Home > Blogs > Cindy Finnerman's Blog

Cindy Finnerman's Blog

By Cindy Finnerman - SFR | Broker in Lincolnwood, IL
  • Hopefully the Midwest Will Follow

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Illinois, Home Selling in Illinois  |  October 27, 2012 7:20 AM  |  544 views  |  No comments

    New-home sales up 27 percent from a year ago

    Northeast, West see greatest growth

    By Inman News, Wednesday, October 24, 2012.

    Inman News® 

    a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=3105227" target="_blank"Framer/a image via Shutterstock.Framer  image via Shutterstock.

    Sales of new single-family homes were up 5.7 percent from August to September and 27.1 percent from a year ago, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 -- the strongest pace of sales since April 2010, the Census Bureau reported today .

    The picture varied widely by region, with new-home sales up 75 percent from a year ago in the Northeast, 62.1 percent in the West and 24.3 percent in the South, but falling 31.9 percent in the Midwest. 

    Nationwide, there were 145,000 new homes on the market at the end of September, which represented 4.5 months of supply at the current sales rate, down from a record 12.1 months in January 2009, Bill McBride noted  on the blog Calculated Risk. 

    The median sales price of new homes sold in September 2012 was $242,400, up nearly 12 percent from a year ago.

  • Lincolnwood September 2012 Statisics

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Lincolnwood, Home Buying in Lincolnwood, Home Selling in Lincolnwood  |  October 24, 2012 1:00 PM  |  687 views  |  No comments
    List Price Range # Listings Avg. Days on Mkt
    $100,000 - $149,999 1 64
    $150,000 - $199,999 6 218
    $200,000 - $249,999 4 67
    $250,000 - $299,999 11 279
    $300,000 - $349,999 6 158
    $350,000 - $399,999 3 288
    $400,000 - $449,999 1 279
    $450,000 - $499,999 4 156
    $600,000 - $699,999 1 174
    $700,000 - $799,999 1 9
    Under Contract Summary
    # Units Avg. MT Median List Price Avg. List Price Max. List Price Min. List Price Total Volume
    38 200 $299,450 $317,134 $750,000 $109,900 $12,051,099

    Active Listings
    List Price Range # Listings Avg. Days on Mkt
    $100,000 - $149,999 5 327
    $150,000 - $199,999 4 242
    $200,000 - $249,999 7 105
    $250,000 - $299,999 14 144
    $300,000 - $349,999 11 312
    $350,000 - $399,999 6 41
    $400,000 - $449,999 1 47
    $450,000 - $499,999 3 371
    $500,000 - $549,999 4 240
    $550,000 - $599,999 8 193
    $600,000 - $699,999 6 282
    $700,000 - $799,999 4 620
    $800,000 - $899,999 2 432
    $900,000 - $999,999 4 374
    $1,000,000 - $1,999,999 3 279
    $2,000,000 - $2,999,999 1 377
    Active Listings Summary
    # Units Avg. MT Median List Price Avg. List Price Max. List Price Min. List Price Total Volume
    83 246 $350,000 $481,501 $2,200,000 $115,000 $39,964,545

    Sold Properties
    Sold Price Range # Listings Avg. Days on Mkt
    $100,000 - $149,999 1 92
    $250,000 - $299,999 1 42
    $300,000 - $349,999 3 174
    $500,000 - $549,999 1 505
    $600,000 - $699,999 1 398
    Sold Properties Summary
    # Units Avg. MT Median Sold Price Avg. Sold Price Max. Sold Price Min. Sold Price Total Volume
    7 223 $320,000 $359,286 $620,000 $135,000 $2,515,000

  • Buy, Buy, Buy Real Estate !

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Chicago, Rent vs Buy in Chicago  |  February 8, 2012 11:53 AM  |  638 views  |  No comments

    Where Are Rents Headed?
    Posted: 08 Feb 2012 04:00 AM PST

    People are delaying the decision to buy a home because they are not sure where prices are headed. If they buy and prices continue to soften, they feel that they will not have purchased at the optimal moment. They reason that, if they sit and wait, they can’t be hurt. This thinking assumes that a non-decision comes without consequence.
    The normal retort to this thinking by people bullish on real estate is that prices may soon turn to the positive or that interest rates will start heading upward. Buy now before the cost of buying increases! Today, we want to look at this from a different angle. We want to alert our readers that their housing expense is about to increase if they continue to rent.
    Currently, in most parts of the country, buying is less expensive than renting. Plus, purchasers can lock in their housing expense for the next thirty years by buying now. They will get a sensational price and a record low interest rate. What will happen if they continue to rent?
    The Alternative to Buying
    If a family continues to rent, they are looking at a housing expense which will rise with the market. Rental costs increase by 3% a year historically. But today’s rental market favors the landlord to a greater degree. Below is a graph of how rental prices have increased recently and where they are projected to go over the next few years based on a report from Marcus & Millichap.
    Bottom Line
    Hoping to save by delaying the purchase of a home may result in higher housing costs while you’re waiting, thus achieving the exact opposite result. Check with a local real estate professional to determine the best option for you and your family.

