A Helpful Guide to Everything Real Estate

Sponsored Content: Now’s as good a time as any to find that dream home. With these trusted professionals, you’re sure to find the guidance you need for the journey ahead.

When it comes to real estate, Rockford really has something to celebrate.

The Rockford region is repeatedly recognized as having some of the most affordable homes in the nation. At a median sale price of $160,000, homes in Rockford are half the median cost of property in Chicago and its suburbs and still better than the statewide median of $270,000, according to the Illinois Realtors association. What’s more, a cooling real estate market means prices will remain attainable into the foreseeable future.

Those who are ready to buy or sell a home this year are in good hands. This region’s real estate agents have their fingers on the pulse of the local market, with the ability to match clients with the home of their dreams.

With the rise of working from home, cities like Rockford, where high-end homes are available for reasonable prices, are becoming tantalizing for anyone wishing to make a change.

Navigating the real estate market in any city can be intimidating, but with an expert in your corner, you can be assured that someone will be there to guide you to making the right decision.

In this year’s Guide to Everything Real Estate, we introduce you to some of the city’s most trusted real estate agencies and some of the dynamic people behind them. These individuals are ready to roll up their sleeves and help you sign on the dotted line. They have the experience to help you sell your home for a maximum return and find a home that will make you and your family happy. There’s never been a better time to get started.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Crosby Starck Real Estate

551 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 397-4040, bhhscrosby.com

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Crosby Starck Real Estate of Rockford has deep roots in the community. Since its inception in 1974, the agency has become a key player in the local market.

Specializing in residential and commercial properties, Crosby Starck Real Estate also offers services in development projects and farm sales. What sets this team apart is its diverse portfolio and its ability to adapt to the changing market.

Jean Crosby, the designated managing broker and owner, brings her wealth of experience and a service-oriented mindset to the company. Her real estate career began unconventionally, starting as a receptionist and then becoming a licensed agent. Her dedication and passion for the industry have been recognized through her involvement with local, state and national real estate associations. Crosby leads a team of 70 agents who share her values of trust, moral character and deep respect for the profession.

Crosby Starck Real Estate’s commitment to exceptional service is a hallmark of the company. Crosby prioritizes hiring new or highly skilled, and ethical, agents who embody the values of integrity and client-centeredness. She also maintains a high standard of quality control and risk management, ensuring her team is equipped with the skills and expertise to guide clients through successful transactions.

Beyond the standard services, Crosby Starck Real Estate emphasizes personalized attention and accessibility. The team takes proactive measures to ensure smooth and stress-free experiences for clients. By going the extra mile and exceeding expectations, the team aims to alleviate the inherent challenges and anxieties associated with buying or selling a home.

As a family business, Crosby Starck Real Estate fosters a supportive and inclusive environment. Crosby values each team member’s contributions and treats everyone with respect, regardless of role. This approach creates a harmonious and cohesive team that provides quality service to clients.

With a rich history, a commitment to excellence, a customer-centric approach, a comprehensive range of services, highly trained professionals, and a focus on exceptional service makes this agency a go-to choice for individuals and businesses seeking real estate solutions.

Choice Realty

718 W. Stephenson St., Freeport, IL, (815) 616-5311 | choicerealtyfreeport.com

Choice Realty of Freeport is a locally owned and operated full-service real estate company with locations in Freeport, downtown Galena, Ill., and the Galena Territory. The company was started in 2009 by Anne Sadler, who now works as the designated managing broker for 21 licensed agents in the areas of residential and commercial real estate, condominiums, new construction, land and farm real estate, investments and leasing throughout northwest Illinois.

Unlike other agencies, Choice Realty does not practice dual agency, which means the company will not represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. This allows Choice Realty to provide the best possible representation when the offers come in. Choice Realty is in the client’s corner, from the opening paperwork to the closing table, negotiating the best deal possible.

