The quick and dirty: Joe is trustworthy, extremely knowledgeable, does not pressure you, makes you feel confident in your decisions, and cuts through the BS the seller is feeding you. We are 100% certain we could not have made the best decision without Joe.
The details: Joe helped my wife and I find our first home when we moved to Chicago in 2008. We had absolutely no experience in purchasing a home, were only vaguely familiar with the city, and the housing market had just gone through a major correction. We needed help. Thankfully, we found Joe. He met with us each weekend for a month until we found the perfect place. We said we wanted to spend $XXX on a condo, and we want to maximize what we can get at $XXX. We started in the neighborhoods at the top of our list within our price range and worked our way down until we found the sweet spot of condo quality versus neighborhood quality. When it’s time to move to the burbs, we will definitely be calling him again.
These are some of the areas where he exceeded our expectations:
**He wouldn’t say a word until we had a chance to look over the place ourselves and tell him our opinion, so that our first impression was always objective. He would then give us his thoughts. This was awesome because he wasn’t forming our opinion for us before we spoke. We would then take a second look using his input.
**During our closing, he caught something in the condo documentation that our own lawyer did not catch. We would have been out of about $25,000 worth of property had this not been noticed. This was definitely not his responsibility yet he still came through for us.
**He knew the neighborhoods and was able to give us the pros and cons of each one. He would also take us out to breakfast/lunch places to get a feel for the hood.
**He knew all of the sellers we interacted with and made sure to point out when we were being BS’ed. He would also call off the seller if he/she was hounding us too much while we were doing our walk through.
**Always on time, very nice, and did not pressure us. Felt more like a friend by the time we were done.
– Arthur L. – from Yelp
We recently worked with Joe at Buyer’s Advantage to purchase a home in the Glenview/Northfield/Northbrook area. Joe was recommended to us by our previous real estate agent (which says a lot) who had used him to buy a place in the city.
We were impressed with a number of things about Joe. Not only was he responsive and attentive from day one, through the closing process, but he listened to us and only took us to properties he felt might meet the needs and requests we originally set out to find. He has a vast knowledge of not only a number of communities around the Chicago area but also of building construction. He was the only agent I have worked with who actually wanted to make sure he understood the issues with a house, instead of waiting for an inspection to find out something was wrong. His knowledge of building materials and construction is very strong, and he always took the opportunity to answer any questions. Another thing that impressed us about Joe was that he was very patient. We had to see a number of homes over an extended time period before we found the right one (which we are very happy with). We asked a ton of questions and at times spent a lot of time at properties trying to figure out how or if certain things worked. Never along the way did he try to push us into anything. He always took a very thoughtful, and unbiased approach to evaluating the property and making the decision on an offer. When it finally came time to make one, the negotiation was lengthy and his negotiation skills paid off as we found a wonderful home at what we considered to be an attractive price (and significantly under the already reduced asking price).
Its hard to write a higher recommendation for someone other than Joe in this business- and we would highly recommend anyone in the market to buy a home to meet with Joe and experience the high level of knowledge and service for themselves.
– Darren and Jamie F, Northbrook
Joe McInerney started Buyer’s Advantage and solely represents home buyers (he is not a traditional real estate agent). If you need a Buyer Broker in the Chicago area, give him a call or check out his website (http://buyersadvantage…) to find out more.
He was recommended by a work colleague when we started condo hunting last fall, and we were really impressed with his honesty and responsiveness. He was very thorough and gave us good advice about location, construction and how to negotiate with the sellers. He even picked us up at the train station and drove us around.
If you’re new to real estate, you should consider using a buyer broker because they do the leg work for you and they get paid by the seller. Plus he gives you a rebate when you purchase a property — how could you not use him?
– Victoria W, Lincoln Square, from Yelp
Joe has helped us buy 2 houses, once when we moved from the city to the suburbs and once when we moved back to the US from abroad. We cannot say enough about his honesty and dedication to getting his clients the most of what they want for a price they can pay. He doesn’t pull punches and is not going to gloss over the drawbacks of a house or neighborhood just to keep you feeling good and get the sale. He is intelligent and well-informed, hard-working and flexible.
Having built houses himself, Joe’s knowledge of construction and his ability to identify quality work and finishes was indispensable to us. And his service to us when we relocated from overseas was simply outstanding. He carefully vetted many many houses for us, discussing with us and eliminating those that would not be worth our (limited) time to see, then dedicated himself to us for what little time we had. We saw 30 houses in a weekend, felt very good about the houses we spent time seeing, and were able to put together an offer for our favorite. We trusted him implicitly during the negotiation process and were not disappointed!
We have referred Joe to several friends, all of whom have been extremely happy with his service. We would proudly recommend him to anyone looking to purchase a home in the Chicago area.
– Jennifer M, Downers Grove
This is long overdue. Joe helped us find a condo in Ukrainian Village in 2008. He came highly recommended from a co-worker, who was also extremely pleased with his services. In fact, we still periodically talk about him when we get together, because both of us love our condos so much.
We were in the process of moving from a different city on a pretty short notice, so the amount of time we had to look for and to find something was fairly limited. Joe was fantastic! (1) He really knows the neighborhoods – something I didn’t fully appreciate it until we’ve been here for a while and we’re so glad we listened to his suggestions; (2) he really listens to you – the first time I flew here, he showed me several very different places and after listening to me, kept adjusting what we went to see to match exactly what we were looking for; he also provided very candid feedback on the condos we saw instead of just trying to get us to buy; (3) his background as an attorney was extremely helpful – we had an issue at closing which neither mine nor seller’s lawyers noticed, but Joe did; it could have cost us our deck, which was a big must for us.
We will be looking to upgrade to a bigger place in a few years, and there is absolutely no question in my mind about who we are going to ask for help.
– Theo D, Chicago
I would not think of buying or selling without the professional services and kinowledge of Buyer’s Advantage and Joe McInerney. I utilized the services of Joe and Buyer’s Advantage in 2004 and 2005; with the knowledge and direction provided I secured property which met the needs, location, and features which have provided me with an exceptional apartment in Chicago’s River North area.
– Kevin C, Cincinnati – bought in River North
When it came time to buy my first place (a condo in Lakeview), I enlisted Joe’s help. As you might imagine, buying your first place can be a stressful process (am I doing the right thing? what can I really afford, etc…?) and I actually found a place when I was just starting to look so I was forced to make some of these decisions pretty quickly. To further complicate things, I was in a multiple-bid situation. Joe was EXTREMELY helpful with explaining the whole process, providing feedback on realistic bids and current market trends, negotiation tactics and keeping me composed and calm during the offer/counter-offer period.
Needless to say, my husband and I then called Joe again when it was time to buy our next home. Some of the things we really value include Joe’s commitment to finding you the right place based on your criteria, his patience during that process (trust me, I think we’ve tested it at times :)…), and his knowledge on current conditions in the Chicago area (what people are really bidding/accepting). Another bonus is his background and knowledge in the construction field. Having remodeled/rebuilt several homes himself, he has insight into the possibilities your new home may have if you aren’t crazy about one aspect or another and how easy (or not) that change may be. He really has his client’s best interests at heart and I’ve seen him go above and beyond many times. I continue to refer him to my friends and frankly anyone I hear is looking to buy a new place.
Overall, you couldn’t ask for a better agent!
– Jennifer L, Lakeview
My wife and I bought our first condo with help from Joe as our agent back in the spring of 2009. I can say unequivocally that he made the buying process so much less stressful and more successful for us on every level.
A few examples:
-We had a few neighborhoods in mind, and while Joe showed us good condos in those places, he also helped us understand the market more clearly. He listened to what we wanted in a home and made suggestions of neighborhoods we had not considered. He is customer-focused, but I appreciate his ability to use his own expertise to improve on the client’s own ideas. We ended up buying in a neighborhood we didn’t start with, and 2.5 years later I continue to thank Joe for pushing our thinking.
-Buying a place can be a convoluted process; but went smoothly because of Joe. When we hit a few snags, especially with the mortgage broker, Joe felt very comfortable to step in and speak with the broker when things seemed to slow to a crawl on the finance side. Needless to say, Joe knows too much about the process to get the same runaround we were getting without him!
-Joe knows real estate and understands the meaning of value. Not just location and price, but at many showings he would inspect more thoroughly and critically than we could know to do. In one case, he showed us a place that my wife and I really liked, but he was unimpressed with the quality of the cabinetry and other general construction elements. Another agent might just push the sale for the commission, but Joe worried that we would not be happy with the unit long-term. That building still sits with multiple units empty…
-Finally, we just had our unit appraised last year, and the appraiser apologized for a low appraisal (because of the tough market), but then said it was 10K more than we had paid for it. The appraiser, admired the high quality of the construction, and the interior elements as well.
In short, Joe was honest, hard-working, diligent, and flexible.
Any time I know someone who needs a buyer’s agent, we recommend him!
– Joe and Erin B, North Center
We have used Joe three different times since we moved to Chicago from New York City about 10 years ago and have referred him to many friends who have used him as well. Joe is everything that we wanted in a realtor: smart, knowledgeable, insightful, opinionated (but not too opinionated) and honest. We felt like we were partners with Joe on our mission to find a house in Chicago that both fit within our budget and made us excited to call it home. Joe had us look at things that were a little cheaper and see what trade-offs those require (hello el tracks practically in the backyard…oh yes, that kitchen does need to be redone…) and we looked at higher-priced homes to see if we wanted to wait and save up. We never felt pressure to buy anything and felt that he always showed us all sorts of options. We also felt like we were generally in sync with Joe…there was never a place that he thought was awesome and we hated. He knows the market cold and is able to offer useful and practical advice on what to look at, what to look for (including much better insight than we had on quality of construction), and what things are worth. We love our home and don’t plan on moving again anytime soon, but if we did…we’d call Joe again for sure.
Amy and Josh R, Bucktown
My husband and I used Joe to buy a condo in Chicago back in 2002 and again when we bought a house in Deerfiled, IL in 2008. I have also recommended him to several folks who have all had really good experiences. In both case Joe showed us great properties that met our criteria and was very good about suggesting the plus and minueses of the properties we were considering. Just an A+ all around.
Dawn L, Deerfield
My experience with Joe was excellent. After moving to Chicago, I rented for a year and then decided to buy (back in 2007). I was gun shy because the last time I bought a home, my company went through layoffs and I had to go through a short sale. I wanted to buy a place that was affordable and had studied up on the advantages of working with a buyer’s broker. Joe showed me a wide range of places, and more importantly, showed me what NOT to buy and why. Houses can be like pretty women – looks can be deceiving. And it can be expensive falling in love with the wrong one.
I think you can judge a person by the company they keep and the home inspector and real estate lawyer that Joe recommended were both top notch (smart, thorough and easy to work with). He also told me that the bank rep I was working with was very good and he was on the money with that, too (she is no longer working at that bank).
Buying a house is a big deal, so you want to go into it with a strong team. Work with this dude: he’s a good guy who gives it to you straight.
– Kevin B, South Loop
Joe helped my wife and I search for a new home when we decided in 2005 it was time to make the move from our Bucktown town home to a Suburban home closer to work in the Western ‘burbs. He listened to what we were looking for and pre-qualified exiting homes within our targeted search area.
We ended up finding a home under construction that wasn’t on the perfect street we wanted, but loved the builder’s work so Joe asked if there were other properties on a different street in Elmhurst he hadn’t started construction on yet (which there was). We worked with the builder to design and construct our custom home. Joe’s experience with building and renovating homes proved invaluable as he helped us thru the entire process.
Bottom line is that regardless if you’re trying to find an existing home or building your own, Joe is a huge asset that you’d be foolish not to leverage to get exactly what you’re looking for.
– Jim M, Elmhurst
Joe helped me purchase a condo on the north side of Chicago appx. 5 years ago. The whole process went great, from start to finish. I found Joe online in a random search, but overall was very happy that I decided to work with him to purchase my condo. He was very responsive and always willing to go the extra mile. During the process, I could tell that he was interested in finding me a condo that not only met all of my requirements, but that he didn’t have any concerns on the property. I’ve since recommended Joe to other friends, and they have been very happy with his services as well!
– Mike V, Lakeview
I just wanted to say again what a pleasure it’s been working with you in the purchase of our new house. Everyone had told me what a pain it is to buy a house (and I see now why they say that!), but you have made it very easy for us. From the start I felt that you knew what we were looking for, and that I could trust you to be on our side.
Particularly as a first-time homebuyer, your involvement made us feel much more comfortable. You’ve been flexible, accommodating, willing to go the extra mile, and even had good suggestions for house decoration, design and upgrades! Your recommendations for the mortgage broker and attorney were also helpful, and they both did a great job.
Thanks again, and we’ll let you know when the christening dinner is!
– Dave – Chicago – Bucktown
We want to thank you for the exceptional service you provided to us in the purchase of our home. Your full commitment to our interest as buyers was incredible. We love our new home and look forward to sincerely recommending you to all our friends!
– John – Wilmette
How can I begin to thank you for all of your hard work in finding me my first home?! Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything from the free rides and lunches to the bottle of wine and decorating money – I’m grateful for all.
But most of all thank you for your dedication and hard work for making the purchasing of my place smooth and fun! I appreciate everything you did and I’m very grateful the internet took me to you! Thanks again.
– Patti – Chicago – South Loop
We are thrilled with our new place and want to thank you for your excellent assistance, Champagne, rebate and all! Thanks so much for your help!
– Joyce – Chicago – Wicker Park
Thank you so much for all your help over the last few months. You have been much more than a real estate agent! I don’t know if I would have taken the step to become a home owner with your help. Thanks again for everything you did!
– Diane – Chicago – Lakeview
I can’t believe it has been six months in my new place already. I love it! Thanks again for all your help with my search. I just wanted to tell you that I will certainly recommend you to anyone I know who is looking to buy a place. Thanks again!
Jim – Chicago – Lincoln Park
We love our new place and have had numerous guests this summer already. A grill and our herb garden are on the balcony.
Thanks again for all your help in making it happen!
– Christine and Jamie – Chicago – South Loop
Thanks again for a top-notch job. The condo is great and I really appreciate all you did for me. I will definitely recommend you to my friends!
– Randy – Chicago – Lincoln Park
I enjoyed doing business with you. You were very professional and I will recommend you to anyone I know who is buying property.
– Lael – Winnetka