Archive for May, 2009

SOLD! By the THIRD listing agent…….

Waypoint homes photos 002  

Yep! I couldn't feel better, and worse, for my clients today. I just came from the closing of this BEAUTIFUL home in downtown St. Charles…. Brand new, but on the market for 3 years! Yes, 3 years!I was the THIRD REALTOR for these sellers…… Originally priced at $745,000, it closed today for $535,000! Frightfully, it didn't even appraise for what the buyers ended up purchasing it for…. which once again validates a point that I have been making over and over on my blog in the recent months, which is this: 

  •   There are some times, and they are not as few and far between as the public might think, that a property presents itself as such a value that a consumer will pay full price, or over full price occasionally, because they recognize the value that it truly is….. These buyers were savvy enough to appreciate the fact that this home was beautiful and in a truly special location (at the end of a very, very quiet street, equidistant 15 minute walk to downtown Geneva OR St. Charles, and in one of the most coveted elementary school districts in St. Charles!)and reduced far, far away from the original list price of $745,000! The appraiser, who in my opinion was an incompetent, did a DRIVE-BY appraisal for the lender… YES! HE DROVE BY THE PROPERTY TO APPRAISE IT…. didn't even make an appointment to go inside and see the amenities of the home that he was being paid to do an appraisal on!! The buyers realized this when the appraisal came in ultra-low, and they decided to press forward on this transaction and purchase the home under the terms that they had offered to the seller! Talk about integrity!!! Once again though, they perceived the VALUE and OPPORTUNITY to be too good to pass up, so they seized the day and bought this home!

I have seen this a few times in the recent past. When the foreclosures or short-sales come on the market, some of them are priced SO COMPETITIVELY that it doesn't make sense to try to negotiate down even further… it makes sense to seize an opportunity that would not have been possible 2 years ago, and may not be possible 2 years from now. When you factor in the low interest rates, the opportunity to get the $8000 credit for first-time homebuyers, and the incredible deals that are out there right now, it seems silly (sometimes) to wait for something better to come along.

 That's why they call it a "perfect storm"……..until next time,


Teresa Keenan



Read Full Post »

Monday Morning Market…. on Tuesday morning!


Apologies to all of my regular subscribers for not getting the Monday Morning Market report posted yesterday….. the 7th annual Keenan camp-out occured on the Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend this  year.  (Subsequently, on the following morning the equally famous “Monday morning clean-up” occurs wherein the smashed marshmallows, empty libation cans and dirty paper-plates are picked up out of my yard and disposed of properly, just in time to head out to the Memorial Day Parade downtown Geneva!) This year’s cast of characters included 8 families who pitched tents and gathered around the campfire for a few laughs and even a ghost-story or 2! (Shout out to Mr. Tom Brown of Geneva and his impromptu ghost story about the elusive “Cracker Finger” monster!!)

With that being said, here is my weekly analysis of our local market…. Before I get too far here, I just wanted to explain why I don’t include “new listings” in my analysis as I have had a few inquiries about that issue. Here’s the scoop… it’s very, very difficult to define a NEW LISTING in today’s market… many times a homeowner tires of their Realtor, so they cancel or let their listing expire, then re-list it. At that point it’s technically a NEW LISTING, but not really. Any buyers' agent with half of a brain will look into the days on the market to determine that the listing is indeed not new to the market. So, I don’t include those listings for that reason. They are included in the total number of active listings on the market, but I don’t give them their own recognition! Sorry!!!

Here goes-

·         Active listings=

o   305 total, ranging in price from $135,000 to  $3,499,000.

·         Listings under contract=

o   13 total, ranging in price from $174,800 to $619,900! Interestingly enough, 10 out of 13 are under that $400,000 price that I have been harping about. Seemingly that is the strongest market out there for us, the under $400,000 market-

·         Price changed listings=

o   6 listings total, with the greatest drop going from $739,900 to $699,900. I changed this title to “price changes” instead of “price reductions” because a couple of the prices went UP this week…. Both were Shodeen new construction homes in Mill Creek..maybe he knows something I don’t know? Increasing the list price hasn’t been a popular strategy in the last few years, but hey…. Who knows?

·         Closed listings=

o   7 listings total, ranging from $211,000 to $500,000. One of the listings was a foreclosure listing that was listed at $199,900 and sold for $211,900. This particular transaction validates a previous post that I wrote, regarding true VALUES out in the market….sometimes these properties are such a value already that you shouldn’t expect, as a buyer, to twist the knife. You need to be able to really see that there might be a few circumstances around that would compel you to pay full price, especially if that price is SO FAR UNDER MARKET VALUE that it’s too good to pass up, as this particular subject property must have been. This one had tremendous curb appeal and it was in a fantastic neighborhood on Geneva’s west side.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can assist you with any real-estate needs you may have. Many thanks to all my loyal readers! Have a great week everyone~


Teresa Keenan


Read Full Post »

Selling distressed properties……

DISTRESSED PROPERTIES……..just the term alone makes one nervous! Is the “distressed” adjective describing the property, the homeowner, or the lender who gave the mortgage? Sometimes, it’s all of the above!!

