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Karen Breen Elia - Testimonials

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Karen Breen and her team were amazing to work with.

She brought a solid plan to help us sell our condo. We were excited about her plan and followed her recommendations. She was able to help us sell our condo for a great price because of the recommendations. She understands specific market area needs and is well-connected. Her knowledge of the product and pricing of the market was spot-on. She brought insights from the reports that provided us a unique perspective and helped us tweak our strategy together. I recommend Karen and her team whole-heartedly.

Laurel Malhotra

Karen is an incredible Realtor with an experience level that is really hard to come by.

She knows Chicago’s neighborhoods inside and out and provides insightful and useful advice that helps a homebuyer or seller understand the market. That ability has made Karen one of Chicago’s best Realtors for multiple decades. I have used Karen for her services personally and professionally for nearly 20 years. I have worked with hundreds of her clients and I can attest that I have never heard one complaint about the service she and Lou provide. They are available, they listen, and most importantly they truly do care about their clients. I have seen them sacrifice significantly over the years to go the extra mile. That’s why their business is built on referrals and has kept them among the best of the best for years in Chicago

David Kasprisin, Branch Manager Wintrust Mortgage

Karen was extremely helpful when I bought my first condo.

She listened to what I wanted and was patient in helping me find it. Karen has also continued to stay in touch and helped me with issues after closing. Most importantly, she was willing to fight for me putting my best interests first which is exactly the kind of realtor I wanted. Karen was great to work with!

Sabrina Hanitz

If you are looking to buy or sell your home Karen Breen Elia is the women for the job!

Karen helped my husband and I find our first home in the West Loop of Chicago back in 2010. It was our first time buying real estate and she took the time to explain the entire process and ensured we felt comfortable with all the steps that needed to take place in order to get us into our dream home. She did a wonderful job showing us a variety of different places, and used her many years of experience to guide us in selecting the perfect first home for us! When we closed on the condo Karen found for us it was a dream come true for us! In March of 2014 we decided it was time to sell as our family was growing and we needed more space. We immediately contacted Karen and we knew she would be able to help us sell quickly and at a great price. We had a newborn at home and Karen was very considerate of the fact that our schedule had to revolve around the baby and that it would be difficult for us to be in and out of the condo for showings. Her strategy was to pre-release the listing to a select group of realtors in the city, and then officially list on the home on the MLS the next day. She asked us to set aside two evenings where she could show the home and between the 2 nights I believe she had 18 showings. Within 48 hours we had 6 offers on the condo and we sold our place for 26K over asking! It is because of Karen’s knowledge, experience, and connections in the market that we were able to sell our home so quickly with minimal inconvenience to us. We loved working with Karen and can’t thank her enough for all her help!

Taylor McDonald

Karen was a pleasure to work with from our first meeting to the sale closing of our 3 flat rental property.

Her extensive market knowledge and comprehensive list of comparable properties helped us set a realistic price that quickly attracted four good offers. She qualified the prospective buyers and represented us, the sellers very well through the offer and contract negotiation process. Karen's follow-up of action items throughout the entire process was outstanding. In short, Karen will help your property expeditiously and at a fair price.

Gary C

Karen and Lou have helped me through 2 purchases and 1 rental and I’ve recommended them to anyone I know looking to buy, sell, or rent in Chicago.

For my condo purchase – my first ever home buying experience, Karen talked me through the whole process in plain English and made it easy to understand. She explained each step way before it happened so I knew exactly what to expect during the purchasing process, which minimized surprises and stress and made it as easy as it could be. She is incredibly patient with first-time buyers and sellers and spends as much time as necessary explaining everything. She answers phone calls and emails with lightning speed and never rushed me through anything, always taking as much time as I needed for each step in the complicated process. For my second purchase- a new construction townhome with my significant other- Karen and Lou lived up to my expectations from my first purchase experience. They took the time to explain the differences between a new construction purchase and existing buildings, buying alone vs. with another person, and made sure I was set up with the best inspector, attorney, and other vendors needed who have more experience with new construction. Their vendor recommendations have always been spot-on and their attention to detail with each type of purchase has never let me down. Karen also handled the listing for my condo when I rented it out and had to find a tenant, and also made that process easy as pie- handling all of the leasing paperwork and explaining my rights and duties as a new landlord, all of the showings, and helping me find the best possible tenant. It was rented literally 3 days after she listed it! I can’t recommend Chicago City Homes enough- especially for first-time and new homeowners, sellers, and renters. Their knowledge base and experience is second to none and I won’t trust anyone but Karen and Lou with my real estate questions and concerns. Thank you Karen and Lou!

