We love a happy ending!

When good people work together, good things happen.

We love referrals! It’s such a strong boost of confidence when you know that someone believes in you enough to tell their friends and family about their experience with you. Recently, we received a referral from one of our top lenders, Joel Schaub. We have done business with Joel for years and we know that if anyone is working with him, we want to work with them too! Fast forward to our listing that just closed at 1735 W George in Lakeview. The sellers were using Joel to purchase in the suburbs but needed a city agent to sell their home for top dollar, enter The Dowell Group! We showed up with our Lakeview expert agents.

If you don’t know how our team operates, it goes like this. We give TWO agents to every seller and they meet both from the beginning. We do this because we want to be available for any showing or need that our clients may have. They can contact us 24/7 and expect a timely response. We specifically tailor our team expert groups based off area, personality, experience and needs of the potential seller.

However, back to the story… We instantly connected with them and their family (+2 more buns in the oven) and we left covered in dog kisses with our fingers crossed hoping we got the job. Little did we know but we were NOT the only ones invited to interview with this wonderful couple.  Fortunately, we beat out another top team in the city and were hired for the listing. We were so excited and even more so when we sold their home quickly and efficiently even when COVID hit. We had a lot of long talks and kept our fingers crossed that it would all work out, and it did. Thank you Mike & Katie for believing in us and congrats on your big family/home in the suburbs! We wish there were more out there like you.

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Berkshire Hathaway Takes It Virtual

Watch Video: BHHS Chicago: Innovation, Ideas and Determination

Berkshire Hathaway and the Dowell Group are adapting with the times, with video calls, virtual walkthroughs, and much more. Technology in today’s world is keeping business moving forward, allowing access to homes without leaving your front door, and keeping everyone’s safety a top priority. While we are forever grateful to have access to devices that allow us to stay connected, from Zoom to Facebook, Instagram, and practicing our moves on Tik Tok, we are finding the best way to stay really connected is with a simple phone call. Take the time to reach out to a loved one, friends and family, or a long lost acquaintance who has been in the back of your mind. You will be surprised what a simple phone call can do to brighten someone’s day.

Why Your Home’s Staging is Essential


Same room with Staging
Living Room without Staging











We’re asked at many listing presentations, “Why should I stage my home?” We get it! When you’re looking to net the highest profit, the last thing you want to do is incur more costs. That said, in this case the old saying of, “Sometimes you have to spend money to make money” is truer than ever. Staging your home peeks prospective buyers interest and lets them visualize themselves living in your home. Presenting a buyer with a staged layout is the one of the best ways of getting them to the next step of envisioning where their own furniture would go and picturing what their future looks like in your home.  


When selling your home perception is everything and staging is a tool that you as the seller can use to have more influence. Peaking imaginations with an organized, clean home and collection of cohesive furnishings not only accent the style and architecture of the dwelling, but also capture a larger audience and get more potential buyers to view your home in person. The more people viewing, the better chance of receiving an offer. The quicker you come to terms, the less you spend in holding costs. Seems simple enough, right? Well, as you are thinking this is an “investment”, so we all know that nothing is guaranteed. That said, here are a few stats on staging. 


Sell for a Higher Price: 

On average, Chicago listings that are staged sell for 4-6% higher than their non-staged competitors. An empty home can seem cold and be difficult for buyers to picture how the home could be laid out. Staging helps show the actual size of rooms and takes out the guess work. We want the buyers to imagine living in the home, not if their couch will fit in the living room. 


Sell Faster: 

A staged home will generally sell faster and receive more inquiries than a comparable home that is not staged. Buyers are generally viewing many homes and the more memorable your home is the better. When a buyer exits your home with a brochure filled with beautiful photos of your home, it is easier for them to recall it after viewing 10 other homes. Purchasing a home is based largely on “the feels” and staging can set the scene for those.  


Cost of Staging: 

The cost of staging your home is typically negligible to the price increase you yield for selling your home staged. Typical staging packages start as low as $2500 depending on the size of your home. While holding costs for every seller vary, staging to begin with takes out the guess work on multiple levels and eliminates an extended listing time should your home not sell and you decide a stage must happen later.  