Last week, I spent all day Wednesday and Thursday in Chicago, attending a seminar that would certify me to sell DISTRESSED PROPERTIES….. what an amazing experience! The state of the union, for most who are involved in real-estate in any way, is not good right now. Lenders are obviously tanking, as are homeowners, left and right. For insolvent property owners who can’t make it, there are some great alternatives to moving out in the middle of the night and facing foreclosure. The SHORT SALE can help many, many property owners. By using a SHORT SALE, a lender will oftentimes agree to take an amount of money that is “short” of what the lender is truly owed by the homeowner. This relieves the lender of going through the foreclosure process, which is costly and lengthy. It relieves the homeowners of having a foreclosure on their record, thus helping their credit and their mental state! Generally, the banks will pay the closing costs associated with the transaction. The homeowner walks away with no money, but the key here is that they do get to walk away….Walk away to start over and get back on their feet again.

There is so much misinformation out there for homeowners who are jammed up and in compromised situations.  25% of the agents in my office are now certified to help homeowners. Let us!

 If you have friends, or neighbors, or co-workers who need help, please pass on our contact information. We can counsel them, privately, on their alternatives, and put together a strategy that helps these people help themselves out of maybe the toughest spot they have ever been in!! Armed and dangerous with forms and protocols, we are now ready to help in every way that we can…..

As always,


Teresa Keenan



Read Full Post »

Just joined The 3/50 Project……



What an amazing thought…… pick 3 local businesses you would miss if they went out of                 business-spend $50 LOCALLY per month…. save the economy! Check out the website at www.the350project.net to see how awesome the idea is! It really lays out the differences between supporting the big franchises, buying online, and supporting the locals! Even if you don't subscribe or become a supporter of the 3/50 project, you can at least file it in the back of your mind for the next birthday/Father's day/holiday gift-giving occasion that comes along!

As always,


Teresa Keenan



Read Full Post »

Is our market turning around???

This information was waiting for my in my "inbox" yesterday afternoon! What a pleasant piece of information to have on a very, very harried Monday! Thought more than a few of you would be interested in reading it as this is one of the top 2 questions I receive as a real-estate professional…. the top question is "how much is that house at XXXXXXX? "

This article was provided by Matt Cole from Old Second Bank! He's great, and you can see that he keeps up with our local environment….


Matt Cole
Mortgage Banker
Old Second Mortgage
Office: 630-762-3846

Matt Cole

"REALITY IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF STRESS AMONGST THOSE IN TOUCH WITH IT." Lily Tomlin. The reality of the recession has been stressful for many of us, but various pieces of news this week show things may be starting to turn around.

Friday's important Jobs Report showed there were 539,000 jobs lost in April versus expectations of a 610,000 loss, representing the smallest job loss since October. Even though the Unemployment Rate moved higher and hit a 26-year high of 8.9%, this is a lagging indicator, and many other data points hint that the worst could be over for the job market, and could lead to lessening stress in this area during the months ahead.

Chart: Jobs Report

Speaking of stress, last week's "stress test" results showed the banking system is on the mend, and in better shape than it was a few months back. 10 of the 19 largest banks will need additional capital to cope with potential future challenges, but as a whole the banking system is solvent and regaining health. A crucial point to remember is that almost all of the institutions under scrutiny elected to choose the cash flow method of asset valuation, as opposed to the mark-to-market method. This would not have been possible without the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) allowing for this change last month.

Positive news came from Wal-Mart, saying that their sales for April were better than forecast. And they say, "As goes Wal-Mart, so goes the entire retail sector", so this may mean health is also coming back to retailers at large.

Bonds attempted to regain some ground in the early part of the week, but the good news from Thursday's bank stress test, the better than expected Jobs Report on Friday, and the rally in Stocks caused Bonds to fall below key support levels. As a result, Bonds and home loan rates ended the week slightly worse than where they began.



Forecast for the Week



More news will be coming on the health of the retail sector on Wednesday, via the Retail Sales Report for April. March's Retail Sales Report showed that consumers were still closely watching their spending, so it will be interesting to see which way sales for April have moved, especially given the good report from Wal-Mart.

