List Price: $1,149,000
Sale Price: $1,113,000

The Property: This shingle-sided house on a tree-shaded street has sold twice this year, and very quickly, flouting the slow market that has irked so many sellers. Built five years ago by the prolific Nick Lazzaretto, the house is far larger than it looks, extending way back into its lot; that allowed the façade to fit comfortably among the neighboring, mostly mid-size older homes. The house has five bedrooms and four-plus baths, a big third-floor family room, and lots of old-style millwork, including wainscoting, mantels, and cabinetry.

Last spring, the then-owners got transferred out of town and listed the house for $1,069,000. They had friends who wanted the house, and five days later, a deal was made. The sale closed June 29th, at $1,030,000.

Just a few months later, those friends (whose names are not in public records of the June sale) determined the house was too big after all, says their agent, Jim Friel. They listed it October 5th, asking $1,149,000. Once again it sold in five days, this time for $1,113,000—or $83,000 more than its June sale price. (In this transaction, the buyers weren’t friends of the sellers, just house-shoppers who happened to find the place.) The deal closed on October 25th.

That market time of five days would be impressive even in a healthier real-estate market. But now, when Libertyville houses are waiting an average of 96 days to sell, it looks like a champion—a two-time champion.

Price Points: Although it appears that the house defied the market in a second way—by increasing in value by 8 percent in just four months—the first recorded sale price is somewhat artificial, Friel notes. The June sellers’ employer had paid the sales commission as well as giving the sellers a bonus for finding their own buyers so fast. Those amounts brought the total spent on the house to about $1,119,000—“so we felt that was the actual market value of the house,” Friel says. He priced it at $1,149,000, knowing a buyer would expect to negotiate the price downward some. With a final deal of $1,113,000, he says, his sellers “broke even—plus some change.”

Buyers: Not yet identified in public records of the sale

Listing Agent: Jim Friel, Prudential Preferred Properties, (847) 748-3214