  • Home Sale Prices on the Rise

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Chicago, Home Buying in Chicago, Home Selling in Chicago  |  January 7, 2012 12:25 PM  |  751 views  |  No comments

    Pending Home Sales Highest in Over a Year-and-a-Half

    01/04/2012 By: Carrie Bay Printer Friendly View

    Pending home sales continued to rise in November, reaching their highest level in 19 months, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported late last week.

    The trade group’s index of signed sales contracts jumped 7.3 percent between October and November and is 5.9 percent above its level a year earlier. The last time the index was higher was in April 2010 as buyers rushed to beat the deadline for the homebuyer tax credit.

    James Frischling, president and co-founder of NewOak Capital, says the latest results are likely to feed the view that there is a recovery going on in the housing market.

    “This was an unexpected jump-up, with every region showing gains including a 15 percent increase out west, which has been the hardest hit area since the housing bubble burst,” Frischling noted.

    Despite the strong gains atypical of the season, Frischling remains cautious. He says with contract cancellations above 30 percent, Realtors are keenly aware that it’s premature to conclude a housing recovery is underway based on November’s strong pending sales report.

    Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, agrees that contract failures have been running unusually high.

    “Some of the increase in pending home sales appears to be from buyers recommitting after an initial contract ran into problems, often with the mortgage,” he said.

    Still, Yun described November sales activity as “doing reasonably well in comparison with the past year.”

    “The sustained rise in contract activity suggests that closed existing-home sales, which are the important final economic impact figures, should continue to improve in the months ahead,” Yun added.

    According to Frischling, the overarching question is whether there are a sufficient number of buyers to absorb the supply of homes which will inevitably hit the market.

    With the foreclosure pipeline still growing and over 6 million borrowers behind on their mortgage payments, he says the inventory of homes available for sale will continue to build up, putting downward pressure on home prices and holding back any meaningful recovery.

    “Yet with the rental market on fire, an improving jobs picture, and with interest rates being so low, the spike in contracts signed was a welcomed way to finish the year,” Frischling said. “The follow-through on these pending home sales will tell whether the positive factors facing the housing market outweigh the negative and if this market has finally turned the corner.”

    NAR acknowledged last month that it over-estimated actual sales closings for existing homes, going back to 2007. The trade group has adjusted sales and inventory figures for the last four years downward by 14.3 percent, citing discrepancies between sales reported by multiple listing services (MLSs) and sales included in its U.S. Census benchmark.

    Pending home sales, however, are not affected by the recently published re-benchmarking of existing-home sales, according to NAR, namely because the pending sales index uses a different methodology based directly on contract signings and is adjusted for seasonality.

  • Advantages of Home Selling During the Holidays

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Illinois, Home Buying in Illinois, Home Selling in Illinois  |  December 13, 2011 7:22 AM  |  792 views  |  1 comment

    Make holiday home sale a reality

    By Kari Richardson, Special to the Tribune

    November 11, 2011

    Click here to find out more!

    Dear Santa,

    Please bring me a buyer, flush with cash, and ready with preapproval letters. He or she should be willing to pay full asking price (or more), close quickly and without complication. Make my buyer easy to work with and free of unreasonable demands.

    Yours truly,

    Holiday-pressed homeowner

    If selling your home is still on your to-do list for 2011, take note: While fewer buyers abound during the dark days of winter, sellers needn't go into hibernation until spring.

    "There's typically a slowdown in shopping activity from Thanksgiving to New Year's, when people are focused on family and friends and holiday celebrations," said Walter Molony, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors. January and February typically see the fewest closings of the year, reflecting slower sales at year's end, he said.

    But that's not necessarily the end of the world for sellers, said Gail Spreen, owner of Chicago-based Streeterville Properties. Fair-weather buyers who meander through open houses in May and June may not be all that interested in your home, anyway. The holidays, she said, can be a great time to sell if you have flexibility and are prepared.

    Those left combing the market during November and December are typically more serious about the home hunt, Spreen said. They might include families relocating for job changes, first-timers ready to leap during a slow market, and those who've recently sold a home and need a new place to live.

    Motivated homebuyers. Some buyers simply thrive in the more relaxed environment, with fewer competitors for top properties and more attention from agents.

