you know that without Baird & Warner, some of Chicago’s North Shore communities might not be as popular as they are today?

After World War I, Chicago enjoyed a building boom that continued until the Great Depression. In fact, between 1900 and 1920, the population of the North Shore exploded. A big reason for the growth was the construction of more train lines and the city stations on these lines that Baird & Warner helped develop. Another reason was the redevelopment of large private estates previously used as summer getaways.

Baird & Warner was there at the beginning — and every step of the way — during this historical growth. In 1923, the brokerage opened its North Shore office in Evanston and helped support sales for three key subdivisions: Bannockburn in 1924, Deere Park in 1925, and Skokie Ridge in 1927.

These three developments contributed significantly to the North Shore landscape helping draw residents to the area. In fact, they’re just as popular today as they were 90-plus years ago.

 •  Bannockburn — Built and conceived by William Aitken, a Scottish real estate developer, Bannockburn was named for a town in his native Scotland. It was, and remains, its own village. Fun fact: Baird & Warner sold and marketed the homes as “your country estate.”
 •  Deere Park (Highland Park - Braeside neighborhood) — Developed from two estates along Lake Michigan, these were to be homes for permanent residents — not just weekend retreats. Fun fact: Baird & Warner developed and sold all 197 new home lots.
 •  Skokie Ridge - Glencoe — This is the smallest of the three developments at 153 lots. Fun fact: Baird & Warner developed the lots, built the streets, and installed sewers and utilities.
Making It Easier to Gain the Edge in a Tight Inventory Market 

If you feel like there are fewer homes on the market in Chicagoland, you're right. You might also be wondering how you, as a buyer or seller, can find success in this new normal of low inventory.

First, remember that there is a home out there for everyone, so let me make the process of finding the right buyer or seller for your new home easier for you in this tight market. Let's start with the following tips to keep things in perspective:

For Sellers

The Price is Right
It's easy to feel overconfident when there's a short supply of homes on the market, but I can't stress enough how none of that matters if you don't set the right asking price. Overpricing can often backfire and lead to fewer offers — especially if the appraisal doesn't meet the value — so let's work together to strike the perfect balance of maximizing your asking price while keeping it within reach of your target buyer.

How to Handle Multiple Offers with Finesse
Fielding multiple offers can be a good thing if it's handled in the right way. That's where I can help. I know how to navigate multiple offer scenarios in order to find the right buyer at the right price to avoid potential price-war fallout. And I can work with you to make buyers feel confident that they have made the right purchase.

For Buyers

Act Like a Boy Scout and Be Prepared 
With more buyers than sellers on the market, it's never been more important to line up your financing in advance so you can make a strong offer. If a new listing comes online, you want to be ready to pounce. This means getting preapproved if this is your first home, or speaking to a financial advisor to help figure out what you can afford. I can also put you in touch with a mortgage expert to increase your odds of success.

Set Up a Winning Offer
One of the smartest strategies in a tight inventory is to determine how high you're willing to bid on a home. For example, if I have clear direction that it's okay to offer $3,000 more during negotiations without waiting for you to sign off, it can save time and help your offer rise to the top. On that note, it can be easy to get caught up in a bidding war only to have remorse later. So let's work together to find a number you're comfortable with, and one that's strong enough to win you the house.

Market Stats Report E-card Offers Neighborhood Data Tour
When you're shopping for a home, you're also shopping for a neighborhood. That's where Baird & Warner's Market Stats Report e-card can make it easier for buyers to understand neighborhood housing data at a glance. Our e-card delivers dynamic charts containing information on a specific community, such as the number of properties listed, median prices, and days on market directly to your phone or tablet. Ask me how you can start receiving the Market Stats Report e-card today.

Student Loan Debt? Key Mortgage Can Help You Buy a Home
Millennials may be saddled with more student-loan debt than their parents, but that doesn't mean their dream of homeownership has to be shelved. In fact, independent mortgage companies can actually make buying their first home easier than they think. Esther Phillips, senior vice president of Baird & Warner preferred lender Key Mortgage Services Inc., recently wrote more about the borrowing options available to young homebuyers in the respected industry publication Scotsman Guide. Let me know if you'd like to speak with a Key Mortgage representative and learn more about these options.

Lawrence Herstel
Lawrence Herstel
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Lawrence's Story...

Lawrence Herstel started his real Estate career in Downers Grove, IL. He truly enjoys the experience of helping people achieve their goals whether client is a buyer or seller, or a first time home buyer.

me 12347619_926176767459634_8534891826470499656_nimages
724 Ogden Ave

Downers Grove, IL

His knowledge of the real estate business and expertise in negotiating the transaction ensures that his clients' interests remain at the forefront of their sale. He displays diligence in staying in communication with all parties involved in the sale. This enables him to quickly follow through and handle any issues that may arise. Whether you are looking to buy a house or sell your home, you can count on Lawrence to go above and beyond and do whatever it takes for you to achieve your goals.


Lawrence served in the United States Air Force, several overseas. This has allowed him to develop a strong work ethic and hone his communication skills. He has been a private pilot for over a decade and enjoys flying airplanes at the Chicago Glider Club in Minooka, Illinois.

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