To sell this 13-room house in Glen Ellyn…

Glanville-Koshul bought the buyers’ house.

List Price: $1,375,000
Sale Price: $1,252,500

The Property: This wide 13-room house on a hilly Glen Ellyn street sold on December 5th as part of an innovative house-swap deal. In order to offload this residence, its builders bought the house that their buyers were leaving to move here.

Like many homebuilders these days, Glanville-Koshul Homes was sitting on unsold inventory—in this  case, four houses, in Glen Ellyn and Wheaton, priced from $1.1 million to  $1.6 million. Two of the houses, including this one, were finished back in January and had sat unsold ever since. A fifth, almost-finished house added to their unsold burden.

The company cut prices, but still saw no action. “It wasn’t price as much as buyers being concerned that if they bought our house, they’d have trouble selling theirs and end up carrying two mortgages,” says Doug Glanville—the same Doug Glanville who, playing for the Chicago Cubs in October 2003, hit an 11th-inning, game-winning triple in Game 3 of the National League playoffs against the Florida Marlins.

This fall, Glanville and Assad Koshul, his partner and childhood best friend, announced a program called “Love this house? We’ll buy yours!” Within a few weeks, a Glen Ellyn couple availed themselves of the program. It turns out, say Glanville and Koshul, that the couple had been smitten with this house since putting their own on the market five months before but had resisted buying until theirs moved.

Ultimately, Glanville-Koshul bought the couple’s house—it had been listed for $639,500; the builders paid $580,000 for it—at the same closing where the couple bought the builders’ product. “Convincing both parties that both prices were right” was a complicated process, says the partners’ agent, Cynthia Buchholz of Koenig & Strey GMAC. “It was like giving birth to twins.”
Price Points: At first glance, the builders seem to have simply traded one piece of unmovable inventory for another. But, says Glanville, the company did cut its debt from $1.3 million to $580,000; what’s more, it has greater flexibility with the smaller house than the home’s earlier owners. “We can rent it out until the market changes, rent with an option to buy, sell it, or whatever happens,” Glanville says. “We might even trade that house for another one or for a [buildable] lot.” Glanville and Koshul hope to cut similar deals with other houses in their inventory.

Listing Agent: Cynthia Buchholz, Koenig & Strey GMAC, (630) 469-7000