What People Are Saying

What People Are Saying

1901 s calumentKaren 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.

Stefany Sit

35 s racineIf 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

chicago real estate

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.

Rosibel O'Brien-Cruz

2050 willowKaren 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

3900 N Sawyer AveKaren 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.

Sarah Schloff


3344 w cullomKaren 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 re-listing. The property ultimately sold after getting multiple offers, including an offer at asking price and a financed offer at above asking price. Job well done Karen!

Paul Chevlin


212 E CullertonTHANK YOU for helping us find a buyer for our home!

I used several realtors over the years and NONE of them gave my place the needed personal attention that you did, which yielded an actual offer.  Looking forward to completing this journey that we're on to selling my place and onto the journey of finding a new home!

Harriet Brillakis Senese


7442 N HoyneCCH knows the Chicago market like no other real estate company. Karen is an excellent communicator and has her thumb on the pulse of the market at all times. She works nonstop and her main focus is selling her client's property. Karen sold a 'tough to sell' property in a tough market. Three words that come to mind when I think of Karen are, thorough, communicative and professional. The service Karen provided cannot be improved upon and I will be referring Karen to my family and friends.

Jennifer Tobits & Jo Ann Ugolini


3150 Sheridan StDue 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 Elia, 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 across 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 recommend 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


1236 FarwellThis was without a doubt the best experience I have ever had with a real estate agent. (and we were not easy customers) I was selling a condo for my aunt who had gone into assisted living. The transaction was taking place long distance and the condo was in horrible condition. Karen took care of everything. I thought that the sale would be at a loss, and she sold it quickly and at a profit. I honestly didn't quite believe her when she assured me that she would be able to sell the condo quickly and for a price that was greater than I expected. She did exactly what she said, and it was completely hassle free. She was professional, available,and made sure that I did what I was supposed to do. She did everything that was necessary to make the sale happen. I am very grateful.

Andrea Zucker

4700 W HutchinsonSurrounded by homeownership educators and counselors at work, I began the home buying process with confidence. To my surprise four years of theoretical experience and book knowledge just didn't cut it when trying to buy a house. There were far more nuances in the process than a book could ever cover. Thankfully I found Karen and Lou Elia.

Karen and Lou were an absolute pleasure to work with. Lou walked me through numerous houses pointing out both strengths and weaknesses in each house. His patience was amazing, and I never once felt like he was trying to pressure me into buying. I was quite thankful for Lou's knowledge of home maintenance issues, which may have saved me from some unfortunate decisions. His sense of humor kept me encouraged after looking at many houses that weren't the right fit. Once I decided to place an offer on a house Karen stepped in with grace and efficiency. She kept me on track through the entire process and was an invaluable guiding hand. Karen's excellent communication kept all of the moving parts flowing toward my end goal. The home buying process was quite bumpy for me with some dangerous curves thrown in the mix. I'm grateful for my whole home buying team, but Karen and Lou were the glue that held everything together. Thanks to their help I am now the owner of a beautiful two-flat located in Chicago.

These are two people you want working for you!

Heather Blankenship


philip lowe david bimaWe had the pleasure of working with Karen & Lou hunting for a single-family home in Chicago last year after my sister-in-law recommended them.. They were both so genuine & truly made the entire process so easy for us. We were first time buyers, so it was a learning experience for us as well. Karen really took her time educating us about the whole process, the various neighborhoods, & helped us find that perfect property. We've recently celebrated one year in our new home & couldn't be happier. If you're in the market to buy or sell, do yourself a favor & contact Karen.

Phillip Lowe and David Bima


I had to write and thank you for your help and expertise in the recent short sale of my condo.  Before I contacted you, I had spoken to several different real estate agents who, because of the bad real estate market, wouldn’t even consider trying to sell my condo; they just kept putting me off.  I was moving out of state and really needed to sell.  It was very disappointing and disheartening, meeting with agent after agent who wasn’t willing to help. I wondered if they were only in real estate for the money, when times were better?  And then I called you.

When we first met in my condo, you were friendly and outgoing.  After we carefully discussed my situation, you suggested a short sale.  You came very well prepared with information on the recent sales, time on the market, and asking/actual sold price differences for not only condos in my building but for those in the surrounding neighborhoods.  You took the time to explain everything to me thoroughly and answered all my questions, making sure I understood completely about short sales, foreclosures, renting possibilities, and what exactly was happening in the real estate market, so I could make the best decision for my situation.