    "You'll have fewer showings, but they'll be more powerful," said Dennis Dooley, managing broker with Prudential Rubloff Properties. Holiday season buyers are typically "motivated and financially ready," he added.

    Hoping for a signed contract in your stocking? Follow the rules of holiday home selling and you could capture the interest of one of these serious buyers.

    Deck the halls with restraint. Holiday decorations make homes festive and buyers merry. But too many ornaments, wreaths and garlands can obscure views, make rooms feel smaller and distract buyers from their true purpose: deciding whether or not your home is right for them.

    "You don't want people to focus on your decorating," said Karen Burstein, co-owner of a Downers Grove-based home-staging business called the No. 1 Ladies' Home Staging Agency. "You are selling floors, walls and windows. If people are overly focused on your ornament collection or how the tree is done, they won't see the product they are potentially buying."

    Basic principles of home staging take on added importance during the holiday season. They include these tenets: Anything more than five is a collection and should be packed away. Keep tabletop decor to no more than three objects.

    And think twice before displaying decorations specific to your religious or cultural heritage, said interior stylist Julea Joseph, owner of Reinventing Space in Palos Park, since it makes it more difficult for others who don't share your background or beliefs to envision themselves living in the space.

    What, then, is appropriate? Joseph suggests a wintry container garden on the front step, a pretty wreath, glass hurricanes and, perhaps, a simple tree.

    "Prepare your family that it's holiday-lite this year," she said.

    Clear the schedule. Since buyers are likely to be fewer in number during the dark days of winter, be ready to accommodate the interest you do have. Barbara Sapstein, a broker with Baird & Warner, tells the tale of two homes for sale in a suburban neighborhood, both with similar features and asking prices. One seller was having a dinner party and didn't want to be bothered with a showing. The buyer was highly offended and bought the other home, Sapstein's listing.

    "I like to think mine would have sold anyway," she said, "but the point is, if you are out there on the market, you need to make your property available."

    Thanksgiving dinner, holiday brunches, cocktail parties and open houses compete for attention during November and December. And it's no secret that it's more difficult to have your home ready when you have plans.

    You've got a turkey roasting in the oven, cookies baking and cocktails mixing. Still, do all you can to accommodate potential buyers, even if it means giving your own plans short shrift.

    "Selling your home is a great reason not to go overboard on the holidays," Joseph advised. "You have an added level of stress on you already. This is the perfect year for an excuse to do it at someone else's house."

    Keep the weather at bay. Most buyers understand that Chicago in wintertime is most often cold, wet and gray.

    "I always say, 'If you like it when the weather is gloomy, you'll really like it in spring,'" said Kathy Kalnes, regional vice president for Coldwell Banker's Chicago operations.

    The weather may be frightful, but sellers would do well to make sure buyers have a clear, safe path to the front door. Otherwise, they may not bother getting out of the car, Kalnes said. Keep drives and sidewalks shoveled, address numbers visible and remove leaves and gutter debris. Photographs should picture the home as it appears in the current season, but sellers may want to capture and post additional shots of summer landscaping to give a hint of what lies ahead.

    Tap the spirit. Light the fireplace if you have one. Decorate with a pretty throw. Make your home cozy, and someone else might want to nest there.

    "People are already in an upbeat mood because it's the holidays," Spreen said. "They are already in a shopping mood."

    Capture that feeling and use it to your advantage. The holiday season brings people to town and to new areas of the city, Spreen said, and one of those folks could be your buyer.

    "We still have calls coming in on holidays, because people are visiting the area or just have free time. We've sold (homes) on every major holiday, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Fourth of July," she added.

    And if your home doesn't sell? The spring market is just around the corner.

    Copyright © 2011, Chicago Tribune

  • Should I wait to list my house for sale?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Illinois, Home Selling in Illinois, Property Q&A in Illinois  |  December 2, 2011 7:59 AM  |  807 views  |  No comments
    A very typical and justified question. My answer is "no". There is less inventory on the market at this time so why not take advantage of that fact. Also, the buyers that are out there during the winter and holiday season are in my experience, motivated buyers. As of today I am still very busy with motivated and qualified buyers and there are many sellers who chose to take there properties off the market, losing a potential sale.
  • Thanksgiving Quotes

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Illinois, Home Buying in Illinois, Home Selling in Illinois  |  November 22, 2011 11:44 AM  |  750 views  |  No comments

    "If you don't think every day is a great day try going without one." Jim Evans

    "Prosperity depends more on wanting what you have than having what you want." Geoffrey F. Abert

    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." Author Unknown

Copyright © 2014 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer