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The Real Estate Lounge Chicago

Thomas McCarey offers relaxed insights of Chicago real estate market

By Tom McCarey | Broker in 60622

Lassoing the Moon and Corraling Mispriced Properties

it's a wonderful lifeWe have passed the threshold of December 1st and upon us soon are the holy trilogy of holy events: Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzai.

And as thoughts ceaselessly shift in my mind like so many waves along Lake Michigan the stutteringly smooth tones of George Bailey ring in my ears as he asks Mary on their first date in It's a Wonderful Life,

What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.

A lasso is a perfect tool for a real estate broker in today's Chicago and North Shore market. Not only are we looking to heave our gilded rope skyward to snare the home of our clients' dreams but in certain and distinctive ways we need to wield the rope like our dogey-chasing kinfolk on cattle drives of yore.

Except we are not chasing steer we are steering fellow realtors as we navigate the oddly contoured market, using our metaphorical lasso to do the steering.

I saw an interesting piece earlier this week that said more than 75% of home sellers across the country are failing to follow the data dictates of the market and are pricing their homes higher than the market appears willing to bear. When I am confronted with such "aspirational pricing," I will reach out to the broker on the other side of the equation and seek their input as to the WHY behind their pricing. Thus I toss my lasso.

rooting tooting cowboy tosses his lassoThe point of this exercise is manifold. In the first place if they are relying on comps that I missed, I need to know so I can share this info with my buying clients. Honestly, though, I tend to crunch numbers exhaustively to derive an overview of value. And so the lasso I heave is more an effort to draw my professional real estate colleague into my own numeric corral. As the conversation goes on I suggest to the listing agent that my comps (which I share) suggest a different value than where they are priced. And on the basis of such comps how my client would act, if we were to proceed. Bottom line any offer would be seasoned by our reading of the market.

As the market has become increasingly challenging some brokers have really upped their games. I love working with these brokers who put in great effort to understand the market and valuation, working earnestly to serve the interests of their clients. Dialogs with these folks are stimulating and edifying.

The flip side of the coin are the brokers who offer no answers when asked what the basis of their list price is when it seems out of whack with the market. I recently had a conversation with such a broker who told me, "My pricing philosophy is irrelevant."

But it is relevant, especially when third party financing is at stake and a thorough and exact reading of comps will determine if a loan is approved or denied.

And so the lasso is within easy reach when needed when working with my buying clients in Chicago and the North Shore. I even employ it with my prospective listing clients to establish a value range for their homes coming to market in this current environment that so significantly favors buyers.

As ever, I am ready and available for all of your questions and showing requests in the Chicago and North Shore real estate markets. You may reach me at 773.848.9241. Or email me at tom@therealestateloungechicago.com.

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