There were a lot of ups and downs pertaining to the sale of my condo because of the bad market; so much paperwork from the mortgage company, the lawyer, and the banks, but through it all you remained calm and confident, which in turn kept me calm, and for me, being halfway across the country, that meant a lot!  You really did get me through this ordeal.  This condo was my first real estate purchase and first real estate sale and you walked with me through it every step of the way, constantly explaining everything that was happening and truthfully answering all of my questions.

I truly cannot thank you enough. I believe the sale of my condo NEVER would have happened without YOU!!!!  I have told family and friends how wonderful you are and how you really know your business when it comes to “all things real estate”. It is obvious you have been in this business for a long time, you are up-to-date on current issues/processes regarding real estate information. You are honest and open about everything and you truly care about your clients!  I am so happy and grateful to have met you and was able to work with you. I would call you again in a heartbeat!!

Deidre Hogan


I had almost given up hope of selling my condominium when Karen Breen Elia of Chicago City Homes came along.  I was an out-of-state owner, and trying to sell property long-distance was a difficult matter.  Karen’s knowledge of real estate in general and the local market in particular enabled me to seal the deal.  She is a professional, friendly, and hard-working broker who takes a personal interest in the seller and the seller’s needs and wishes.  I felt as though I had known her for a long time.  Not only did she do her job well, she went beyond expected in terms of service, handling many small details so that I wouldn’t have to travel to get the job done.  I would not hesitate to recommend Karen Breen Elia to anyone wishing to buy or sell property.  Thank you!

Ruth Zurich

128 s greenWow, this has been a process. Worth every bit of effort in the end because we got the place we love and this will be our home as we begin our marriage and our family.

We would like to thank the both of you for your dedication and persistence in getting this job done. We couldn't have done it without you. We know who we will be calling 5 years from now when it is time to buy a home in the suburbs (of Colorado...just kidding, haven't talked Ash into that quite yet). Anyway, you are both great, feel free to drop by for a beer anytime you are in the area.

Jonathan Silver and Ashley Levit 


mcdonald"We want to start off by just saying THANK YOU! You were everything we could have asked for and more in a real estate broker. You were extremely knowledgeable, professional, straightforward and you helped us through the entire process. Since we were first time home buyers, everything was new to us and you did a GREAT job educating, coaching, and setting realistic expectations for us. Taylor and I greatly appreciate it that you took the time to truly understand what our "dream home" consisted of, and you did an amazing job in showing us all different types of places to help us really lock down what was most important for us.

The one thing that we truly appreciated is that you always had our best interest in mind, and you always were honest with us. We also appreciated the fact that you never pressured us, and gave us the time to make the right decision that was best for us. To be honest, Taylor and I couldn't be happier in our new home. Every day we constantly say how perfect our place is! So with that said, thanks again for all your help, guidance, and knowledge throughout the process. Most importantly, we HIGHLY recommend your services to any other potential home buyers!"

Lawrence & Taylor McDonald

ferrara"I did want to take a moment to thank you for all the help you provided in finding my new home in Chicago. It seems like only a few weeks ago that we were sitting at the closing, but in reality it's been a little over 8 months. Where does the time go? Each time I come home, I walk in and feel the same way I did when you first showed me the place back in January - I LOVE MY CONDO! I'm so glad Laura gave me your name, as I loved working with you. I think it was a great match!

You are thorough, honest, to the point, knowledgeable about the downtown area and you really know your market. I knew, after meeting you last September that I couldn't go wrong working with you and boy was I right. While it wasn't my intent to make an offer on our first day out together, you showed me exactly what I was looking for in a home I didn't need to look any further! I was a little stressed out about buying a home when I was still living in California, but you made my "cross country purchase" a breeze. Additionally, this wasn't the easiest deal to pull off, with the funky smell no one could find, the seller's attorney who was a little "wacko," and a difference in real estate law between CA and IL which almost cost us the deal. But you were professional, level headed, and at times put in a position where you had to talk me in off the ledge...thank you.

When the time comes, as it always does, that I feel I'm ready to move on to my next home in Chicago, I wouldn't even think about working with any other agent. You're my first phone call! You made buying a home in the city lots of fun and a wonderful experience."

Tracey A. Ferrara


"The reason for my selecting you as a broker is that I was impressed with how you represented the interests of the previous seller whom I purchased the property from. From this unique vantage, what impressed me was your insistence that I be a qualified buyer and your execution in ensuring every detail in my offer was 'nailed down.' I knew then that you surely had your seller's interest in mind."

Gerard F. Whelan


"Thank you so much for your unbelievable help finding our new Chicago home. We would not have succeeded without your support, encouragement, knowledge of the area, unbelievable drive, and professionalism. You were outstanding and we could never thank you enough!"

Damon and Mary Chris Williams


"(We chose you) Because you are thorough, efficient and knowledgeable...You have true knowledge of the neighborhood, and I just love your all around go-getter attitude."

Shan and Robert Moore





"We appreciated your upfront attitude. It was important to us that you utilized the internet as part of your services. We really liked the team approach." 

Angela Carter






"Karen and Lou are the home buyer's dream team. They want you to be happy, so they work toward that end. I can't say enough about how responsive, available, and considerate they were while working for us. All the horror stories I'd heard about home buying and the dreaded closing just did not happen for us. We had a very positive experience.We started out with an interview with Karen where she asked us many questions about lifestyle, locations, and the specific details we wanted in a property. Then she contacted us about only those properties that met our requirements. She never tried to "sell" us on a property or push us in any way. We only looked at those places we wanted to see.

When we did find the place we wanted, Lou negotiated for us in a sensitive situation with a renovator/seller acting as his own agent. Due to Lou's knowledge of building renovations and his expertise as a realtor, he was able to negotiate a new roof and glass block windows around the foundation at our offering price. Subsequently, we developed a good relationship with the seller, who was extremely helpful to us in the year following our purchase. Recently, two friends spoke to me about the possibility of buying, so I immediately sent them information on Karen and Lou. Because I applaud their mission and have experienced their work ethic, knowledge, and expertise, I recommend the Breen-Elia team enthusiastically and without reservation.

Please feel free to use the following unsolicited testimonial in your promotional materials. You and Lou served us well, and I know more people would have positive home-buying experiences by working with you."

Melanie Parenti


"I wanted to send my most heartfelt thanks to you and your team for all you have done for me over the past couple of months. With out you guys, I wouldn't have been able to escape my past and move on to the home of my dreams. You have done more than I would have or could have expected from a Realtor. You made the impossible's happen when even I had given up hope. I think of you not only as my Realtors but as my friends. I wanted you to know I would highly recommend you to any and all of my friends in the future and hope to do business again with you in the future."

Stephen Alter  


"You and your team did a great job of making yourselves available throughout the process, you were very patient and understanding, and you also provided valuable advice and input on our property and neighborhood selection."

Mazen Ghalayini





"... I love living in my new condo. I sat on the balcony last evening enjoying the nice cool lake breeze and wondered why I didn't do this long ago. Thank you for helping me get through the worries of becoming a new owner. You and Lou made everything run so smoothly; I couldn't have asked for a better team!"

Marilyn G.  





"Ease of doing business with everyone in the office – Linda, Karen and Lou – a true team effort.” 

Mary Krasovec







"I was so pleased that you had so many showings...I think you did everything just right!'

Ruth Jacobsen







 Feuer"It looks like everything will be cool now that I and three friends helped Moses load his truck for about five hours last night (got home after 1:30 a.m.).  A little bit of a glitch when his GF told us that her purse had been packed in the truck after it was about 90% full and had their house keys and the truck keys in it.  We are assuming the rental place has a spare key.  Nothing like dealing with organized people.
Anyway, I wanted to thank you again for your very professional, pleasant, and successful efforts.  You deserve that check you'll be picking up tomorrow.  I will highly recommend you in the future to anyone looking for a Realtor." 

baum"I was so happy with service Karen Breen Elia and her husband Lou provided. They are a wonderful team and very supportive if you need a lot of hand holding through the process. They were available to me all hours of the day and night. Karen also provided me with all the people I would need to use for this process - a loan originator, home inspector and real estate lawyer. I really learned a lot about real estate and what to look for when buying a home. I would highly recommend Karen to anyone."

Rachel Baum


lock"Karen is awesome! Thanks for putting me in touch with her. She is really on top of the game, she knows just what we're looking for, and doesn't give me that 'used car dealer' vibe that we've gotten from 98% of the agents we've come across. In fact, she's downright trustworthy and leaves me & Alex with a warm fuzzy "We're going to be homeowners!" feeling."

Elysia Lock



ethier"I wanted to personally thank you all for the tremendous amount of hard work you provided when helping us sell our home. It was a long ride for us in this very tough market, but somehow you managed. We know that you constantly marketed our house and you definitely brought the market to us. When we ended up getting basically two offers in the same week, you negotiated a bidding war and got us a much better offer because of it. We thank you sincerely for all of your hard work." 

Samantha Ethier

Contact Information

Photo of ChicagoCityHomes Real Estate
RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Cell: 773-230-4294
Toll Free: 866-404-3585
Fax: 773-938-1467