List Price: $909,000
Sale Price: $818,000
The Property: In June 2008, when this Glenview house was on the market with an asking price of $1.399 million, I used it as an instance of the downward price pressure then percolating for home sellers with foreclosed neighbors. I could not have forecast then what a stark example it would ultimately prove to be.
At the time, a foreclosure specialist suggested that the foreclosed home directly across the street from this house might turn out to have more appeal to buyers because of its newness, even though it was on a smaller lot. His comments were prophetic: That foreclosure sold in September 2008 for $825,000; another foreclosure two doors north followed at $752,000 in March 2009.
This house (which didn’t sell as a foreclosure) lingered on the market until this spring, finally closing on April 29th at $818,000—58 percent of its 2008 asking price. What’s more, the sale price is less than what the sellers had paid for the home nearly 17 years ago. According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, they bought the house for $827,500 in July 1994.
“If it hadn’t been for the [foreclosed] neighboring properties, it would have sold for at least $100,000 more,” says Connie Dornan, the Rubloff agent who took over the listing about a year ago and priced it at $949,000, its first dip below $1 million. (Dornan was the sellers’ third agent—more proof of the adage that “it’s best to be the first son, the second wife, and the third real-estate agent.”) She cut the price five times until landing at $909,000 in January, which, she says, elicited the first offer that the sellers had received in three years.
The house, which sits on half an acre of land, has four bedrooms, six baths, a loft space, and an exercise room and a photo studio in the basement. The buyers are not yet identified in public records, but Dornan says that they plan to update the kitchen and bathrooms.
Price Points: “If the house had been priced appropriately when it went on the market three years ago, it would have sold fast,” Dornan says. “The market was declining then, but not at the exponential rate it has been.” Had it sold ahead of the foreclosures coming onto the market, she notes, the downward pull they exerted wouldn’t have been an issue. Before this house sold, it had competition from at least two other roughly comparable but distressed properties in the area; one is a foreclosure, the other a short sale.