Karen Breen Elia

Chicago City Homes
Chicago, Illinois
Real Estate Broker
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What Sellers Are Saying

Karen worked with us from the start. She met with us, explained the selling process, described what we needed to do to prepare our condo and gave us great target dates to put it on the market. She was easily reachable, always returned calls promptly, and was willing to talk as long as necessary. She was clearly knowledgeable and experienced. Her advice was thoughtful and invariably sound. I recommend her highly. - Paula Stern

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

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. 


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. 


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

A God Send

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


Great direction, connection and attention

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 a superstar”

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 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

“Karen did it for me and she can do it for you”

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 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

“The best experience I have ever had with a real estate agent…”

This 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


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

“Did an excellent job”

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.

– Sarah Schloff

“Karen stuck with me through the entire process.”

I officially only own one condo again. 360 Days, 4 buyers, and one renovation project later the sale of my old place closed this morning. Couldn’t have done it without Karen Breen Elia and Chicago City Homes. Karen stuck with me through the entire process, talked me off the ledge quite a few times, was spot on with what buyers wanted to see my place look like and ultimately found me the right buyer for my place. Luckily I’m not looking to sell again in the short term but she will be my first call down the road. I need lots of champagne right about now to celebrate.

-Debbie Schaffel

Great attention to detail and follow up

As a seller who no longer lived in the area, Karen put me at ease throughout the entire selling process. She showed great attention to detail, follow up and market knowledge. I highly recommend Karen

-Hetal Petal

“Work Ethic Second To None!”

Thank you so much for all the services you have provided to all of us. It definitely was a very pleasant experience & your work ethic was second to none. Nenita was also very much impressed by your professional expertise & so am I. We will definitely recommend your services to anyone of my friends who would be in the market for selling/buying a house.

– Angel & Elvie


Thank you very much to you and Louis.  It was a very pleasant experience worth remembering indeed.  As far as referrals, with your knowledge and good service, it goes without saying, you will get the business of my families and friends.

– Antonio Adapon

“She knows Chicago’s neighborhoods inside and out…”

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

We are Elated to be Done!

Just sending a note of thanks and appreciation.  Over the last 6 months you have been invaluable as our agent.  And you made the process of selling not as stressful as I thought it might be.  We are elated to be done.  And we are enjoying our new home and yard.  Please thank Lou as well!!

-Keith and Marguerite Oswald

“Service doesn’t get any better than this!”

Karen and Lou managed to sell our Logan Square two flat in a depressed economy and for a great price.  This didn’t happen by serendipity – they worked hard for us for many months nonstop.  I know they had many more clients, but whenever we communicated about their listing of our place, they made us feel as if we were the only clients they had and that they valued our business above all.  They prepped us well so that our expectations were based on market analysis instead of our own ideas.  They kept the potential buyers coming and were always on top of things.  A 100+ year old building is always a work in progress, and Karen & Lou helped us decide what would be an effective way to improve the property while it was listed versus what was a rather wasted expense.  Service doesn’t get any better than this!

– Susan Teller Marshall

” I had almost given up hope when Karen came along.”

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 buyer and the buyer’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

“Thank Your For Your Help and Expertise.”

I had to write and thank you for your help and expertise in the recent short saleof 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!!

Again, thank you for selling my condo and thank you for everything!

– Deidre Hogan

“Sold a ‘tough to sell’ property in a tough market”

CCH 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

“I couldn’t have done it without Karen. “

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 and dealt with current tenant challenges, detailed move-out inspections and resolutions with great perseverance and fairness for both my tenant and myself.

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.

– Shawn O'Brian

“Karen is absolutely the Best!”

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 andChicagoCityHomes.com.

– Kimberly Spears

“Thank you!”

Thank 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

I’ve known Karen for close to 20 years as she’s helped me find not just one but two wonderful homes, the first of which she also helped sell in record time. The first home was a condo in Lincoln Park, which Karen found after patiently showing me a variety of options in Chicago. Her extensive market knowledge and quick understanding of what I was looking for made this process truly painless, and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. When the time came for my wife and I to find a bigger home, Karen came through again, and we found our dream home on only the second day of looking, thanks again to Karen’s exceptional knowledge and attention to detail. She then sold our old place in less than a week! I’ve been incredibly lucky to know Karen - she is an incredible realtor and a wonderful person. My wife and I can not recommend her highly enough!

– Pablo Mena


Karen Breen Elia | 773-230-4294 | Contact Me
2951 North Lincoln Avenue - Chicago, IL 60657
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