Archive for the ‘Teresa’s tips, rants and raves….’ Category

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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The Stone Tower Properties real estate office

Stone Tower Properties Real Estate in Geneva, IL

Happy Monday to all!

Yes, it’s been a crazy summer. Happy to report that all is well… kids are almost ready to go back to school, I am almost ready to drop them off, and I am definitely ready to get back to my blog.

Selling real estate is an obsessive little gig…. It seems as if EVERYWHERE I go, people always want to know “what’s up with the market?” “how much do you think the market has taken a hit… 10%, 20%..more?” “what’s up with the mortgage rates, do you think I could re-fi?” “are there any REALLY good deals out there?”…. They ask at church, they ask at school, they ask when we are downtown having a drink at Bien Trucha….. everyone is obsessed with real estate!It’s the American Dream AND the American Nightmare right now. Of course, I am in it up to my eyeballs and I am passionate about it, so it’s fascinating to me to realize how many others are interested in it as well. I know for most folks that it’s the largest investment that they have, so of course they want to check on it whenever they can. Unfortunately, they can’t just look at a ticker-tape on the CNN website to see how their “investment” is doing that day. So, they ask a LOCAL professional. Which brings me to my next point…. COME ON! If you are traveling to Disney next week, you are probably going to look up the weather for Florida. Maybe, if you are really type-A, you will zoom in as far as “Orlando” to get your information. Correct??? So, it goes without saying, that if you are in the need of a Realtor, why in the world would you use a Realtor from Arlington Heights to buy real estate out here? Or worse, to SELL real estate out here??? This is no lie… about 3 months ago I had a listing in Pepper Valley in Geneva. It’s a very nice community! It has a playground, tennis courts, 2 pools and a clubhouse, and it’s really close to several elementary schools. I had a TOP PRODUCER from St. Charles, part of a famous “team” of Realtors, call me to ask me all about the pool in Pepper Valley. He has been selling real estate in our area for YEARS and knew nothing about one of the great assets of living in Pepper Valley. Didn’t know where it was, and darned sure didn’t even know it existed until he showed my listing.  Do yourself, and your family finances, a favor- use someone LOCAL when you buy real estate.

Thought I would throw a few statistics out there today!

  • A Stone Tower Properties agent either LISTED or SOLD 43% of the Geneva properties that were $550,000 or MORE since January 1, 2010!
  • 82% of all sales in Geneva (there have been 197 single family homes sold as of today) were $400,000 and UNDER!
  • There are 234 homes on the market as of right this moment… from $154,900 to $1,899,000
  • The most expensive home that has closed, through the MLS, so far in 2010, was $825,000. It was on the market for 664 days, and started out at an original list price of $1,195,000
  • The least expensive home that has closed, through the MLS, so far in 2010, was $125,000. It was on the market for 478 days and war originally listed at $219,900. This property was a distressed sale (not a foreclosure, a short-sale)

Financing continues to be a thorn in our side. Appraisals routinely present problems. The closings routinely have complications that arise. The banks are CRAZY (Not a GOOD crazy!) However, in spite of all of that, buyers continue to buy! Sellers continue to sell! Rates are amazingly low, AMAZINGLY low! So, real estate continues to be an action-packed adventure, worthy of discussing almost everywhere you go! Go ahead, leave me a question below and let’s play “try to stump the Realtor!” Or, if you have a question in general, throw it out there in the comment section and I will answer as best I can…. looking forward to seeing what all of you are interested in!


Teresa Keenan

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Teresa and Myles at the Heritage Prairie Farm

Me and my boy

Not really real-estate related except for the fact that this whole incident DID occur in the Stone Tower Properties office, as follows…….

A couple of Mondays ago, I walked in the front door at about 9 am. Barely got my lap-top plugged in when I heard some sniffling and crying at the front door. When I looked up from my desk, there was a woman standing in the front of the office, crying her eyes out. Of course, I asked her if there was anything I could help her with!!! This was the reply…” My mom just died! She lived in St. Louis and I have to get down there….. I didn’t have enough money to pay my rent on Saturday, and now I only have enough money to get on the train and get to Chicago, I don’t have enough money to buy a bus ticket once I get there… can you help me????”

Well, what was I going to do? Geez… so I opened up my wallet and gave her $20, which was all I had in there! (live by the debit card, die by the debit card!) She thanked me profusely, then left, still weeping. Of course, my husband was upstairs here at the office, listening to this whole scene, and when she finally left, he yelled down the stairs something about me being a bleeding heart liberal a.k.a. SUCKER……

How shocked was I when one of my friends who lives about 2 blocks from this office told me the exact same story, but a different ending…. my friend was wise enough not to pony up the money!!! At this point I was still thinking maybe the girl really needed that dough! My convictions were dashed to shreds on Sunday morning, when I ran smack into her at the French Market here in Geneva, with a nice big  bag of fresh produce, probably purchased with my $20!!! She saw me and avoided all eye contact immediately….dead give-away that I had been ripped off!  Easy come, easy go….

Leave me a comment and let me know…. would you have given the money, or showed her the door?


Teresa Keenan

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One of my goals for 2010 was to “go VIDEO” for my blog… I will be using video to highlight my listings and some of the great features of our awesome community… stay tuned! Please view, and feel free to offer suggestions and comments.. enjoy, it’s only 33 seconds long!

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