Chicago is currently a seller's market. The number of existing home sales has risen roughly 6 percent in the past year and a half, driving the area's median sales price up more than 7 percent since February 2015. And real estate experts predict that conditions are only going to get better for those planning to list their homes.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean you will be flush with offers from the moment your home goes on the market. Any number of missteps -- from overpricing your property to ignoring your curb appeal -- can drive potential buyers away. If you're looking to sell your Chicago home fast, you'll benefit from the help of an experienced real estate agent.
The five Chicago real estate agents below are among those who sold the most homes in Chicago in the shortest amount of time over the past year, according to OpenHouse Realty, a real estate technology company (and a U.S. News partner).
Average Time on Market: 64 Days
Mario Greco is the founder of the Chicago-based MG Group, which partners with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group. A former lawyer, Greco started selling real estate in 2002 and has closed more than $1 billion in sales to date. Greco specializes in high-end condominiums and townhomes, and also sells some single-family homes. The neighborhoods he focuses on include Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Roscoe Village, Logan Square, Bucktown, Wicker Park, West Loop and Uptown.
Greco's Advice for Sellers: "Listen to the professional you hired to sell your home when it comes to price. They know the market and there is nothing more important to getting top dollar for your home than an accurate, original list price."
Average Time on Market: 76 Days
Jeff Lowe is among the top-selling agents in Chicago in terms of volume, helping people find buyers for their homes in Lincoln Park, Bucktown, Wicker Park and Roscoe Village. When he's not helping sellers secure offers, Lowe is active in a number of philanthropic organizations, including efforts to build new parks in the city. He also serves as a real estate consultant for a number of schools and charities.
Lowe's Advice for Sellers: "I would strongly recommend interviewing experienced agents that specialize in your neighborhood. Make sure they bring comparable properties with them and, most importantly, make sure they can talk intelligently and with actual knowledge of the properties. If the broker you are considering is not familiar with your area/housing type, I would continue looking."
Average Time on Market: 80 Days
Matt Laricy is the managing partner for Americorp Ltd., a real estate company his father started. The recipient of a number of local honors, including Chicago Agent magazine's Choice Award for Industry MVP, Laricy specializes in luxury high-rise condos in neighborhoods such as the Gold Coast, River North, Old Town, Streeterville and the South Loop. When he's not selling homes, Laricy spends his time teaching Chicago youth about the real estate industry through the Chicago Association of Realtors Young Professionals Network. He's also active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Laricy's Advice for Sellers: "Price your property right. Too many sellers try to over-ask on price point. You end up doing the price drop game, and in the long run, you get less than you would have if you priced it right in the first place."
Average Time on Market: 98 Days
A Chicago native, Mauricio Gonzalez received a degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has been helping Chicago residents buy and sell homes for 17 years. In 2015, Gonzalez was honored by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals as one of the top Latino real estate agents in the country. Gonzalez and his team specialize in helping sellers list single-family homes on Chicago's South Side, as well as in the southern and western suburbs, like Berwyn and Alsip, Illinois.
Gonzalez's Advice for Sellers: "Be truthful and be realistic about the price. Everything and anything, no matter its condition, will sell at the right price."
Average Time on Market: 99 Days
For more than 30 years, Frank Montro has helped clients buy and sell refurbished single-family homes and condos in the South Side of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs like Glenwood. He has experience helping sellers whose homes may not be in tip-top shape through every step of the home-selling process, offering tips on how to up a home's curb appeal or suggesting small fixes that could increase a property's value.
Montro's Advice for Sellers: "You want to make sure you find an agent who has your best interest at heart. My dad taught me there is more to life than a paycheck. When you put others first, everyone wins."
Looking for a real estate agent in Chicago? U.S. News' Find an Agent tool can match you with the person who's most qualified for the job.
Alex Mayster is a freelance writer based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter.