The Short List: Elissa Morgante on How Partnering with a Residential Architect Can Help You Close the Deal

by Peter Thomas Ricci


Elissa Morgante is the co-principal of Morgante Wilson Architects.

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Elissa Morgante, the co-principal of Morgante Wilson Architects, on how agents can partner with a residential architect can help you close the deal.

4. Bringing a residential architect along at the walk-through helps your clients realize their vision for the home – When a client loves the neighborhood and almost everything about the home, they often begin envisioning how perfect it could be by moving a wall or adding a room. But, unlike a contractor – whose expertise is in the execution, not the vision – an architect can articulate your client’s needs and determine what’s feasible from both a structural and financial perspective.

3. Combining expertise can determine what upgrades will increase sale price, and what is a waste of money – A residential architect can determine what architectural or interior design enhancements are cost-effective, while the agent can use that information to provide sound advice and pricing for clients looking to maximize their home’s re-sale value.

2. Seeing how the lot fits the vision – When buying a lot, clients need to know if the size of the desired house will fit the site, what designs blend with the neighborhood and how the design can fit the lifestyle your clients are looking to achieve. A residential architect can articulate your client’s vision for the home, and identify the best options.

1. Leveraging in-the-trenches insight on a neighborhood – Like agents, many residential architects specialize in specific neighborhoods, and through referrals, work with multiple clients on the same block. That brings access to valuable information on property values and homeowner needs that won’t appear in any database. Together, agents and residential architects can provide the best information and opportunities for clients looking for the perfect home.

Elissa Morgante is co-principal of Evanston-based Morgante Wilson Architects, which she co-founded in 1994 with her partner in life and business, Fred Wilson. Together, they maintain a practice of more than 20 architects and designers specializing in residential design. The firm has been featured in The Wall Street Journal’s “Mansions,” and has received numerous awards for its work in the North Shore, including honors from the Wilmette Historic Preservation Committee, Winnetka Landmark Preservation Commission and the city of Chicago, among others.

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