“Show me the money.  She said with the sound of pickle juice flying out of her mouth.

  Money talks Mary!”  She said so loudly even the buyer heard her from clear across the room.


I put the phone down, and looked at the buyer.  “It’s your call.  It looks like they will go with this other offer if you don’t come up with more money.” I remember saying and feeling as though my hands were tied on this one, and just about every house we were putting offers on in those days.


     “Offer them $10,000 more than the asking price and we will take the house “as is” and see if that will do it.”   The buyer said, as so many buyers have said for the last seven years.  It was really a sellers market.


The times, they are a changing.  The so called good old days were only about nine 

or maybe even only seven months ago.  We definitely are experiencing a change in the

real estate market.


“This house needs to be gutted.”  The woman says as she looks through out the open house.


“A little pricey for the area for all the work it needs, don’t you think?” The older woman asked with some attitude. She is looking for her daughter, skipping the basement,

practically running out of the house.


“We are putting in an offer on another house we saw down the street.  However we just want to keep looking at as many as we can to really know if we are making the right decision.”  The man and women with the baby said as they really looked the place over.

These are the comments we are hearing now more than ever.  The buyers have more homes to choose from these days.  They are seriously looking at every option and then waiting.   Eventually new homes come up.  They still continue   looking and the cycle seems to be continuous.   “I like this house a lot; however I just want to keep looking in case there is something even better out there for us.  Next house please.”


“Are the prices really going down?  What should we do?  How long will it take my house to sell?  Where are all the showings?”  These are the questions I am hearing over and over again by the sellers, agents and admittingly me.


Let’s just take a deep breath and breathe in and out, slowly at first, now nice, normal, natural breaths.  There you are, in and out, in and out.  Relax, breathe and really

know that it’ll all work it self out in the end.  Or at least that is what I keep telling myself.


The market has shifted.  It is supply and demand.  We just have to adjust with the market.  Eventually, so it seems, we will experience what I remember being a normal market.  About eight to even sixteen years or so ago the normal time to sell a house was ninety to one hundred and twenty days, only if it was priced reasonable.


     The prices are adjusting because of the abundance of homes available and also the many areas available.  It used to be where people only wanted to live in one or two areas and had only the older homes to choose from.  There are so many new neighborhoods, subdivisions, rehabs and new construction.  So many ranges in price also make it hard to know how much is too much to spend.  Buyers are overwhelmed with options.  It is taking them on average seeing 30 homes and still not too sure if they are paying too much. 


     Sellers have to make adjustments not only on their price.  They also are being compared to all the other homes available.  Buyers are not even looking at homes that are not on the internet with pictures.  I tried not to put pictures of the inside, unless I was trying to show the tip top high quality condition. This way someone would see why that particular house might stand out as a better choice.  I resisted putting pictures in, or as many pictures in to get the buyers inside the home.  It made it easier to get feedback.  It is a process of elimination.  Only now you need to have pictures.  Buyers are eliminating, however it is done on line.   It is nerve racking for the sellers and their agents.  We realize they are not going physically into the house to be eliminated.


    Prices are being adjusted.  The market isn’t necessarily going down in prices.  It is that it did not go up in value this year.  And last years prices may have even been inflated too.  It seems to be adjusting to more of a fair market value.  In other words a leveling off period is in affect.  And I will ad that in the Chicago land areas there actually has been a slight increase overall.  It just doesn’t look like it because sellers and their agents were putting the houses up too high to start.  They and I included anticipated the usual increase of at least five to ten percent sometimes.  We are adjusting down.  Eventually we seem to hit a magic number that does bring the buyers into the homes. 


     When an offer does come in, even if it appears lower than what we had anticipated, we do take it seriously.  The sellers and their agents should really consider how long it took for that offer to come and also if they have the time to wait for a better one that may or may not come.  Many times the next offer is even lower.  It is also a time that the buyers are having inspections.  If something that may scare them does come up, the seller and their agents need to listen to requests and do them.   Otherwise we hear the buyers saying “Next house please.”  


     It is not a free for all, for the buyers.  It seems that it is more reasonable on both ends.     Considering that most sellers are also buyers it might be more like a wash.  So lets not listen to panic or drop our prices too low, just more reasonable for this adjusting period.  Values will continue to rise, just not at the same rate as the last seven years or so.  Supply and demand ebbs and flows.  So for sellers hopefully the “Next” house being sold is yours.


Mary Taylor Sticha
Realtor®, Broker Owner
LookSee Realty

, IL
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