- We believe buyers deserve information about buildings and neighborhoods written by Realtors who know them firsthand. All content on this site with the exception of listings and search results is written by us and not marketing copywriters who don’t even live here.
- We don’t believe in forcing you to share your contact information just to view whatever you like on our site.
- We also don’t believe in interrupting you with pop-ups while you’re using our site. We may display a pop-up when you appear to be leaving.
Our services incorporate:
- Expertise – We share our knowledge on this site to help you be a better informed buyer or seller. Likewise, we utilize our knowledge to help you each step of the way through closing.
- Disclosure – All known relevant and material information about properties are disclosed. This also applies to any relevant information pertaining to a purchase or sale keeping you fully informed.
- Loyalty – All actions are in your best interests.
- Impartiality – Which home you choose to buy or which offer you choose to accept is 100% your decision.
From Information Technology Project Manager to Realtor
I bought my first 2 homes without using a buyer agent. That was a costly mistake. I had no idea what the homes were worth. I didn’t know how to negotiate the price and terms. There was also no one to tell me that I needed to hire a licensed home inspector. If I had, I never would have bought the second home which needed the roof replaced.
My experience with the listing agent who sold my first home was awful. So when it came time to sell my second home I did it myself. I was successful, but I learned how much work was involved. It was a part time job!
From the Suburbs to the City
In 2004 I left my corporate job in search of a more rewarding opportunity. I started my real estate career in 2005 with Baird & Warner in the northwest suburb of Arlington Heights where I was living. To learn quickly I took whatever business I could get from Naperville to Huntley to Highland Park. I applied the skills I used defining computer system requirements to defining buyers’ home requirements.
In January 2006 I started this web site as a blog. It was another great way for me to learn the real estate business and my clients agreed. By 2008 I was the top producer in Baird & Warner’s Arlington Heights Office.
In 2012 I transferred to Baird & Warner’s Gold Coast Office after noticing this site was providing me more business in the city than the suburbs. I also bought a condo downtown. I started blogging in depth about specific downtown high rises such as the John Hancock Center, Lake Point Tower and Harbor Point. It’s how I learned the ins and outs of various buildings. Numerous clients and even other Realtors have expressed their appreciation for the information.
In 2018 I upgraded this site into a more robust site for home searching. Buyers can now get automated new listing updates for any predefined or custom search. They can also save listings and get automated status updates for them. Sellers can now submit their home’s information for a free valuation. Many more improvements are yet to come!
- Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker License
- Certified Negotiations Expert (CNE)
- Certified Real Estate Negotiator (CREN)
- M.S. Computer Science, B.S. Psychology
- Previous career with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Iowa State University
See My Testimonials
- “The priciest Chicago residential buildings in 2016“, Curbed Chicago, January 17, 2017
- “Mapping Chicago’s 10 Most Expensive Residential Buildings“, Curbed Chicago, January 20, 2016
- “Mapping the 10 Most Expensive Residential Buildings in Chicago“, Curbed Chicago, January 13, 2015
- “The Short List: Fran Bailey’s Strategies For Finding Clients the Perfect Home“, Chicago Agent Magazine, November 17, 2014
- “Warm up to winter home selling”, Chicago Tribune, January 5, 2014
- “Home-related superstitions abound”, Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2013
- “The lowdown on mid-rises”, Chicago Tribune, August 30, 2013
- “5 things to know about open houses”, Money Magazine, June, 2013
- “Disclosing water in the basement”, Chicago Tribune, May, 2013
- “Make More In 2013”, Money Magazine, December, 2012
- “Move-in ready: Just bring your toothbrush”, MSN Real Estate, August, 2012
- “We’re flush with bathrooms” ChicagoTribune.com, July 1, 2011
- Even Jamie Dimon’s Not Immune to Brutal Real Estate Market” FoxBusiness.com, April 8, 2011
- “What will you give for that second parking space?” YoChicago.com, March 14, 2011
- “Chicago home prices drop to 2002 levels” WBEZ 91.5 Chicago Public Radio, February 22, 2011
- “AgentMetrics Positions You as a Pro, Helps Build Your Business”, Chicago Realtor Magazine, Autumn 2010, page 21
- “Sales deal breakers – dirty dishes, bugs, odors”, Chicago Sun-Times, June 17, 2010
