Just Sold Listings (November 3, 2017)

We welcomed November with a few closings from our listings! On the first day of November, 1203 East Pennsylvania Ave and 3313 Stoneybrook were turned over to their new owners.

The team ended its first week of November by closing three more properties: 1019 West Charles St, 2 Lincoln Ct, and 302 Flora Drive. Way to go, team! Call us for your queries on buying or listing your home, 217-239-7144.


Fall Frenzy 2017 Contest

Social media is an effective tool in real estate marketing. According to a study, millenials (94%) and babyboomers (84%) prefer to use online sites to search for homes they want to live in. Furthermore, homebuyers now use social media to find their future homes.

We at the Sharon Harkness team are thinking of better ways to widen our reach and gain more traction as we become more active in our social media pages. Last week, the team concluded its Fall Frenzy contest by drawing a lucky new follower in one of our social media accounts. For several weeks, flyers and images of our Fall Frenzy contest were posted to encourage and attract more likers in the community.

So on October 20, 2017, a winner was drawn! Here’s a video of Lisa Duncan and Barb Schwartz picking the winner.

The winner, Annessa Parisi, came over the office and claimed her price, an Apple watch! Congratulations, Annessa!

We intend to share more information to our clients, referrals and followers in our social network. Visit our pages now and engage with us. We want to hear from you!

15 Easy DIYs To Consider Doing Before Selling Your Home

Whether you’re prepping your home for sale, or plan on enjoying it for years to come, getting it into tip-top shape should be a high priority. A priority, mind you, that doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s a list of 15 satisfying home upgrades that you can perform yourself with little to no specialized knowledge or experience.

1. Learn how to cheaply and easily make an ugly backsplash a thing of the past.

2. Tired of that ugly ceiling light cover? Want to focus the light on a smaller area? This DIY shows how to create a drum shade for your ceiling light.

3. For vanity updates, grey is the new black. Here’s a DIY to create your very own modern, concrete-style vanity.

4. If you would like a little more privacy without cutting the lighting down too much, try frosting your windows with cornstarch.

5. You can hang a curtain from the ceilings to create the illusion of a larger shower. Giving your rod a few coats using gold spray paint adds a nice touch too.

6. Upgrade those boring cabinets with this shaker style DIY.

7. You can also create that beadboard country-cabinet look with a simple wallpaper job.

8. Enhance your closet racks with elegant end-brackets. See how here.

9. Add an extra dimension of style to your flatscreen TV by framing it using various moldings and trim.

10. By half painting a wall, it will make the room seem quite a bit taller.

11. Use some inexpensive frames to upgrade any boring light switches.

12. Turn that plain jane cabinet into something amazing with some basic molding and a fresh paint job.

13. Make your rug nice and plush by using carpet underlayment.

14. See this DIY for the details on un-staining and restaining your wooden furniture.

15. Here’s a great example of how to upgrade your bathroom mirror with the appropriate trim.

 source: http://lightersideofrealestate.com/

Just Sold Listings This Week (October 23, 2017)

Sharon Harkness team closed two listings this week! 1510 Delmont Court Unit 6 and 1603 #D Lyndhurst Dr are both Condo properties and were not in the market for long.  To check the details about the listings we just closed, click on the link of the address just mentioned. Sharon Harkness, Inc. offers unparalleled service to all our clients because we want our customers to be completely satisfied with the services we offer!



1507 Waterford Place is a beautiful 2 story home situated on large 1 acre lot with water views! Soaring 2 story entry and gleaming wood floors welcome you to this quality built home in desirable Devonshire South. Open floorplan offers plenty of space to live and entertain in style. Enjoy cooking in the upscale kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counters and abundant storage. Convenient butler’s pantry leads to the formal dining room. The family room is highlighted with fireplace, built-ins and wet bar. Private 1st floor office features wall of built-ins & waterviews. Retreat to the master suite and relax in the spa like bath w/whirlpool, large shower, dual vanities & huge walk in closet. Finished basement with full bath provides additional living space for guests, hobbies, crafts and more. Outdoor living can be enjoyed on the large deck, patio or gazebo all while enjoy views of the water with color changing fountain. Pre-inspected! Numerous updates and amenities, call for complete list. A must see!

This listing is  presented by licensed broker, Lisa Duncan with Sharon Harkness Inc at Keller Williams Realty: The Real Estate Center of Illinois. Come join her this Sunday, 2pm – 4pm and view this lovely home!

Why Fall Might Be The Best Time To Buy A Home

A lot of people think the best time to buy a house is during the Spring market.

And, it is…

…in the sense that more houses are listed for sale in the Spring. But, there’s also a heck of a lot more buyers trying to buy those listings.

The thing is, some of the houses listed back in the Spring don’t end up selling. (Usually just because they were overpriced.)

Now, it isn’t like new listings don’t happen in the Fall. There’s always new listings coming on the market. But it’s not like, just because it’s Fall and not Spring, prices are necessarily going to fall. In other words, new listings aren’t likely to list for a lot lower than you would have seen in the Spring.

However, the homeowners who did list back in the Spring, are much more likely to be anxious (perhaps even desperate) to sell their home. They’ve created their own problem…they missed the boat by pricing too high.

Which is great news for you, if you’re looking to buy a home:

  • Less competition. (Many buyers stop looking at this time of year…for no good reason.)
  • Motivated sellers. (They’re sick of being on the market, and wondering why nobody bought their house.)

But it isn’t always easy to find those listings. They don’t wave a white flag, or lower their price to some ridiculous amount everyone would notice. If only it were that easy…
Just because someone listed their home back in the Spring doesn’t mean they’ll be all that negotiable.

There are certain things a great real estate agent will know to look for.

And I love rolling up my sleeves and finding the ones we can most likely negotiate the best deals on.

So, got anything you want me to roll up my sleeves and look for? Real estate deals won’t just fall in your lap, but I can certainly help you find one this Fall.

Want another reason to buy a home in the Fall?

You can take advantage of year-end sales to outfit your home!

Hardly anybody buys a home who doesn’t want (or need) to make improvements, however small. So why not coordinate your purchase with sales on items you’ll need? According to Consumer Reports, September is an ideal time for buying carpet and paint. In October lawn mowers go on sale, and the same goes for appliances and cookware in November.

Safety Tips When Using The Grill Master

Summer is the season for grilling. Cooking out can be done anywhere outside the house: poolside, patio, and beyond. It is also worthy to note that using gas and charcoal grills leads to 16,900 emergency room visits and $96 million in property damage every year. Indeed, the safety of our family and home is of utmost importance. It is dependent whether we follow guidelines in grilling.

Here are a easy to remember tips on keeping your family and your home safe. Consider printing a list and posting near the cooking area to remind you or anyone grilling before getting started:

  • Maintain distance. Keep the grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep the barbeque grill clean. Remove grease or fat buildup from the grill and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended, and keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill at all times.
  • Always make sure the lid of a gas grill is open before lighting.
  • Give the grill special attention.If using starter fluid for a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid, and never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquid to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • If your charcoal grill has an electric starter, use an extension cord.
  • When finished grilling, let the coals cool completely, then dispose in a metal container.

Source: National Fire Protection Association, DTE, PA Insurance 

Home Sales in Champaign County Dips to 3.9% in May 2017

In Champaign County, sales of homes dipped in May this year compared with the same time last year. In May this year, 271 homes were sold, a decline of 3.9% from 282 last May 2016.

“I think they’re right around where they need to be,” said CCAR President Jim Waller. “Last year was a good year, and we’re not that far down from that.”

“We’re still lacking some inventory,” he said. “We’d love to see some more listings. There’s a lot of buyers, and they’re not all able to find what they want.”

Of the homes sold this May, 124 were in Champaign, 60 in Urbana, 23 in Mahomet and 14 in Savoy. Homes stayed listed for 61 days though as compared to 69 days last year.

The median price of homes currently listed is $155,00 in May, a 5.8% increase from $146,500 in May 2016.

“Low mortgage rates are still triggering more buyer demand in this market but some buyers are finding it taking a bit longer to find the right property that suits their prerequisites. The number of new listings and inventory of homes for sale continue to decrease in the Champaign market area,” said Jim Waller, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. “REALTORS report inventory sales and strong buyer demand is leading to more multiple offer situations in this hot spring/summer selling market and buyers have to proceed quickly on their offer if they find the home they wish to purchase.”

Sellers should note that buyers are eager to purchase and are searching the market right now. In fact, Waller expounds that Champaign County is a still a viable place to reside despite the dip in sales.

“It’s economically stronger than most of the state,” he said. “And we have some companies in town that are hiring.”