Simply put, using a professional staging company highlights the layout of your home and adds a designer feel for a nominal price. No home is 100% perfect. However, staging helps to enhance the wonderful aspects and put a little lipstick on the funky parts. In these instances, things that we initially view as needing a bit of camouflaging, can turn into a charming addition. Our goal as your realtor is to give you not only the best advice, but amazing resources as well. Sometimes a home needs nothing more than a bit of decluttering and rearranging, in other instances a full stage in the best choice. We’re here to walk through your home and give our assessment & ideas to garner the most favorable outcome for you. The Dowell Group creates individual a marketing platform for each listing with the objective to yield more money in less time. Contact us today for an appointment at 312-391-5655 or ddowell@thedowellgroupre.com. With our expertise you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done everything possible to procure a quick and profitable sale for your most valuable asset! 


Dowell Group #3 in Sales!

The Dowell Group is #3 in sales for our Chicago Berkshire Hathaway office…which is number #1 in the Midwest and #3 in the Nation!

Thank you to all our clients who trust us to negotiate & facilitate the best deals for them. If you are looking to buy, sell, rent or invest contact us today. We are here for you 24/7.


Having a pro by your side can make all the difference – Benefits of purchasing with a Realtor

Buying a home is expensive and most likely the largest purchase most people will ever make, so it makes sense that our natural inclination is to cut corners wherever possible. Today, with the explosion of websites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, there is an influx of information. But is it valid and useful?

First thing to know is the commission for the buyer’s Realtor is paid for by the seller. As the buyer, you are employing an experienced agent at no cost to guide you through the process, reduce stress and hopefully save you a lot of money. The 1-2.5% a buyer stands to possibly re-coup by representing themselves or employing a discount Realty group, they could likely make up with the knowledge and negotiation skills of an experienced Realtor. This coupled with all the other perks a professional advocate provides, make hiring an experienced professional an excellent option for all buyers.

As your Realtor, they have a fiduciary responsibility to you at all times. Listed below is a breakdown of some of the many services agents provide their clients during a transaction:

Explain Agency
Explain Closing Costs
Provide Needs Analysis
Discuss Attorney Role
Setup Property Search
Refine List of Properties
Conduct Due Diligence
Explain Contracts and Disclosures
Discuss Market Conditions
Revisit Needs Analysis
Prepare CMA for Preferred Property
Review Closing Process

Discuss Market Protocols
Outline Counter Offer Strategies
Outline Negotiation Strategies
Review Seller Disclosures
Present Counter Offer Positions
Oversee Home Inspection Negotiation
Review Market Analysis
Set Price Limit
Prepare Offer
Present Offer
Negotiate Contract Terms
Oversee Home Inspection Negotiation

Follow-up on Due Diligence
Review Negotiation Issues with Attorney
Follow-up on Contract Contingencies
Facilitate Final Walk-Through
Coordinate Home Inspection
Oversee Home Inspection
Oversee Attorney Communication
Oversee Inspection Repairs
Provide Purchase Agreement to Attorney
Follow-up with Mortgage Originator
Review Closing Costs
Attend Closing
Manage Closing Details

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or on your third purchase, without proper guidance buying a home can be a time-consuming and confusing process. Your Realtor is there to keep you on track and help you focus on the next step while keeping in mind the big picture. The reality is that much like the stock market, real estate is an active, ever-changing market that fluctuates based on the economy, season and a host of other factors. These circumstances are why it is essential to consult with a full-time agent who has their pulse on the market and can educate you on future developments and changes in area neighborhoods. This insight and knowledge assists greatly in procuring great opportunities to help clients find the best home for their lifestyle.

For more information about the purchasing process or to sit down for a buyer’s presentation, please contact us at ddowell@thedowellgroupre.com or give us ring at 312-391-5655. We are happy to explain the process step-by-step! To check out a little more information about The Dowell Group, see below for links to our Zillow reviews, Facebook & Instagram.




On the Buy vs Rent fence?

With rental prices increasing every year, we’ve recently had many first-time buyers looking to convert their monthly payments into personal equity. Buying a home has many steps and with this blog we aim to provide practical information and user friendly resources for the lending process. Below, Jim Colucci and his team at Guaranteed Rate answer questions most every buyer has at some point. A great read for those of us contemplating purchasing, but limited time to research.

I think I want to buy a house, but how do I know if I am financially ready?

This comes down to running the numbers. Here is a link to our buy vs rent calculator. It’s an excellent tool to give you an estimate of how much your monthly expenses would be as a homeowner vs renting. It also calculates how much money you would be saving long-term by purchasing.

Link – https://www.guaranteedrate.com/mortgage-calculators/should-I-rent-vs-buy-calculator

Current buyers are also benefiting from record low interest rates and avoiding annual rental increases that have gone up steadily in the past few years. Other advantages are potential tax benefits, building your own equity and the freedom to increase property value from renovations or décor changes.

