List Price: $1,199,900
Sale Price: $1,103,500
The Property: This large four-year-old house resides in a Wilmette neighborhood where new construction has replaced about one-third of the older ranch houses that still characterize the area. It has 13 rooms, five of them bedrooms (one is in the basement, where it would commonly be used for a nanny or guests), a pillared foyer, and a spacious kitchen lined with cherry cabinets. From the family room, French doors open onto a nice patio—but that’s about all there is to the backyard. Because the house occupies a corner lot, most of the yard is out front.

The sellers’ agent, Chuck Shattuck, says the minuscule backyard may have hurt this house’s appeal with potential buyers. “You’re looking at a four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom house,” he says. “That begs for a family to move in, and families usually want some yard space.”

The sellers, Paul and Wendy Carothers, first listed the house for sale in April 2007 because a job change was taking them to the East Coast, Shattuck says. Their initial asking price was $1,349,000; after a series of price cuts, and several months after the couple had moved out, a deal was struck on April 21st. The sale closed May 8th.

Price Points: Paul and Wendy Carothers had paid $1,285,000 for the house in June 2004. The amount they got for the property last week is 14 percent less than their original purchase price. (A few doors down is another new house that sold at a loss of 11 percent.) Shattuck acknowledges that his clients’ house was sold at a significant loss. But was it over-priced when they bought it? “No,” he says. “The market’s got a lot more supply and fewer buyers out there now. I think it was fairly priced in 2004, and that the [latest buyers] got a great deal.”

Listing Agent: Chuck Shattuck of Century 21 Kreuser & Seiler, (847) 367-1171