As a non-competing managing broker, Sadler no longer sells properties herself but focuses on managing the company and its agents, making sure they have the tools they need to represent their clients in the best way possible. She coordinates sales meetings with her agents twice a month, each one heavily focused on training and keeping agents up to date with the latest market trends.
The team is in constant communication, making sure buyers are made aware of properties available, both through the company and beyond. Sadler also uses her experience as a pre-license and continuing education instructor for the State of Illinois to prepare new Realtors for their state and national licensing tests and to keep her agents on the cutting edge of the market.

Choice Realty is one of only a few companies in the area involved in new construction. In 2016, Sadler started working on a task force that created the first residential enterprise zone in Freeport. The designation now allows builders to create spec homes while purchasers of those homes receive a 95% per year property tax abatement. This also jumpstarted new construction activity in the area.

Giving back is an important part of Choice Realty’s culture. Its agents are involved in a number of community activities and are sponsors for local events like Music on Chicago, a popular music event in Freeport. Sadler also serves on the board of directors for Home Start, a nonprofit that focuses on financial literacy and education and connects people to housing resources. She is also on the board for Malcolm Eaton Enterprises, a nonprofit that provides vocational and life skills to developmentally challenged individuals.

At Choice Realty, the focus is not on being the biggest, just the best.

Gambino Realtors, Pamela Cunningham

(815) 289-6323, [email protected], pamcunninghamrealtor.com

Pamela Cunningham is a licensed real estate broker with Gambino Realtors, in Rockford. Gambino Realtors Home Builders Inc. was founded in 1923 and is one of the oldest and largest real estate firms in the area.

A century later, Gambino is still locally owned and operated and invested in the community. Pam started in real estate in 2004 but has been in sales and marketing since 1987. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and is an American Marketing Association award winner.

Pam specializes in residential real estate, primarily in Winnebago, Boone, Ogle and Stephenson counties. She’s also a Certified Negotiation Expert, Pricing Strategies Advisor and a Certified Mobility Specialist for relocations.

Pam is also certified in short sales, foreclosures, internet marketing and ePRO.

Pam’s goal is to make the process of buying or selling your home as stress-free as possible. Your home is likely the biggest investment you will make, so it’s imperative that you have someone helping you through the process. No two real estate transactions are the same. Even though many homes are selling quickly, contracts can also fall apart quickly. The process is very complicated and unpredictable. Pam takes the time to explain each step along the way and keeps you informed as things move along. Pam goes the extra mile to ensure that you have a successful transaction.

Ready to make a move? Give Pam a call and start packing!

Team Lunde and Gambino Realtors

Mike: (815) 985-9522, Christine: (815) 978-6519, [email protected], teamlunde.com

Buying or selling a home can be intimidating, especially if you’re not acquainted with the ins and outs of the real estate market. Luckily, Team Lunde and Gambino Realtors will guide the way.

Michael Lunde and Christine Smith of Team Lunde bring 21 years of real estate experience. Because they’re Rockford-born and -raised, the pair have a deep understanding of Rockford properties and their value.

Team Lunde is backed by Gambino Realtors Homebuilders Inc., one of the oldest and largest full-service real estate firms in the area.

Together, they offer trusted service in private and commercial real estate, as well as homebuilding in northwestern Illinois and Wisconsin.

For Team Lunde, the focus is always on building client confidence through low-pressure sales, guidance and education. Members of the team spend time with buyers and sellers, helping them to understand the market and maximize their return.

Clients have the opportunity to meet with recommended vendors and lenders, and Team Lunde regularly holds education seminars where potential clients can interact with vendors and learn valuable information about home staging, home inspections and safety.

Join Team Lunde from 6-7:30 p.m. on July 12 and Aug. 9 to learn more about downsizing. Learn from the professionals about moving to a smaller home, pricing your existing home and protecting your estate. An RSVP is requested.

Team Lunde and Gambino Realtors can help buyers and sellers navigate the challenges found in the real estate world, positioning them for the best moves and staying flexible for maximum returns.