- “Who’s going to clean 3-plus bathrooms?”, Naperville Sun, April 23, 2010
- “Instant reax: What happens after “flat”?“, New Home Notebook, December 29, 2009
- “Hat tip: Finding your school district“, YoChicago.com, October 29, 2009
- “How not to sell your house”, Chicago Tribune, July 19, 2009
- “Spring thaw: Has warmer weather drawn activity to the housing market?”, Medill Reports Chicago, May 26, 2009
- “The Best Chicago Real Estate Blogs“, Relocation.com, March 26, 2009
- “August Magnificent 7 Consumer Articles”, RealEstateUndressed.Com, September 6, 2008
- “This site tops for search results”, Chicago Sun-Times, July 17, 2008
- “Homebuyer Psychology”, First Business, February 1, 2008
- “Real estate blogs help agents connect with consumers”, Medill Reports, December 5, 2007
- “Magnificent 7 Consumer Article Nominee for August 2007”, RealEstateUndressed.Com, September 7, 2007
- “Realtors get in line online”, Daily Herald, April 6, 2007
- “Home Sales On Way Up”, Glenview Journal, March 28, 2007 (no longer online)
- “Real Estate Blogging”, First Business, March 27, 2007 (video)
- “Real estate agents hang blogging signs”, Chicago Tribune, January 22, 2007
- “Do Real Estate Blogs Really Build Business?”, Realtor.Org, January 22, 2007
- “An article by Fran Bailey shows a reason to fire the agent or the client”, RealEstateUndressed.Com, November 28, 2006
- “The first-time buyer: Brick vs frame”, YoChicago.Com, November, 14, 2006
- “Houses need an advantage now“, MarketWatch.Com, May 11, 2006
- “Home-court advantage: Winning strategies for attracting buyers in today’s softer market”, Chicago Tribune, April 7, 2006
Mary Kaye Buettgen
From Corporate Marketer to Home Marketer
Clients profit from my 25 years in corporate marketing and my analytical approach to buying and selling. For a decade I have been a broker and work out of the Baird & Warner Lincoln Park Office.
I’ve blogged about various properties in Lincoln Park and Lake View such as condo high rises, boutique buildings, duplexes and townhomes. Over the years I’ve developed a love and expertise for Chicago vintage condos and co-op apartments.
However, being a native Chicagoan my experience reaches out into other Chicago neighborhoods and the suburbs. My primary focus has been residential real estate, but I also work with investors searching for their next property to add to their equity portfolio. Being return on investment minded I have assisted both buyers and sellers with 2 to 4 flat buildings.
Marketing homes for sale isn’t much different than marketing food products. I develop home marketing plans to position properties in the best possible light to attract the broadest qualified audience. I also counsel sellers on changes needed to best prepare their homes for market with the best return on investment.
To help ensure that contracts turn into closed sales I work with appraisers to help ensure homes appraise for at least sale price. Several contact me for my opinion on particular issues they come across with other properties. I oversee final walk-throughs and closings to minimize issues.
I also love working with buyers. I counsel them on how to get the most out of using a home inspector.
Ensuring the highest level of client satisfaction is important to me. I assist my clients with a list of real estate service providers that includes: home inspectors, attorneys, financers, designers, painters, architects and contractors. Whether it’s solving a problem or negotiating a contract, clients know their satisfaction is my goal.
I understand that buying and selling a home is one of the most important and expensive decisions an individual makes. That is why I value building an atmosphere of trust. My clients know I am working for them and this creates a relationship that results in referrals and repeat business.
Contact me if you would like a no-obligation market analysis on your home and what it would take to get the best return or if you would like assistance finding a new home for the best price and terms.
- Illinois Real Estate Broker License
- B.A. Behavioral Sciences
- Corporate marketing career with Sara Lee, Bunge & Cargill
See My Testimonials
Baird & Warner
Baird & Warner is a full-service brokerage consistently ranked in the top 25 brokers nationwide for sales volume. It’s the largest family-owned independent real estate services company in Illinois. Baird & Warner has 30 offices through-out the Chicago Metro Area and over 2,400 agents.
It has a 164 year history in Chicago. When the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 leveled much of the city many real estate records survived in Baird &Warner’s safe.
Baird & Warner also played a significant role in the establishment of fair housing in Chicago and the suburbs. In 1962 John Baird argued for anti-discrimination laws in housing long before they became law. It’s one of the facts about B&W we’re most proud of!