I’ve decided to stop renting and purchase. What documents will I need to secure a loan and how far in advance should I gather them?

You will need 2 month’s pay stubs, 2 month’s asset statements, 2 years of federal tax returns and the HR contact person for your employer. Further documents will likely be required throughout the loan process, but this is a great start. Because the documents need to be current, you should gather them right when starting the application process. A good first step is using our Digital Mortgage application to obtain your free credit scores, pick your loan program and receive a loan estimate. From there we will contact you, answer any questions and make sure you are picking the loan that is best for you.

Link – https://app.guaranteedrate.com/start

My friend told me I shouldn’t make any big financial changes when trying to obtain a loan. What are some of the things I should do to ensure a stress-free process?

Good credit is critical to procure the best interest rate and terms on a mortgage, so do continue to pay all bills on time. One late payment can compromise approval when trying to obtain a loan. Also, continue to use your credit like you presently do. A change in pattern could cause concern and lower your score.

The things to not do are a bit more plentiful. Here is a quick rundown of the major ones to avoid:


Apply for new credit/co-sign for a loan – Every time your credit is pulled you will lose points from your credit score. This also applies for co-signing for a loan or credit card.

Max out credit cards/Consolidate your debt – While you might get a lower interest rate, consolidating onto one or two cards will likely push you above 30% of your available limit. Keeping the balance below 30% of your available limit on credit cards is essential.

Close active credit card accounts – Closing credit card accounts negatively impacts your credit. Keep those open even if they aren’t being utilized.

Payoff collections – This can be done through escrow when closing.

Withdrawal or deposit large amounts of money – Avoid this whenever possible and consult with your lender.

Change jobs – Don’t change jobs. Even if the new job brings in more income it could negatively affect your loan process. Consult your lender should this arise.

Make major purchases – This correlates with many of the above. Don’t: open new lines of credit, max out your current credit card or withdraw large amounts of money. Wait to purchase new furniture until after you have the keys to your new home.

What are closing costs and will I know how much that amount is before signing a contract to purchase?

Closing costs are everything from attorney fees to transfer tax. We go over each item with our clients, but also provide a wealth of information on our website to help our clients that are more comfortable researching solo in the beginning. As the closing of your homes nears will we be able to give you exact figures and let you know the amount you will need to bring to the closing.

Link – https://www.guaranteedrate.com/loan-expert/jimcolucci

Once I have signed a contract on a home how long will it take to close?

We estimate our loan process at 30-45 days. Of course, there are some transactions that might differ due to extraneous circumstances.

For more information on making the transitioning from a renter to a homeowner, please feel free to contact Danielle @ ddowell@thedowellgroupre.com or 312-391-5655. 

For all your lending questions or to review more valuable data about the loan process, Jim Colucci & his team at Guaranteed Rate are happy to provide any additional. Contact Jim @ jim.colucci@guaranteedrate.com or 708-302-4000.





Why Buy Now

The Benefits of Purchasing.

Increases in rental prices.
Rental prices in Chicago have increased around 8% in the last 2 years, making the standard practice of saving to become a homeowner while renting increasingly difficult. New buyer programs are introduced regularly, one just recently for just 1% down! (contact me for details) Programs like this and others, could be the difference between paying your landlord for another year of rent or building your own equity.

Investing in your future.
For most, purchasing a home is the biggest investment you will ever make. However, unlike most investments a place to live is something you will have to budget for regardless. Most people don’t realize they are actually ready to purchase because they don’t have the information easily provided through a few quick conversations. We will happily breakdown the steps of purchasing a home and get you moving in the right direction. In many situations, renting really is throwing your hard earned money away when you could be stacking it.

Tax Benefits.
Deductions make us happy! Getting a pat on the back from the IRS for investing in you is an added bonus of becoming a homeowner. Taking advantage of this is just another way to be money smart.

Pride of Ownership.
Financials aside, there is something to be said for walking into your home where you have the creative freedom to renovate, paint or change anything that you wish. Creating a comfortable environment that will only give back to you when it is time for the next journey. Pride of ownership is a real thing and it feels great!
More questions? Please send them our way and let us help you find your new home! Choosing the right team is essential. Whether buying or selling we are there for our clients to walk them through every step of the process and provide seasoned referrals for all of your needs. If you are a buyer are services are complimentary! Want to do a little Google research and see for yourself? Check out our reviews on Zillow. https://www.zillow.com/profile/ddowell/#reviews