Happy Monday to all! Is there such a thing as a happy Monday? I have found Mondays to be self-fulfilling prophecies… if I start the day out believing that it’s going to stink, then generally it meets my expectation. Coincidence? I think not! I rolled out of bed today believing that it is going to be a good day, and I am not going to accept anything less. So, if you have an issue today, don’t tell me about it until tomorrow. Please!

I have prepared my latest Monday Morning Market for all of you loyal readers out there. It’s been an interesting year so far for single family homes… a couple of  general real estate tidbits for you before I hit the weekly stats:

  • For this time period in 2010 (January 1 through March 7) we had 30 closings under our belt out here in Geneva. So far in 2011, we have had 19!! With 7 of those being distressed sales. For those of you who aren’t good at ciphering (to quote Jethro Bodean!) that amounts to 37%…. yep. 37% of our closings so far in 2011 have been foreclosures or short sales. Very sad.
  • 89% of our closings have been under $400,000!! 17 out of 19 homes have closed for under $400,000 so far in 2011. Very compelling statistic for all the property owners of Geneva.

As far as Monday Morning Market is concerned, here are the statistics for Geneva for the last 7 days!

  • There are 190 active listings in Geneva right now, ranging in price from $59,900 to $1,395,000
  • In the last 7 days we had one closing. It was a foreclosure listing for $195,000.
  • There were 7 price reductions, with the greatest reduction going from $465,000 to $425,000
  • 9 properties went under contract in the last 7 days! Hallelujah! Interestingly enough, they break our pattern for the year so far in that 4 of the properties were over $400,000!! Yes!! In one week we doubled the amount of property under contract for $400,000 + for the YEAR!

It’s been a crazy year already. I have had SELLERS back out of a transaction because they ultimately loved a home too much to leave, we  had a transaction compromised because a pickup truck wouldn’t fit into the garage of a newly purchased home, I have had a buyer fall down a set of stairs and come out  black/blue/purple, I saw a shower (reminiscent of a 1984 RV ) crammed into the corner of a bedroom in a dated Colonial over in St. Charles, and I happened to have the luxury of showing a piece of income property that had more dog poop INSIDE the property than there was OUTSIDE the property. I have a glamorous position!

As always, if you would like the inside scoop or some micro-knowledge on our market,  just contact me. I am happy to share my knowledge with almost anyone. ALMOST! Have a great week, and feel free to share my blog with anyone you know who might enjoy it!


Teresa Keenan, Broker/Owner of Stone Tower Properties
325 South Street
Geneva, IL 60134
Credit cards

Image via Wikipedia

When we moved out of our old office at 115 Campbell Street, downtown Geneva, we leased our space to the nicest ladies. They operate a business called “Just Credit Solutions,” which is a credit repair/counseling service. Naturally I was interested in their gig because so many of my clients ask me about credit right now. Credit, or lack thereof, drives our country right now! It affects the rate you pay for your mortgage, your credit cards, and even your car insurance!! True!

So, as soon as I had an opportunity, I referred a buyer to these gals. Miracle of all miracles, they helped this buyer repair some goofy issues on her report, and a couple of issues that were legit as well. They assisted her in raising her score substantially, and then lo and behold, she was able to qualify for a mortgage and buy a home! They have also helped a few others that I have sent their way as well.

If you have occasion to get your credit report repaired, do not hesitate to call them! They are professional, highly confidential, and totally affordable.



Ask for Jan, Tina or Cari!!!


Teresa Keenan

Is this a clever way of marketing? Or just childish vandalism? Leave your thoughts at the bottom of the post and let me know!! (and YES… it’s a real sign…. I took the photo myself while I was out previewing properties in Batavia! I took the liberty of a little “photo-shopping” in order to protect the innocent!)


this is why all Realtors should check on their vacant listings!!!


The sign that you have arrived at one of Kane County's top 2010 top 20 real estate offices!



This was the remark from a fellow Realtor I was with last Thursday night at a function that was sponsored by a loan officer I do a lot of business with. I shrugged my shoulders and told her my company had our best year ever, and I had my best year ever, as well,  in 2010. Then I laughed until I cried when she told me, ” you still have your diamond earrings on… everyone else has hocked theirs!” HAHA!!!

Now, let’s make clear that this is not Teresa Rockefeller authoring the post!! I have beautiful earrings that my husband purchased for me many, many moons ago. MANY moons! At a time in my life (marriage) when earrings were very valued gift. At this time in my life (marriage) a more appreciated gift is a warm dinner, prepared by said spouse, and a laundry basket full of clean and folded laundry, also prepared by said spouse!!! Now that’s my kind of gift!!!



