A Tale of Two Listings (part 1)

What follows is a tale of two listings. Real estate can be a perplexing game at times. Sometimes you know exactly how the market will react to a property and other times you are surprised by a listing that won’t sell or a buyer that does a complete 180 with their search.

I recently had the experience of listing two similar condos in the Lakeview neighborhood, in regards to what they offered. While they were both 2 bed/2 baths with parking, their layouts and presentation were completely different. And while we did our best to present both in their best light, there were slight differences that caused one to sell more quickly than that other.

Before we list a place with a homeowner, we sit down to talk about our process, their goals, and formulate a marketing plan from that discussion. It is also at this time that we have the seller guide us through their home, as if they are selling it to us. This is a great tactic as it allows the owner to point out what they love about the home that we can use later. It also allows them to point out the things they think need to be addressed.

Everyone has various reasons for selling and with different personalities come different scenarios. Some are on a time crunch and can’t complete everything before going to market while others plan for months and are ready with plenty of time to spare. We try to help out to have a home looking it’s best given any constraints.

Both of these homes are in central Lakeview and have a great layout. While the first was a simplex, the second was a duplex, and they each were finished differently throughout.

This first home had a great view of treelines and is on a quiet street. While there is a nearby hospital, most people are fine with it being on the non-entrance side. We had it painted and staged and ready for market.

However, we originally had planned to list in the spring of 2018 but due to various circumstances, we weren’t able to list it until late summer. A small but significant point to make. The Chicago market is very spring-lopsided. Listing in late summer is going to limit our buyers, but sales still happen.

We discussed price and settled on a number that was good for the spring, but a bit higher for late summer/fall. Regardless, I thought it still should’ve obtained an offer. However, after several showings and many open houses, we were having difficulty selling. The winter/holiday season is notoriously a low point for sales in Chicago so we didn’t expect it to sell then. Spring of 2019 rolled around and after a price drop, we eventually sold it.

It took longer than we expected but it was sold. The selling season is particularly finicky in Chicago, and the small details sometimes determines if a place sells or sits. This was an important lesson learned for me.

Stay tuned for part 2

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