Rookie Diary: Ada Acevedo Gets Her First Relocation Listing

In the fourth month of the series, the rookies tackle relocations, incorporation and business partners, and deals that fall through.

May 1, 2004

Ada Acevedo, 27

Baird & Warner

May 2004

I got my first relocation listing! I didn’t know it would happen so fast. I got a call from the head of the relocation team I joined last month to do a listing presentation for a client who was being transferred and needed to sell in a hurry.

So I went over to the client’s home with a packet of relocation brochures and explained the basics of how I would go about listing and marketing his condo. We got along well. He’s about my age; a nice guy. I really enjoyed talking to him.

It was between me and a salesperson at another firm, and I found out a week later that he was going to list with me.

The condo is cute: a studio in Lakeview, a very nice neighborhood up on the North Side of Chicago. It’s got hardwood floors and a walkout balcony. It’s a great starter home or investment property. We listed it at $150,000.

The only snag is that the condo association does not allow any signs on the premises, so I’m going to miss all the neighborhood and walk-by traffic—and there’s a lot of it in this area. But I don’t think it will be a problem. I’ve already had some calls on it.

You know, it amazing what you learn on this job. For the last month or so, I’ve been working with this couple out in the suburbs who are looking for a house. They finally found a place they like but it’s down the road from a sewage treatment plant. We didn’t know if that was a big deal or not, so I arranged for us to take a tour of the facility.

It was quite an afternoon. Some guy showed us around, and took us to the concrete pools where the sewage gets filtered.

I asked him if they ever had complaints from the neighborhood about odors. He said the only problem he could remember was a couple of years ago after Chicago had one of those once-in-a-decade rainstorms, and there was a temporary problem with overflow.

Other than that, though, it looked like a very clean, well-run plant. I could tell my buyers were relieved. A few days later, they made a reservation for the house, which is currently being built. It’s big—three bedrooms, 3,000 square feet. The price is $360,000, which is about average for that area.

I also managed to get away this month for a long weekend down in Florida with my boyfriend. We went to Deerfield Beach, which is over on the east side between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. We were walking down the beach one day and saw a sign for an open house, so we went in. It was gorgeous but small—maybe 1,300 square feet with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the ocean.

The asking price was $1.9 million, which floored me. It seemed like a lot of money for what you were getting. But I guess that’s what it’s all about—the view. I started talking to the salesperson and it turned out he was originally from the Midwest but had relocated to Florida for the weather.

I totally understand that. I would love to live somewhere where it’s warm year-round. I wonder: how easy is it to get established in a new market? How long does it take? But then I think, well, I know a lot of people in Chicago. It’s home, even if the weather is generally pretty terrible. Still … it’s a great fantasy.

Robert Sharoff is an architectural writer for The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Magazine. With photographer William Zbaren, he has produced books highlighting the architecture of Detroit and St. Louis. He is a former senior editor with REALTOR® Magazine.

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