What’s new in the March stats and trends? Not much, as the story continues to be that of low inventory and bidding wars on hot, well-priced homes. While the number of homes for sale in Cook County was up 8% month-over-month, the jump in demand outpaced that of supply, as the number of homes sold increased by 26%.
What’s keeping would-be sellers from unleashing much needed inventory onto the market? It could be that despite bidding wars driving prices up on individual homes, the price just isn’t right. Many homeowners, especially those who are under water on their mortgages, are watching the trends in home prices and waiting to start to see a solid upward trend, but seeing prices continue to hover around year-long lows.
So what’s motivating those who are choosing to sell now? Today’s sellers are the ones who feel most confident in the strength, and particularly the speed of the market. During the first quarter of the year, 19% of Chicago-area listings sold within three days of their market debut. If you’ve got a home to sell that’s in good condition, and we price it right, it will go quickly. So for those looking to make a lot of money on a sale, now might not be the right time for you, but a motivated seller can really benefit from today’s bidding wars. “Bidding wars can be stressful for sellers too. The last two open houses I held drew more than twenty groups of people and several offers for the sellers to choose from with pressure from the buyers who needed to know soon whether they won the home or should give up and move on,” said Redfin Chicago’s Listing Specialist Jenna Smith. “But today’s sellers tend to have the upper hand, with a choice of buyers and often the privilege of dictating the terms of the sale. In my last sale in Wicker Park, we were clear about the specific settlement date the sellers needed, so all four offers came in with that closing date and identical financing terms, within $2000 of each other. In the end, we went with the highest bidder.”
For a complete picture of the Chicago area market’s most recent stats and trends, download the Redfin Market Report here: Redfin-Chicago-Real-Estate-Market-Report-March-2012.