Or like new. Where do you want your market research from...national news or the real estate junkie on the Chicago streets?
Several observations since January 1st:
1. Buyers are flooding the market. In November... well, I should have taken November '06 off. Maybe a nice island somewhere. It was crickets in November. In the second half of December '06, consumers started walking into my open houses and talking the talk. They were looking to get serious about their search and home purchase for the upcoming spring. Now remeber, I host open houses almost every weekend year 'round and take the same "ready to get the job done for you" attitude. But the difference was apparent... December marked a change.
2. Buyers are writing purchase offers. In just the second week of January, my clients are writing strong offers to purchase their homes. Again, I had a good last year picking off the deals for my clients in the "gloom and doom"... but the no one was jumping off the fence the last two months of the year. Now... I can hardly keep up with demand as my clients leap in.
3. Buyers are buying the better finished homes. There are certain spots that you pay for the space no matter what's in it. Lincoln Park? Re-sales may have windows from 1919 and an out-house in the back... still got $400K. There is less of an "add value" buyer out there. I see more buyers willing to push out to the improving neighborhoods for more space and better finishes.. passing on 7-12 year old rehabs. Improvements may be needed to simply SELL your home, rather than to get more money when you sell it.
4. Sellers still don't get it. You have to have your home in great shape, looking good, feeling good to move it for top dollar. To match the comps from 2005, your place has to be spit shined. Have a professional handy man and painter come through and give your place a tune-up before listing. Listen to me.... please. We will all be happier!