Myles & Mom... photo courtesy of Roger Brown


That was the beginning of a conversation that I had with an acquaintance while I was attending a very fun holiday party last Saturday night. I asked her right away why she would think that?  She parroted back to me all of the media doom and gloom she has either read about or heard, and then she told me she has SEVERAL friends who are Realtors (Don’t we all???) who are miserable. We compared notes for a little while, and she moved on. (Thankfully!)  Sure, it’s been brutal for the last couple of years, but that’s probably the case for many, many industries out there, not just real-estate. The airlines, the auto industry, the finance world, health care providers, retailers and small businesses across the land, just to name a few. It didn’t take a whole lot of time for me to re-assure myself of all the reasons I am so thankful for my job…. Here are a few:

  • I love a good challenge! Marketing these homes and getting them under contract, and keeping them that way until the closing table is in clear sight, gives me a little adrenaline rush and a sense of pride!
  • I have watched colleagues and whole offices leave my market area, belly up, for the last 3 years… I am proud to still be here, leading an amazing group of Realtors in my office, doing more business than ever before. Our tiny office of 12 agents currently is 5th in volume in Geneva for 2010! The companies ahead of us have no less than 80 agents, each! I LOVE IT!
  • I guess I also like to be appreciated… the sense of accomplishment and thankfulness (from MOST of my clients) makes me feel good! I love a great “thank you” card or a new testimonial for my website….. if folks are impressed enough with your service to take a little time to put it in writing, in this busy world, it makes you feel special.
  • My reputation in the community is growing. I love to share my information and my market knowledge with anybody who asks…. it’s no secret! Those who own real-estate want to know how the market is faring, and what’s going on in their neighborhood….. I’ve seen thousands and thousands of properties in the last 22 years, and I love to compare notes about my observations!
  • I am honored, constantly, by those who choose to hire me for what will probably big one of the biggest transactions, financially, in their lives. Honored by their trust in me and their belief that I will get it done for them.
  • I love to find another way to get something done… this crazy market presents new problems to be solved CONTINUALLY! I enjoy being able to solve them, whatever they are, and move on. When I was business partners with Terra Ayres, I think I drove her nuts! There were times when the logical thing to do would be to cut my losses and move on, but I couldn’t stand walking away from a listing that was in the throes of foreclosure, or a buyer who had “analysis paralysis“! Those transactions were the most frustrating AND the most satisfying, for some weird reason.
  • I have enjoyed a career that is so flexible I can be home with the kids when I want to or need to… take a vacation when I want to…. skip work for the day to head off to a garden walk at the last minute…
  • I have had the luxury of meeting so MANY, MANY great people over the years, sheerly because of my job.
  • Every single listing is DIFFERENT… different sellers, different strategies, different marketing, different buyers, different buyer’s agents… DIFFERENT.

So I guess I don’t hate my job… occasionally, yes, it has its’ moments. Maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s really thankfulness in general, but whatever it is I am still glad to be a part of it!



The chief indicator that you have arrived at the best real estate firm in Geneva!

Monday Morning Market….

Happy holidays everyone! The season is on us…. Really on us! It’s my hope that all of my readers found many, many things to be thankful for last Thursday! Actually, not just for last Thursday but for every day.

I thought I would list a few of the things that I am thankful for here, just to see if any of you feel the same! I am thankful for 3 amazing children who make me laugh every single day and motivate me to do the best I can do in order to lead them by example. I am thankful for a husband who LOVES to hear about the follies of selling real estate and owning a small business! I am eternally thankful for my little group of cronies(you know who you are) who listen to my complaints/jokes/daily observations and still answer my calls every day!  I am thankful for my sister/brother in law and darling niece who live only 2 minutes from my front door. I am thankful for every single client who has given me the opportunity to be a part of their real-estate transaction. Lastly, I am thankful to own a company that is made up of an amazing team of Realtors whose company I enjoy and respect every day, in a town that I enjoy living in 365 days a year!

Now, on to the numbers…. I have been swamped with business for the last few months, so I apologize for the sabbatical! Getting back to the numbers for the last 7 days in Geneva, here goes-

Active listings= 206 in number, from $115,000 to $1,795,000

Properties under contract in last 7 days= 2, from $329,900 to $395,000

Price reductions= 5 in number, with the greatest reduction going from $499,000 to $479,000

Closings  in the last 7 days in Geneva= …… ZERO………..

  • So far, as of Monday  morning at 10 am or so, there have been 262 closings in Geneva in 2010. Closed prices ranging from $125,000 to $1,175,000. Approximately 10% of the closings reported in the MLSNI for this year were distressed sales, meaning “short sales” or “foreclosures.” This is actually an improvement from 2009, in my opinion. In 2009, there were 259 closings for single family homes, ranging in price from $84,000 to $2,708,754.

The appraisal system continues to be broken and it continually hampers our ability to do business and sell real estate. I believe that if more Americans knew how the banking/lending  system is holding the housing market hostage, there would probably be another Tea Party in the making.

There is still a great amount of opportunity for buyers! The interest rates are at an historic low, and property values are ripe for the picking. There are opportunities out there that may not appear to be the greatest “deal” in the market, but I would consider them “opportunities”  because they are available. Period.

While researching a property for a client last week, I looked at 3 properties that are currently on the market that turned down offers they received when originally on the market….Looking back, I am certain the sellers of those properties WISH they could turn back the clock!! There is too much inventory, too much risk, and not enough qualified buyers, for almost any seller in this market to turn down a buyer.

I will be making a greater effort to keep my blog up to date. It’s one of the activities that I really enjoy, but I seem to have been unable to make it a priority the last couple of months. I am trying to get back to it as best as I can.

As always, if you need assistance with anything real-estate related, please let me know. Even if it’s just a short consultation or a strategy question… I would be delighted to help you, or your neighbors/co workers/friends, in any way that I can.

If you enjoyed this blog post, and would like all posts to be delivered automatically to your “inbox,” please use the SUBSCRIBE button on my blog! Thanks for reading, and have a great week~


Teresa Keenan

www.stonetowerproperties.com and www.thinksold.net

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