September 17, 2013 // Franchising.com // CHICAGO – If your house didn’t sell this summer, look at its asking price. That’s the advice of RE/MAX Northern Illinois brokers, who report that the biggest hurdle keeping homes from selling this summer season was a list price too high for the market.
The good news for owners whose homes didn’t sell this season, though, is that the Chicago-area real estate market remains hot, with many homes still fetching multiple offers. Owners who price their homes right – and prepare their residences properly for selling – should still nab solid offers in the fall and winter months.
Some owners might even benefit from having their home on the market as summer shifts into fall.
The key, though, remains pricing. Owners who priced their homes too high in the summer now can rectify that mistake.
“Especially in the summer season, sellers have a tendency to put a property on the market at the highest possible price point,” said Janice Corley, broker/owner of RE/MAX Premier Properties in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. “Too many owners feel summer is the one market in which they can get the highest price. They focus on that instead of pricing their home where it should be. Buyers today know when a home is priced too high for the market. They’ll simply look at another home that’s priced more reasonably.”
Working with a broker who knows your neighborhood is the best way to set the right asking price for your home. Such a broker will “run the comps” (short for “comparables”), which means compiling a list of nearby homes similar to yours and their final selling price. Sellers who list their homes for a price that conforms to these “comps” boost their odds of selling. Those who find they are receiving no offers as fall gets under way should take another look at their asking price.
“In this marketplace, if your home is on the market for more than 90 days, the public is actually giving you feedback that you are overpriced,” said Lyn Sims, a broker at RE/MAX Suburban in Schaumburg, Ill.
For homes that are priced right, the Chicago-area market is a strong one and has been for some time. In June, for instance, the Illinois Association of REALTORS® reported that 11,103 condos and single-family homes sold in the nine-county Chicago area, an increase of 18.7 percent from the same month one year earlier.
In July, the numbers were strong, too. Home sales hit 11,897 that month, up 36.1 percent from the same month in 2012.
Those whose home didn’t sell this summer might even find some advantage in having it on the market this fall and winter.
Kathy Maykut of RE/MAX All Pro in Bloomingdale, Ill., said the fall and winter months bring more serious buyers. At the same time, these buyers are looking for homes in a market that doesn’t have as many properties available as it did in summer. That usually works out to a winning formula for sellers.
“People who have their homes on the market in fall and winter face less competition from other sellers,” Maykut said. “A lower inventory of homes for sale means that reasonably priced homes in solid condition are more likely to get an offer. They’re also more likely to get a higher offer because buyers don’t have as much to choose from. It’s supply and demand.”
Corley agrees that serious buyers continue searching for a home even as the temperatures drop and snow hits the Chicago area.
“Many people who look at homes in the summer are doing just that -- looking,” Corley said. “In the summer it’s fun to look at real estate. In the fall market, though, buyers are serious because they want to make a purchase before the holidays.”
RE/MAX has been the leader in the northern Illinois real estate market since 1989. The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of 2,000 sales associates and 100 individually owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services. Its www.illinoisproperty.com and www.remax.com websites are leaders in consumer visits among real estate franchise brands. The www.global.remax.com website allows consumers to search properties around the globe; www.theremaxcollection.com is a specialized portal of luxury properties across the U.S., and www.remaxcommercial.com displays commercial properties available nationwide and abroad. The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX LLC, a global real estate organization with 91,000 sales associates in 90+ nations. The RE/MAX organization has been recognized for numerous industry honors for excellence, and its Associates continue to lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. RE/MAX is the official real estate partner of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the national sponsor of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.