It was Spring of 2011 when I began lying awake at night having dreams of white picket fences, abundant parks, backyard BBQs and a true single-family home for my family. I had recently become pregnant and found out I was having a little girl. To date, I had resided in Chicago since 2002, and most recently Oak Park. My husband and I lived a fast paced, urban lifestyle. We lived in condos and townhomes, with no maintenance, where we could lock the door and go. But now that I was pregnant, I wanted my dream home. My biggest obstacle, like many homeowners today, was going to be selling my townhome for a loss and being in a strong enough financial position to pursue buying the home I wanted for our family.
Because I’m the real estate professional in my household, the stress and pressure of this situation weighed heavy on my shoulders. My husband and I wrestled with what the right thing to do was….Do we stay one more year? Do we try to rent the property out? Do we put the home on the market immediately, cut our losses, and take advantage of the low rates and great pricing right now? I told my husband we would do nothing until I was 100% confident it was the right next move.
In December of 2011, I prepared for my office’s Business Planning Meeting for the upcoming year. Part of the presentation relied heavily on putting-year end market statistics together. As I compiled this data, I noticed a trend happening in many of the markets we worked. The trend was simple – inventory of homes was low, very low compared to the prior year, and even in December – the amount of buyer sales was up significantly, year over year. A light bulb went off. This was an opportunity. We needed inventory! Now, immediately, was the time to list my property. In the midst of the holiday mayhem, my husband and I prepared our property for sale. We de-cluttered, packed away personal items, completed a list of repairs to the home, and staged the property. On December 30, we listed the property and within 3 weeks, it was under contract at 97% of list price. We scheduled our closing for 60 days later.
The day after our property sold, we went out to find the home where we would begin our family in. As buyers, I found the same to be true, inventory was low. Not a lot of choices in the market we desired to be in. We visited a home that just had a significant price reduction. We hadn’t made it past the welcome mat, before my husband and I knew it was our house. There were eight showings scheduled for the property that day. We left the showing, headed to the office, and wrote a strong offer. The sellers accepted it and 60 days later, we are moved in, and getting quotes to install that white picket fence I had been dreaming of.
I get a lot of comments saying, “Wow, you guys are lucky.” My response is this — it’s not luck! This is the market we are in today. There are certain markets- where inventory is low, and if the property shows well and is priced competitively – plan on it selling – and selling quickly! My office is experiencing multiple offers and listings that are priced well, and show well, selling in a matter of days. The agents in my office are working hard to get the message out to our sellers, that now is the time to get your home on the market! We need good inventory!