Dropping home prices, available inventory lead to increased demand among Evanston homebuyers

I 100% quote the “Daily Northwestern and Edward Cox here. I do so out of self satisfaction because he interviewed me and other Realtors and mentioned my name.

January 27, 2013

Longtime Evanston resident Dorothy King had lived in her spacious four-bedroom home for about 20 years and was ready to move to smaller living quarters.

King’s home was snapped up in six days last spring, and buyers wanted to move in quickly, giving King only a few months to find a condominium.

“The building went out so fast that I thought, ‘There can’t be much trouble in the real estate industry,’” King said.

Real estate brokers serving Evanston and the Cook County region at-large agree that the housing market is starting to recover from the fallout of the housing bubble’s late-2007 burst. Since 2008, the median home price in the region has declined by nearly a fourth, according to Midwest Real Estate Data.

The data aggregator reports that the combination of a decrease in home inventories and falling median prices have sparked demand for homes from investors and first-time buyers.

“We’re so hot right now everything coming in is selling … rates are low and prices are low,” housing broker Mary Summerville said, adding Evanston’s real estate situation is greatly impacted by the comings and goings of Northwestern faculty and students.

Several North Shore-area home brokers similarly said people’s feelings about the housing markets have changed. Homebuyers are cautiously but steadily competing for property, convinced the prices of homes on the market have already hit rock bottom.

The December 2012 median sales price for Evanston homes fell by 20 percent compared to December 2011, according to a Coldwell Banker report, accompanied by a similar increase in rising closed home sales.

Martin Walsh, chairman of the North Shore-Barrington association of the Illinois Association of Realtors, said first-time homebuyers are returning to the market, contributing to a “cascading effect” where buyers’ move to cities prompts sellers’ move to suburbs such as Evanston.

“(The market) is a lot less scary now, and first-time homebuyers are competing with investors,” Walsh said. “First-time homebuyers really drive the market, they’re the ones who buy the condominiums and townhouses in the city … and enable people who are married and have kids to move into the suburbs.”

In Evanston, typical sellers include “empty nesters,” families whose children have moved out, as well as people who have transferred jobs, Coldwell Banker agent Noah Seidenberg said. First-time homebuyers and investors hoping to rent out their properties are among those moving in.

“Evanston is a good place to move because it’s so close to the city and it does not have the suburban feel,” Seidenberg said. “People decide to move to Evanston to start a family.”

And if consumers feel cautious after the economic downturn, one broker said they may feel more attached to their homes.

Broker Hasani Steele (McCormick ’99), who is involved in home development, said clients are willing to pay moderately-high prices for a recently refurbished home.

“If someone has something that they really love, they are going to fight to keep it,” Steele said.

After selling her home, King had her eye on a cozy two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium on Central Street that she initially lost to another woman in a bidding war. Three weeks later, however, the transaction fell through and she bought it.

“It seems like there’s not enough houses to show people, I think things are loosening up,” King said of the housing market. “I may be sorry I sold when I did, but I think things are looking much better.”

– See more at: http://dailynorthwestern.com/2013/01/27/city/dropping-home-prices-available-inventory-lead-to-increased-demand-among-evanston-homebuyers/#sthash.eerXuypw.dpuf

My First Day as a Realtor Scared as Can Be In Evanston Illinois

I remember how excited I was to become a Realtor. This was in the good old days and homes sold themselves. I thought I could just jump in there and become an instant success. Boy was I wrong. I had previous sales experience and was over confident.

I studied the classes we had to take and asked a lot of questions. It seemed more like a business law class then how to be a Realtor now that I look back. After the class was over I did the practice tests for the licensing again and again. I was over kill because when I went in I wiped through the test and was the first person to finish and passed. I had really taken my time doing so, I have this problem of being a perfectionist or maybe it’s OCD?

I was referred to Coldwell Banker in Evanston Illinois by the wife of a fellow I worked out with at the health club, I was going at least 5 times a week. This turned out to be a great experience because the manager and I hit it off and she took me under her wing as far as procedures and asking questions. That gave me even more enthusiasm for starting the work.

The day came where I started work. Coldwell Banker made us go through a 2 week all day courses called “Quick Start”. There were many motivational speakers there and other successful realtors telling their stories of how they made zillions of sales. I enjoyed the class.

Then came the first day of work. I was given a desk and then left on my own. I saw everyone on the phone and I used my friends and business associates to announce that I was now selling homes but it didn’t click all that easy at first. The scary thing was floor duty. We had a desk up at the front and as the calls came in during your 2 hour shift you had to service their needs. I was slow at first and I remember the front desk woman telling me as I was on the phone that there were multiple calls holding and then she finally gave me a list of who to call back. We had floods of calls and sometimes 2 people at once needed for floor duty.

I got a few successful sales through floor but finally figured it out and did things my own way. I used computers, the internet and this was before many people even knew what that was all about. It is funny to me that now most everyone does this. The stereo-type of being a pillar of the community was not the only way to get business.

I have good days and bad but I have had many many happy clients (a few unhappy) but I still love my work and will do it until I am unable to walk or talk.


Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker Evanston
Toll Free (800) 858-7917
Office (847) 316-8529
Fax (847) 939-5636
On the web:
Real Estate Specialist Chicago-land and Suburbs
Licensed Illinois real estate broker

Great Experience with a buyer

Lets start the day with a good story.

I had a buyer who called me up and was moving from the east coast. The couple looked at listings I sent them from the MLS for 6 months and I was beginning to wonder if it was for real. The wife did all the commenting but they did view online. You never know.

Then one day she called me up and said “we are ready to move to Evanston Il and are coming in 2 weeks can you give me the weekend to tour?’ I was glad to help and she sent me a list of what they wanted to see and some of them were not on the search I set up for them. I used their criteria they gave me so I do not consider it to be my fault.

There was 15 houses on the list they wanted so see that Saturday. I called her and said I think that is too many and you will have trouble remembering every property. She responded with “I have moved 3 times in 5 years and I know what I am doing”. So I said I aim to please and if that is the way you want to do it lets go.

We went out and saw all 15 homes and hit it off in a great way. We were laughing and having a good time riding around in my car all day. I always give the client print outs from the MLS and a pen (wsith my info on it) to take notes but they did not use them. By the end of the day they were talking about every house like someone with a great memory.

On Sunday we saw about 5 houses from the group they said they liked. The following weekend they flew in from Boston and wrote a contract on a house in North West Evanston Il which is a great area. During that time they were telling me stories about other realtors they had in the past and how controlling they were and how the last one lied to them and had an inspector lie about the condition of the home they bought leaving all the choices up to the realtor who set everything up and it turned out to be a bad experience.

A month later they came back and closed using my choice of inspector and attorney. As we were walking to the car at the end the wife said to me “Noah you ae a fantastic realtor, you let me drive this deal and you never said no or we have to do it my way”. I love the home we bought and how you never pushed us”. She hugged me. The husband who was always quiet said “I agree this was great I think you are the best and I love the area”. He handed me a gift card to a great food store and I drove back to the office with tears in my eyes.