Archive for May, 2011

When I got into real estate, 22+ years ago, the old-timers would always tell me, “the first offer you get on a listing will usually be the best offer.”  In reality, I think what they meant to tell me was that the first offer would likely come from the most interested buyer.  Right now, in this incredibly uncertain market, I believe that old adage to be truer than true!

There is so much inventory out there right now. Each seller needs to carefully weigh the benefit of having a SOLD home vs. trying to wait on the next buyer. Guess what? None of us truly knows when the next buyer, with money, might show up! Within the last 6 months I had a listing that was listed at $398K. It was vacant and the seller had moved on and purchased another home. SO… this seller was paying two mortgages. We had a buyer who brought a low offer and eventually he came up to a price of $360K. I encouraged my seller to take it!! It was fall, winter was around the corner, and there were other homes in the subdivision that were available. If we didn’t take this joker, one of the other sellers would. And they did! My seller turned down the offer, the buyer bought the home down the street for way less money, and whammo! We had another comp in the neighborhood that was lower in price than ours was!! An appraisal nightmare….The seller ended up carrying that house all winter and closing on it in March, for $332,500!! Another compelling tale would be this one: I saw a home get re-listed in the MLS today for $829,000. This is a property that has been on the market off and on since November of 2007!!! YEP! It started out at an exceptionally unrealistic price of $1,900,000. When the market started its’ record setting downward spiral, the price started dropping. At some point, it went into foreclosure. When I wrote an offer on it over 18 months ago, my client offered $900,000!!!! At that time it was in “short sale” status and some very intelligent banker made the executive decision not to take our offer. (I forgot to mention here that the home had LIVE termites in it, and the basement was leaking like a sieve all 3 times my buyer looked at it!) So, here it is, over a year and a half later, listed for $829,900. When I quickly add up the carrying costs of that particular property, it just blows my mind. The bank had to pay the real estate taxes for the last couple years, utility bills to keep pipes from bursting, attorney fees to foreclose etc, etc, etc. I am guessing that Mr. Banker now wishes he had taken our offer and ran far, far away with it in order to stop the bleeding.

So now that I am an “old timer,” I find myself counseling the agents in my office, and my sellers, on the merits of getting an offer on a listing. Buyers just are not making emotional purchases anymore! They want to have bragging rights, and they have more choices than ever before. If your home is on the market, and you are fortunate enough to have a buyer who has picked your home out of the plethora of choices in front of him, you better weigh the pros and cons very carefully. It could be months before you see another offer on your property. Call me if you are in a jam and I will give you my sound advice!

don't let this happen to you.....

Until next time,



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If ONLY I could have one dollar for each time I am asked that question…. if that were truly the case, I would be posting this blog on a Macbook, from a sunny room overlooking the shores of the Yellowstone River in Montana.  However, that is NOT the case, so I have accepted that fact and moved on from a temporary (but ever so recurring) little dream.

Yellowstone River in Gardiner, Montana! Husband fly fishes while wife chases kids.

Yellowstone trip, August 2008..The husband gets to fly-fish while I wrangle the children.... lucky!

Keeping track of the numbers this year has been very humbling. The volume is down, as are property values in many, many neighborhoods. By this point in 2010, there had been 87 closings for detached homes in Geneva. So far for 2011, we have had 65 closings in total in all of Geneva. Out of the 65 homes that have closed, 20% have been distressed sales (Realtor lingo for “foreclosed” or “short sales”) NOT GOOD!

The other interesting statistic that I pulled from the chart below is this: 82% of the closings that have occurred so far this year have been under the $417,000 limit. This is an important figure ($417,000) because it happens to be the maximum FHA loan that can be obtained in Kane County. FHA loans do not require 10% down, or 20% down, so they are still achievable for most buyers. SO…. that’s what many buyers will get.  Not to overgeneralize, because there are still some buyers out there who will obtain conventional financing, but if I were to comb through the MLS and look at the financing code on every one of the closings for this year, I believe a vast majority of them would be FHA buyers.

I have included a table which breaks down the price ranges and statistics for you real-estate junkies out there. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns about anything in your neighborhood… I’d be happy to share my observations and my experiences. If you leave a question or comment below, I will be sure to respond!

As always, please email me if there is anyone you know who might be inclined to make a move to, or from, Geneva! Enjoy the day,


Teresa Keenan

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I am thinking that my relationship with my new buyer is strained, to put it very kindly….. I have neither the patience, nor the intestinal fortitude, to spend another day with this joker…..PLEASE, leave a comment if you believe (as he does) that the sign of a very well maintained home is indicated by the ability to graze your fingers along the top of each doorway, in every home, and find no dust when you check your fingertips….

image by Now and Zen Photography

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