This week Laura and Joelle are joined by broker and real estate consultant, Ellen Baren. If you are interested in buying or selling in Chicago or the Northern Suburbs, working with Ellen you can expect a solid knowledge base of neighborhoods, homes and schools. Ellen’s grasp of the history and market along the lakefront and surrounding neighborhoods is unique. As one client said, “Ellen is stellar. She maintains a vast array of personal relationships that allow for organic and effective advertising. She sold our place in weeks…in the dead of winter! She was also a clear, concise communicator who made the process easy.”
Listen to Episode 87 with Ellen Baren!
Here are some references from Episode 87 that you may want to check out:
- Ellen grew up in Elmwood Park and Oak Park, and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, studying photography, a skill that has proven valuable in her real estate career. For the last 19 years, she has lived in Rogers Park. She worked in sales for a long time at Second City where she learned valuable project management skills, while also receiving her real estate license. She has worked for a few real estate companies, but most recently has been with @Properties for 13 years.
- She puts lots of care in preparing a home for sale, and approaches it step-by-step. Ellen uses her design background to stage homes with what is already within them, and works to de-clutter and maximize the space with the most aesthetically pleasing compositions.
- Ellen is certified as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert, and Green Realtor. As a Green Realtor, she’s attuned to what green technology is available, and what is most cost efficient. For example, weighing the benefits and costs of certain kinds of water heaters, or whether to replace vs. insulate your windows. She likes to use what you have, and reduce the amount of waste that simply replacing something can cause. As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, this means she has extensive knowledge and experience working with people over the age of 55, and addressing their concerns and needs, whether it be health and/or family situation. Serving homeowners who have been in their home for decades is often emotional, and Ellen takes into consideration the time and care needed to serve people well. Ellen is soon to receive her designation as a Pricing Strategy Specialist as well. This will allow her to have more insight and knowledge in pricing and strategy for higher price-point properties.
- Ellen has many stories of connecting with her clients, many of whom now feel like friends. She realizes that sometimes the circumstances around a home sale are very personal, and takes great care to be empathetic and caring throughout the process. “With kindness and care, that’s how you handle something like that,” she says. “Over and over, I’ve come to realize that we’re working with people – they’re not making a small purchase, these are people’s lives that we’re talking about. I’ve learned to be a support for people who are going through these things, and really help them.”
- Ellen has many amazing stories and testimonials, which you can find at www.ellenbaren.com.
- Home buying can be complicated, and there are so many people involved. Ellen helps through every step, which includes so many people! The buyers, sellers, their attorneys, mortgage professionals, assistants, appraisers, inspectors, and so on. Keeping track of all of them, and who they are working with is something Ellen does well.
- In Ellen’s opinion, if it is financially accessible, it is always better to own. There is a pride of ownership and sense of security that you may not have as a renter. In weaker markets, like in 2007, it is less likely for a homeowner to be displaced due to lost income that someone who rents. In stronger markets, like today, owning allows you to build equity and you receive a tax deduction for the interest (up to 10K.)
- Ellen’s homebuyer tips:
1. Go to Ellenbaren.com!
2. Get your finances in order.
3. Make sure you have a pre-approval letter.
4. Once you know your budget, start looking!
- Ellen has sold over 150 properties, and she doesn’t necessarily have a favorite kind of property she like to sell, but rather she loves helping people and getting to know them, and serving them with her expertise. She has connected with so many, and has been able to personally connect. “Selling real estate, it’s not just selling houses and negotiating, it’s really getting to know people.”
- Ellen loves her job for so many reasons, she gets to work with amazing people, and it touches on so many different aspects – marketing, finance, management. She also gets to view really amazing properties, just for fun sometimes. Penthouses, high rises, it’s fun to see the architecture, art, and luxury!
- Advice to up and coming realtors: Research and interview and a few different companies to see which is the right fit for you, and find an office that provides training, who throws the best holiday parties…just kidding! She feels very lucky to at @Properties and enjoys its culture very much.
- If she could trade places with an Andersonville business for a day, it would be Women & Children First because she has watched them grow ever since they were under the train tracks on Elston, and then on Halsted. And, Hopleaf! With her background in entertainment, she’d have fun for a night there. But overall, she loves Andersonville and has enjoyed watching it grow. It’s relaxing, friendly, and high-quality.
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