Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

The True Cost of Home Improvement

by Terry Sullivan - Lyons-Sullivan Realty

Visit and you will find a homeowner’s matchmaking service, a current report of hom eimprovement costs, and data about current home improvement sentiment. According to their website, “ is a local services home improvement marketplace providing homeowners the tools and resources for home repair, maintenance, and improvement projects.”


FIND YOUR MATCH. Enter your home improvement project type here and their database locates contractors in your area who can complete the job. These contractors will offer you a quote based on your short description of the project.


FIND A PRICE. As part of the website, True Cost proves indispensable for any homeowner thinking about a major home improvement project. It is “a searchable database that gives homeowners an idea of what they can expect to pay for projects in their area.”

For instance, one their cost page, you are prompted to enter “window replacement” and a zip code for Peoria (60601) shows that in that area, on the low end, such a project costs just under $4,000 and on the high end, close to $10,000. Prices are not available for all areas, so you may have to choose an area close to you.

The True Cost page also offers information about window replacement, windows, and window sizes, sashes and panes.

The site offers a myriad of searchable home improvement projects with costs submitted by users with real home projects. The costs are updated daily.


HEAR FROM OTHERS. This month, released their 2015 True Cost Report & Homeowner Insights, a compilation of data gleaned from their True Cost database as well as information gathered in a survey taken this February. Click here to read about the 10 most viewed True Cost Guide tasks as well as  see National Cost Comparison for Bathroom Remodeling, ktichen remodeling and exterior painting.


If you are considering a home improvement or home remodeling project, touch base with your Lyons-Sullivan Realty professional first. We can discuss cost-vs-return on projects such as yours in the Livingston County area. Give us a call at (815) 842-1400 or visit us online at

Questions Buyers Ask

by Terry Sullivan - Lyons-Sullivan Realty

As an active seller, educating yourself about possible queries from buyers can save you from future headaches. Oftentimes, your realtor will field buyers’ questions simply because they already know the answers.

Luckily, you’ve already provided a wealth of information to a prospective buyer in your seller’s disclosure statement. If you disclosed anything out of the ordinary, a buyer may request additional information.

you’ve already provided a wealth of information to a prospective buyer in your seller’s disclosure statement.

Sometimes questions arise that are not covered by your disclosure statement. In the vast majority of cases, you will communicate with buyers through your Lyons-Sullivan real estate professional. This method allows your REALTOR® to assist you in forming your responses while maintaining a more private relationship with the buyer.


Let’s delve right in to what you can expect when a potential buyer wants to hear from you, the seller:

  1. Your seller disclosure statement indicates that you’ve experienced “flooding or recurring leakage problems in the crawlspace or basement.” Most likely, if they are asking about this line item, the buyer wants to know what caused flooding or leakage. If the flooding was a one-time event caused by a torrential storm, this explanation will probably calm the buyer’s concern.
    However, if the leakage is an ongoing, unaddressed problem, you may need to discuss this with your Lyons-Sullivan Realty expert before proceeding. Chronic water problems often disturb a buyer enough that they lose interest, so deciding if a concession should accompany your response is a good idea. Getting a quote for remedying the problem and then offering to deduct part of the repair cost from the selling price could maintain a buyer’s interest.

  2. Utility costs particular to this home. The cost for collecting garbage may not vary throughout your town. The cost to heat and cool a home the size of yours may differ substantially from what the buyer is used to. Often, a buyer only needs a simple list of utility bills for the previous 12-month period. Pull out your old files and write out the amount by month and utility, for instance, ELECTRIC, NATURAL GAS, WATER (or CITY UTILITIES) and even PROPANE. Make sure to indicate how many people were occupying the home at that time. A family of seven uses a lot more water than a family of two, so be specific!

  3. “What else is wrong with this house?” Obviously, this question should be handled delicately and with strong guidance from your Lyons-Sullivan Realty professional. Things that you consider “wrong” with the house may not be worth mentioning. The cosmetic issues that irritate you are not anything to warn a buyer against.  If it is visible to a buyer, you needn’t bring it up. Your seller disclosure statement covers anything that you as a seller would be liable for if it wasn’t disclosed initially.
    Still, if there is a glaring problem that you do not feel was covered in the disclosure statement, it is a good idea to bring it to your REALTOR®’s attention. From there, they can assist you in deciding if buyers should be notified of the issue or not.


Buyers and sellers alike carry a heavy responsibility when property is at stake. Being honest and straightforward with your buyer will prevent problems as the process progresses. Always talk to your Lyons-Sullivan Realty expert if you have any concerns about a property that you are buying or selling.


Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2