Michelle Ebner

Hi Karen, I am writing you because I wanted to thank you again for all the hard work that you have done in selling our family home.

I appreciate everything you did in make the transaction go smoothly & promptly. As you know it was hardest on me letting go of my family home that held so many priceless memories. Working with you gave me a sense of ease and comfort. You did an amazing job! Thank you again for all your hard work & again I appreciate all that you did.

Samantha Andolino Vaccarella

Great Agent and Advocate for Sale and Purchase of Home.

Our agent Karen was a incredibly knowledgeable and caring agent. She helped negotiate for the purchasing of our home and helped us find our dream home after several deals fell through. We will be forever grateful for her patience, expertise and negotiating and followup and her 30 plus years of experience to get the best home at the best price. GRATEFUL

Konstantin and Orysia Kourbatov

Karen was referred to us by our real estate attorney which is a feat in itself as he is well connected in the Chicago market.

He told us if we wanted our condo to sell, we needed Karen. When I met her I knew why right away. Karen is the right balance of kindness and gusto. She gave us advice for improvements that we hadn't received from our previous agency. She told us how we could accomplish them in a cost efficient manner. Karen is excellent in communication and organization as well. She also took time to get to know our family and what exactly we wanted out of our experience. She sold our condo in no time! Karen knows her stuff and gets the job done.


This is the fourth real estate transaction in which Karen Breen Elia has represented me.

I would have rated her higher if there were more boxes to check! Her knowledge of the market, her experience regarding negotiating, her down to earth attitude and her genuine concern for us make her an outstanding real estate agent. Because she has been in the business for so long, she understands the complexities of today’s market and she knows how to work with and communicate with the other agents involved in the transaction. She knows what to say and she knows what not to say. I have used her both as a buyer and a seller. When it was time to sell our house this past February, there was never any doubt about who would handle the transaction. I believe she is simply the best in her field!

Debby Lewis

You can’t go wrong with Karen and Lou.

They were born to do this! They have been my real estate brokers for 2 decades and I wouldn’t dream of using anyone else. They are tireless and will do what it takes to sell your property as well as find the right property for you. I recommend them to all my friends and family. Their connections to the industry are priceless! Their ideas and insight are second to none!

Helen Riveron

I am infrequently compliant when asked for a review, but in this case I feel compelled.

I wanted to sell my condo but I knew it would be difficult given various circumstances. I was recommended an agent through a mutual friend. I was extremely discouraged when she estimated the amount I would receive. I was ready to take a hit but not by that amount. I have to admit I had talked with Karen on the phone before I met the above mentioned agent but nothing came of it. A bit later she showed up on my doorsteps, I figured I had nothing to lose, I’ll hear her out. The moment she walked in the door I felt that an overbearing distant relative had arrived to take over my life. With that same thought came the conviction that if anyone can sell this place it’s her. To make a long story short, I took her suggestions, often times unwillingly, and within a reasonable time she sold my condo for far more than I was initially willing to settle. She exhibited great enthusiasm, a positive and aggressive attitude and provided comp sheets and other data that blew me away. I am highly impressed with her work ethic. To be frank, I wasn’t aware that such a high level of professionalism existed in a field that I generally regarded with the same skepticism as used car salesmen. So there you have it. If you want a hard working, no nonsense professional agent who knows what she is talking about, Karen is the one. I am a very pleased customer.

Vasilios Kouis
Reviews on Zillow
Average Rating
"Karen and Lou are great! We were first time home buyers and Karen and Lou helped us throughout the entire buying process. They were easy to get a hold of via phone, email, and text. They went above and beyond to get us in to see units as soon as possible and gave us expert advice on neighborhoods and building associations. With Karen and Lou, buying a home was straight forward and thoroughly explained. We couldn't be happier with the service we were provided."
5 /5.0
by stefany m sit
"When I embarked on the monumental task of exchanging my small condo for more living space, I thought the process would be complicated and stressful. Placing your home on the market while simultaneously trying to find a new place to hang your hat seemed like a daunting task. Thankfully I had Karen Breen Elia and Lou Elia on my side. As someone who is used to doing things on her own, I had never before realized how empowering it can be to have advocates on your side with the expertise and savvy to make the process as easy as pie. Lou and Karen are the loveliest people I’ve ever met, but more importantly they are geniuses when it comes to real estate. They helped me and my wife sell our condo and purchase a new one in a few short months. Karen and Lou listened to our requirements and offered sage advice and suggestions for selling our home. Karen was always in close contact, keeping me updated on showings and feedback. Her marketing techniques are second to none. When showings slowed down she immediately engaged in an email campaign to promote our condo. Karen has strong connections in the real estate community and was able to tackle issues and problems that arose throughout the sometimes complicated selling process. In fact, Karen was always one step ahead of everyone else and so was able to deal with issues quickly and efficiently.

Karen and Lou are the perfect team. I never felt like a client, but like family. Lou was invaluable in our search for a new condo. He happily accompanied me and my wife to countless showings even in snowy conditions and was sure to get our feedback afterward. When we were ready to buy, both Lou and Karen jumped into action to ensure that we put forward the best offer possible and continued to work with the seller’s agent to make sure everything was done to our satisfaction. She also connected us with an excellent inspection service and continued to offer advice and suggestions as we negotiated our new purchase.

Karen and Lou are simply the best advocates you can have in real estate. They know how to get things done, anticipate issues and problems, and then deal with them to produce the best outcome for their clients. I would recommend Karen and Lou to anyone looking to sell or buy in the Chicagoland area. There is simply no one else I would use."
5 /5.0
by zuser20140501165150173
"Once upon a time there was a 30 something who knew she wanted to buy a home but also hated the prospect of dealing with everything that goes into it. One day, she met her realtor fairy godmother, Karen. Karen was incredible every step of the way. Karen's years of experience, attention to detail, and high standards make her the ultimate guide and advocate in the homebuying process. She also comes with lists of resources for people you will need. My loan, home inspector, and lawyer came on her recommendation and they were truly top notch. Karen's commitment to the people she works with goes well beyond just the purchase. She found me the excellent temporary housing I needed during this transition period and connected me with local contractors for the renovations I have planned. Thank you, Karen. You made this experience easy and fun. You have a lifetime customer in me."
5 /5.0
by Sara Phillips
"Karen did an excellent job selling my two flat. She priced it well and did an amazing job negotiating multiple offers to get me the best price possible in the current market. She also kept on top of details after negotiations."
5 /5.0
by user8834893
"Karen is hands-down the best real estate professional I have worked with over the past 25 years and I have very high standards. I worked in a Fortune 500 world-class sales organization for many years that demanded excellence from it's sales force. Karen provided to me 'world-class' management, sales and expertise in finding me the right tenant while maximizing my profit simultaneously in an incredible short amount of time. I couldn't have done it without Karen. I live over 1000 miles away from my income property in Chicago and Karen went above and beyond the call of duty by handling the entire rental process from 'cradle to grave' including; in-depth marketing analysis, high profile advertisement, scheduling and conducting showings, background checks, preparing all related lease documentation - out of the box lease solutions, service, signing and revenue collection. Not to mention, she has great intuition.Karen also took a leadership role in executing necessary Landlord tasks that I couldn't do as a result of my geography dealing with current tenant challenges, detailed move-out inspections and resolutions with great perseverance and fairness for both my tenant and I. I highly recommend partnering with Karen for any property needs and know that I will reach-out to her for all my future real estate transactions."
5 /5.0
"Karen Breen Elia is absolutely the best! My grandmother referred me to Lou and Karen because I was trying to sell my home and was not happy with the real estate agent who sold my home to me. Upon meeting them, they were very warm and down-to-earth, which made me feel comfortable, as this was my first experience in selling a house. Karen was very compassionate as I was also going through a difficult time, grieving from the recent loss of my fiancé. Even though I was her client, she made me feel like a close friend. As Karen was determined to help me, she explained my options in detail and provided me with the necessary steps to sell as quickly as possible for the best price. The pictures that were taken of my home and the listing description were amazing. I was very pleased with the professionalism of the listing. Karen was always in communication with me and kept me informed about the showings and offers. She was very accommodating to my work schedule and provided excellent advice on the offers received. We closed on the sale of my property in April 2015. My expectations were exceeded by Karen's diligence and I can't thank her enough. I will definitely tell everyone I know who is in the market to buy or sell a home about my wonderful experience with Karen Breen Elia, Lou Elia and"
5 /5.0
by mskimmy23
"Karen and Lou guided us (and stuck with us) through several offers, changed priorities, and sticky summer house hunting, eventually finding our dream home. They were very helpful, organized, attentive, and thoughtful through the whole process."
5 /5.0
by aprilmyla
"Karen is a superstar. She had multiple showings of our property within a day or two of its initial listing. She kept us informed at every step and demonstrated great knowledge of the market, in this case multiple family dwellings. She further assisted us in the negotiation process as well. When financing fell through on an initial offer, Karen got right back into the game and once again showed the property multiple times within a day or two of relisting. The property ultimatley sold after getting multiple offers, including an offer at asking price and a financed offer at above asking price. Job well done Karen!"
5 /5.0
by aldous
"Unbeknownst to Lou and Karen, I had been looking for an investment property as a first time home buyer for over a year. I'd been through two real estate agents during that time. I found the Elias' through a friend who had a good experience with them. We got an offer accepted in what seemed like a few weeks.Working with the Elias' is like getting a two for one which means more responsiveness and more attention. Karen walked me through the home buying process even though I had heard it before and I still learned a few things. More importantly, I appreciated that she wanted to walk me through it even though she knew I thought I knew it all. Karen would call and follow-up with attorneys/sellers/lenders to make sure everything was being taken care of. We hit snags to get through closing (none of our faults) but the diligence of both Karen and Lou brought it to fruition. While Karen was working mostly in the office, Lou was ready to show me a place nearly always the day I wanted to see it. His knowledge of what to look for in the bones of a building was impressive. He was real at pointing things out that could be problems and was easy to be around.Neither one was pushy on a property (which I experienced in the past) while also offering me their opinions and knowledge about the industry/market when I asked for it. I would highly recommend this team to anybody looking to buy a home. I know I'll be using them again."
5 /5.0
by zuser20140313174502184
"Due to a death in my family I became responsible to sell a condo on the near north side of Chicago. Since I know very little about all the details of selling a condo, I turned to a friend of mine, Karen Breen, who I felt would represent me in a professional manner. Her office was just a few blocks from the condo and she had recently sold a similar condo accross the street. She certainly knew the area which was a real positive. We were not getting much response from the buyer's attorney. Things were moving way too slow for Karen and the buyer's broker. The turning point in the sale is when Karen asked me if she and the buyer's broker could work out all the details to agree on a price. I told her "go for it". In less than a week we had a price, pictures taken, and a showing which resulted in 3 bids with the first one buying the property for $2,500 more than what it was listed for. Karen is a "take charge" type of person who kept me informed by copying me on every email and by phone if something had to be discussed. It was a very good experience and I would highly recomend Karen to anyone who is looking for a broker to handle all the details of which there are many. Whether you are buying or selling, getting the price you want in a timely manner is really all we care about. Karen did it for me and she can do it for you. Roger Rowe"
5 /5.0
by user7547719
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