Ask an expert - agent profile

Hinsdale has always been home to Ann Reidy Smith. As a real estate broker, she's made a career of helping others make the village their home, too.

"I love the community and I've always wanted other people to feel the same way about it," Smith said.

A lot has changed since she began selling homes in Hinsdale, she noted. But in the decades since she sold that first house, at least two things have remained the same.

"It all comes down to relationships and trust. That has not changed," Smith said.

Building relationships with customers and building their trust remain at the heart of Smith's career as a Realtor. She said it's not her job to sell houses, but to help each buyer find the perfect home for themselves and their family.

As a broker with County Line Properties, Smith said she prefers to work with a small number of clients, taking care to help each one find the right home. By concentrating her efforts in her hometown, Smith said her familiarity and knowledge are valuable tools for her and her clients. After decades spent growing up, going to school, working and raising a family in the village, Smith knows neighborhoods and houses, inside and out. She can help those new to town find a dry cleaner, a contractor or even steer them toward a babysitter or dentist.

The County Line Home Design Center also is a valuable resource for those new to Hinsdale. Located next door to the real estate office at 110 S. Washington St., the design center pools the talents of more than a dozen carpenters, designers, artists and others in the home improvement industry, giving customers a one-stop shop for ideas, information and expert advice.

Smith said today's buyers are looking for homes that fit their current needs. A place for children to take online classes and for parents to work from home are the new must-haves for many buyers, Smith said. Outdoor areas where homeowners can safely escape the confines of the house also are important to today's buyers.

Smith said sellers who want to make improvements on their homes prior to going on the market need to get busy. Home improvement professionals are in high demand, and homeowners might need to wait to have work done.

"Get on the list now," she said. "There's no time like the present to start getting stuff done."

With interest rates so low, Smith said it's a good time not only to shop for a new house, but to consider a refinance. That extra money can help homeowners make changes that will make their homes more enjoyable, and one day, sellable.

The market traditionally slows as the weather turns colder, but that doesn't mean that houses won't sell. For those planning to sell this winter, Smith suggests taking pictures now, while the fall colors are showing and the flower beds are still in bloom. That picture on the website makes an important first impression, she said, and a home's curb appeal might be easier to see before the snow begins to fall.

- by Sandy Illian Bosch

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean