SWK Group

SWK Group

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About Me


Patti Sprafka Wagner and Zak Knebel have worked at parallel careers in real estate for over 8 years.  Now they have combined their experience and 24/7 work ethic by joining with @properties as the SWK Group, a real estate team distinguished as the #1 Team of the Chicago suburbs of Oak Park—River Forest.


Patti has 30 years in the real estate business.  She has watched the industry expand from a primarily hands on customer service profession to one combining advanced technology in marketing and financial analysis.  And as she appreciates the ability to use these cutting edge tools to advance her clients needs she understands nothing replaces a professional reputation, hard work, and a thorough understanding of the inventory at her disposal.  Patti has guided clients through the real estate environments of high and low interest rates, and all the vagaries of buyers' and sellers' markets.  Patti's knowledge of buyer expectations, and her long held Accredited Staging Professional designation, makes her the ultimate home sellers' partner.  Her clients, both buyers and sellers, know she is on their side.


Zak knows that the pressures involved in real estate transactions can create a great deal of stress on his clients.  He gets to know his customers so he can best represent their interests, and has established his credibility among his clients as a super advocate.  Working closely with Patti he feels that their complementary strengths create the ideal climate for the new SWK Group.


Specializing in Oak Park and River Forest is a natural, as they both have strong familial roots there.  They also service the immediate areas of Forest Park, Elmwood, Galewood and Berwyn.  Both Patti Sprafka Wagner and Zak Knebel as the SWK Group, work with buyers and sellers, in these distinctive areas they know and love, between urban, and suburban living.

Clients are saying:

"Patti was my broker for the 1993 purchase of my Oak Park home. She was so impressive, that in 2014, she was the only broker who I considered both to sell that house and purchase in Homewood.As a homeowner and attorney, I rate Patti as one of the most outstanding professionals - across all fields - with whom I have worked. her market knowledge is unerring; she negotiates contracts more strategically than most lawyers; she actively cultivates her own cadre of the best providers (closing attorneys, home inspectors, contractors). Her integrity is beyond question, which - when combined with her experience - gives her the authority to deal effectively with other brokers.
On the Sales side, she is brilliant at establishing price and in marketing the house. I thought she was unduly optimistic on target sales price, and persnickety on repairs. Ha! Her presentation of the house (including fabulous web photographs) triggered a flood of immediate interest, and an offer from the eventual buyers within one week. Her negotiating skills achieved her target sales price, to the penny.
On the Purchase side, Patti might as well be an inspector herself. No one can read the strengths and weaknesses of a house like she can. Patti can of course tell you the sales history and kitchen tile color for every house in Oak Park and River Forest. But it was great fun to watch her in action in Homewood, particularly as brokers tried to tap-dance on flooding and repair issues. I don't think they have yet recovered from her blunt and accurate assessments.Patti also takes responsibility for landing you a house that fits. She kept me focused on what I really wanted, with useful questions like "do you really want that much yard"
She is a wonderful and trusted ally. This entire process can feel like a battle, and Patti always has your back.Patti redefines what you expect from a broker, including drafting post-inspection letters for the closing lawyer to sign. She is still excited about the business, and adding to her skills. Whether you are listening to her knowledgeably discuss wiring with the home inspector or problems with the form contract clauses with the attorney, it is clear that you are working with a professional's professional."