LIST PRICE: $1.299 million
SALE PRICE: $1.1 million

Three different contracts to buy this 14-room house in west suburban Wayne fell through before the fourth finally stuck. “That’s the way things have been going,” says Wayne Reuter, the Re/Max Excels agent representing the seller. “We had one buyer go off and find something for a few [hundred thousand] dollars less, one who never showed up with their earnest money, and one whose attorney advised them not to buy.”

Set on nearly four acres, the five-year-old house has four bedrooms, five-plus baths, three fireplaces, and, in the basement, a bar and a theatre room. The residence went on the market in November 2008 with an asking price of $1.8 million, exactly what the seller, Mark McDonald, had paid for the place in 2006. By the time a buyer came along, the house was priced at half a million dollars less—though by then it was in the hands of a relocation company, which absorbed the loss. “Each time the price came down, people saw the value a little better,” Reuter says. “By the end, it was such a bargain that I had two other [buyers] as backups if this one didn’t go through.”

Neither McDonald nor the buyer, Angela Ann Cummings, could be reached for comment.

Send tips about high-end home sales to dennis@rodkin.com.


Photograph: Kim Thornton