Area Home Sales Start to Pick Up over the Summer
Murphy, Jean, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Jean Murphy Daily Herald Correspondent
Cyndy Hass, a realtor with RE/MAX Suburbans Arlington Heights office, is busy again. One recent weekend she booked eight appointments on listings she has in the $500,000 range.
"It was the biggest weekend that I had in over two years," she admitted.
And people arent just looking. Hass said properties are starting to sell, as evidenced by the fact that RE/MAX Suburbans escrow deposits increased recently for the first time in a couple of years.
"I honestly believe that finally we are hitting bottom on this market," she said. "Offers are coming in and the phones are ringing again ever since March."
Looking back, when did the problems in real estate begin?
"I sensed a change in the third quarter of 2006 when the number of relocations I was seeing dwindled and, as a result, the homes I had listed over $1 million were remaining on the market much longer than we expected."
And until this spring, people werent willing to make major investment decisions or sign a contract for a new house until their current house sold, she said. "But now things are definitely loosening up."
What is selling in the Chicago market?
"The properties that I see moving are those that are prepared for sale and priced to compete, no matter whether they are single-family homes, townhouses or condominiums.
"The successful contracts being put together now involve homeowners who have educated themselves about what is going on in their neighborhood and where our prices are today."
It is also important for sellers to stage their home, update the kitchen and baths and make the decorating neutral if they want to stand apart from the many other homes on the market, Hass believes, because todays buyers dont want to spend the time and money on a lot of projects after they buy.
If you dont have the time or money to spend on improvements before you sell, Hass said that you should expect to take more of a discount on the property than you would have seen a few years ago.
"There are so many homes competing and people are purchasing the homes that offer them the most bang for their dollar. …