Archives for November 2012
Should you sell your Glenview home during the holidays?? Watch Missy’s response here!
Low interest rates and inventory fuel home sales
Existing-home sales in the Chicago area turn in their best October since 2006
November 19, 2012|By Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune reporter
More homes were sold in the Chicago area last month than in any October since 2006, fueled by low interest rates and buyer sentiment that prices may finally be stabilizing and, in some areas, moving off the bottom.
Sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums in the nine-county Chicago area totaled 8,326 properties in October, according to figures released Monday by the Illinois Association of Realtors. While below some of the monthly sales totals recorded earlier in the year, the volume was an increase of 11.3 percent over September and 44.1 percent higher than the 5,776 homes sold in October 2011.
Within the city of Chicago, 2,009 homes were sold in October, an improvement of 8.8 percent over September and up 53.1 percent from October 2011.
The strong sales continued to remove inventory from the market, a requirement before prices can rise. The number of Chicago-area homes listed for sale is at its lowest in five years, according to Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, the local multiple listing provider.
“Buyer confidence is up,” said Robert John Anderson, a Baird & Warner real estate agent. “I was running around Saturday and Sunday and bumping into the same brokers and they all looked tired and busy. It’s exciting.”
The shortage of inventory, while lessening the choices for potential homebuyers, assists the market’s recovery, and not only because it will drive up prices of available homes. When those homes sell, the benefit also will extend to nearby underwater homeowners, making them a little less underwater, noted Gene Amromin, senior financial economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Meanwhile, the number of pending home sales in the Chicago area, meaning properties that are under contract but have not closed, totaled 10,364 in October, the highest it has ever been except for April 2010, when home sales benefited from federal homebuyer tax credit programs, according to Midwest Real Estate Data.
“If something is priced well and it shows well, it’s going to sell,” said Missy Jerfita, an agent at Koenig & Strey Real Living who has two offers on a home she listed just two weeks ago. “I tell people leave it on the market. There isn’t a lot of competition. If you wait until the spring, there’ll be a lot of competition.”
For the Chicago area as a whole, the median price of a home was $153,000, the lowest it has been since March but still ahead 2.1 percent from October 2011’s $149,900.
Within the city, the median price rose to $175,000, up 8 percent from a year earlier, but again the lowest monthly price recorded since March. In the condo market, the median price fell 8.7 percent from September, to $210,000. However, that sum was a 13.5 percent increase from October 2011.
The median is the point at which half the homes are sold for more and half for less.
Real estate investor Mike Kaplun calls the condo market “a little iffy,” but he’s still scouting for potential properties that he can buy low now and rent as apart ments, with an eye toward selling them as condos when the market stabilizes.
Why not wait?
“Then you miss out completely,” he said. “Right now you can get properties in good, affluent areas.”
Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, a University of Illinois economist, attributed the improved sales performance to a slowly improving economy, stronger consumer confidence and continued low mortgage rates.
The monthly average commitment rate for the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in the Chicago area was 3.36 percent in October, compared with 3.49 percent in September and 4.07 percent in October 2011, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.
However, financing will remain a hurdle for some would-be buyers. The average FICO score on closed first mortgages was a very high 750 in October, the same as it was in August and September, according to Ellie Mae, a provider of mortgage origination services.
On a national level, existing-home sales rose 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday. October’s median home price of $178,600 was an increase of 11.1 percent from a year earlier.
“Our housing market has momentum it hasn’t seen in years,” U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a conference call with reporters Monday.
Check out this awesome article by Jackie Pilossoph featuring our very own Missy Jerfita!
Former actress sets stage for real estate
Updated: November 6, 2012 5:21PM
GLENVIEW — Some say 2011 was the worst year for real estate in decades.
Yet, real estate broker Missy Jerfita had her best year ever and will tell you it all comes down to proven results and trust.
“I think we’ve developed a good reputation,” said Jefita, who has lived in Glenview with her husband and two children since 2002. “In hard times, people don’t want to take a risk, so they go with someone who is proven.”
Jerfita has been an agent for Koenig & Strey since 2003, and said she got into the business with the goal of selling just a couple houses per year for some extra income, but ended up with sales that were over $10 million in her first year.
A former actress who had roles in several commercials, corporate videos and even a part in Chicago’s well-known comedy play, “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,” Jerfita credits her acting career for her ability to persevere and achieve such great results in real estate.
“Acting set the tone of why I’m successful because you have to be fearless to be an actor,” she said, “You go into an audition and there are seven people watching and judging you behind the camera, so you develop a thick skin and you’re not afraid of failure. So, I wasn’t afraid to pick up the phone or knock on doors and get rejected.”
Jerfita also came up with a strategy early on in her career. She decided to develop a niche in the Glen.
“There were so many realtors who did everything, so I thought, ‘I’m going to be good at one area and if anyone wants to move or live in the Glen, I am going to be that person they contact,’” said Jerfita, who also lives in the Glen. “So I went on a mission to learn as much as I could about the Glen.”
Matt and Sandy Walsh recently hired Jerfita to sell their home in the Glen. It went under contract in one week.
“I think the fact that it sold so quickly is a combination of a good house and a good agent,” said Matt, “Missy has such great knowledge of the market and we felt comfortable with her immediately.”
Over the years, Jerfita has branched out into other areas of Glenview and beyond, and has a team of five other specialists who work under her, including three buyers agents, a city agent, a North Shore specialist and an assistant. As for herself, Jefita now only works with sellers.
When she gets a new client, she said she doesn’t put the house on the market right away.
“I spent a lot of time de-cluttering, staging the home if necessary, and doing touch ups, things like painting, fixing loose door handles, making the lighting better, tidying up landscaping, and other changes that will make the home more attractive,” she said.
Jerfita said the first couple weeks a home is on the market is the most important, because all the buyers have seen everything, and are waiting for a new house.
“Missy gave us suggestions and we ended up refinishing the floor, painting, doing some necessary repairs and cleaning up the yard,” said Dagmar Embree, a client of Jerfita’s whose Glenview house recently sold in 10 days. “She also priced the house right and did a great presentation.”
As for the current market, Jerfita said this is a good time to sell because a lot of people cannot afford to sell, so inventory is down 30 percent in Glenview.
“My goal is to make my clients raving fans,” said Jerfita, “I want them to say, ‘Wow! They made it so easy for us.”
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