Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top Agent Senses 'New Energy' in Market

In a post on her blog, Live and Play in Chicago, top-producing Coldwell Banker agent Jenny Ames describes what she already senses is a positive effect of the stimulus bill recently signed into law. Writes Jenny:

The bill seems to be having some effect, whether direct or psychological, on homebuyers in Chicago.

In the last week, [the] confidence crisis dam seems to have broken. Buyers are in the market in full force. My conclusion is based on the following indicators:

* The number of buyers and agents requesting to see the homes I have for sale has recently doubled. More importantly, many of those requests are from people who are coming back for a second or third time to see properties they like. This demonstrates an increased level of seriousness.

* The quality of visitors at our public open houses has improved. Until this past weekend, most of the people who stopped by our open houses were nosy neighbors or people who were hoping to move but needed to list and sell their current home before buying. As of Sunday, February 15th, the three open houses I hosted were packed with serious buyers who were out systematically looking at properties with the intent of purchasing a home in the near future.

* In the last week, I received four offers to buy homes I have for sale, and I wrote an offer for one of my buyers. The ensuing negotiations resulted in three sales including two at the high end of the market with sale prices of $3.6 million and $5+ million.

I cannot verify that the apparent shift in consumer confidence is directly linked to the passing of this legislation, but the timing is uncanny. Whatever the cause, my seller clients and I are certainly not complaining about the “spring fever” that has sparked new energy in the residential real estate market.

Are other agents seeing what Jenny is seeing? Let us know and we'll post your comment.

Comments Rubloff's Eric Rojas:

I am very busy in the “first-time buyer” area already this year. In fact, I have several purchase contracts on the buyer side and have sold a $260,000 listing in one week (not a short sale!) prior to the stimulus bill. One of my listings priced at $349,000 has had second showing in the first week or so on the market. I predicted last fall that first time buyers would be very active this year due to better pricing. With many other spring buyers just getting started, I feel that the stimulus, in addition to pricing, will motivate first-time buyers.

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