We will also learn this week if inflation is something we need to start stressing about. Thursday brings the wholesale price inflation measuring Producer Price Index (PPI) Report, while Friday delivers the inflation news on the retail level, via the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Report. Given the large amounts of stimulus being poured into the economy, inflation is sure to be a factor down the road. And since inflation is the arch enemy of home loan rates, it will be important to see what these reports reveal.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bond prices and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result, causing Bond prices to move lower and home loan rates to worsen.

As you can see in the chart below, Bonds were unable to remain above a key support level after breaking below it last week. I will be watching closely to see if Bonds can boldly break through this resistance and go where they have been before.

Chart: Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday May 08, 2009)

Japanese Candlestick Chart

 Have a great week everyone, and as always,



Teresa Keenan



Read Full Post »

Stone tower for sale sign photo

Welcome back to Monday Morning Market, where Geneva’s resident expert (me!) analyzes the data  from the last 7 days… for detached homes only, here goes:

·         Active listings

o   252 in number, ranging from $159,900 to $3,499,000

·         Price-reduced listings

o   15 in number, with 2 listings vying for the “largest price drop of the week” award…. At a price reduction of $20,000 for each!

·         Listings under contract

o   9 in number, ranging from $239,000 to $465,000… only 1 of these listings is reported as a distressed sale! GOOD NEWS!!

·         Closed listings

o   2 in number, ranging from $155,000 to $343,000

There were some cool developments in the local market last week! One property in particular was re-listed at a price of $499,900 after having started out 225 days ago at $775,000! Next, I  saw an amazing piece of property come on the market, first time EVER in the MLS (current owners purchased privately from original owners years and years ago…..) 2 acres downtown Geneva, for $1,370,000! I also saw an amazing opportunity on the east side of Geneva… a 4 unit apartment building, great location and condition with very low vacancy rate, listed at $469,900!  Great, great opportunity if you are interested in real-estate and would like something easy to start out with!!!

As always, please don’t hesitate to call me if I can help you in any way! I spent 2 days in Chicago last week, being certified to market and sell distressed properties… meaning, if you are upside-down on your mortgage, unemployed, in danger of losing your home, or in serious financial straits,  I am now equipped to help you move forward with the information you need! Please let me help you if you need it! We can do it!! I would be so glad to help even ONE FAMILY jump some of these hurdles!!Until next time,


Teresa Keenan


Read Full Post »

Monday Morning Market in Geneva….


Monday Morning Market in Geneva…. 

Good morning to all! Welcome back to “Monday Morning Market,” where Geneva’s resident expert Realtor analyzes the stats for the last 7 days…. Today I am veering off of my schedule as I was unable to do my analysis last week, so I am including the stats for the last 14 days in my report!! As always, please let me know if you have comments or questions about our local real-estate market… Here goes:

·         Active listings=                                 251 in number, with list prices from $159,900 to $3,499,000

·         Listings under contract=               15 in number, with list prices from $135,000 to $1,100,000!4 of these listings are Short Sales

·         Price changes=                                 12 in number, with the highest drop going from $649,900 to $599,900

·         Closed listings=                                 8 in number, with closed prices of $215,000 to $359,000, and       one transaction listed as a foreclosure.

Interesting statistics to note here! A couple of things I am noticing….

·         The number of closed listings verifies what I have been seeing for months now, and that fact is this: the under $400,000 range seems the busiest of all. Once again, all of the closings we have had for the past 2 weeks have been under that number.

·         One of the hardest hit markets, in my opinion, is that $500,000-$700,000 range. There just aren’t enough buyers to support that price range. When you look at the closings we had under $400,000, in theory most of those buyers should have moved up into the next price range. However, in Geneva in the last 2 weeks, 27% of those sales were short sales, so the sellers of those homes will in all likelihood NOT be moving up to the next price range. The biggest price drop we had last week was a drop in that same price range, from $649,900 to $599,900. It’s particularly brutal. A few weeks ago I sold an AWESOME home in Geneva to some great buyers I have been working with. They were buyers in this $500-$700 range, and they were able to purchase a home for 74% of the list price…. The home was outstanding and the location was awesome as well…. There just happens to be an extraordinary amount of competition, so the buyers were able to get an amazing value!!

On another note, one of the listings under contract was my own incredible listing on Sherwood Lane in Geneva…. Once again, I was on the “receiving” side of an incredibly insulting offer! I have done my best in the last year or so to “school” my sellers on the fact that these are most probably the only kind of offers we will receive. My clients were incredibly gracious, and ultra-prepared, so we were able to eventually come to terms on that listing. It could have been a much different outcome… there are still sellers out there that are so incredibly put off by these offers that they will not even counter or acknowledge these offers…. Not a good idea if you want to sell your property! Many thanks again to all of my sellers for recognizing the opportunity when it shows up with a contract in hand!

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have real-estate needs in and around the Geneva area! Enjoy the spring weather this week!


Teresa Keenan


Read Full Post »