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Q1 Real Estate Market Update- Good time to be a seller!

The first three months of 2018 proved to be challenging for the Chicagoland real estate market.  While the economy and the job market continued to perform well, the lack of supply of real estate available for sale has reached new lows.  The real estate agents are blaming supply as the most important driver of the slowdown in the number of closed sales in the first three months of the year.  So let’s look at some of the data to see if this theory holds true.

Homes available for sale

At the end of March 2018 there were 33,412 homes available for sale in the region of the market covered by the Midwest Real Estate Data service (MRED), which covers approximately 19 counties of the Northern Illinois and surrounding areas.  This is approximately 16% less homes available for sale in comparison to the same period last year.  At the end of March 2017 there were 39,997 homes available for sale.  Additionally, the number of new homes hitting the market has dropped each of the first three months of the year in comparison to the 2017.

Market Supply

As a consequence of the lack of the new homes on the market, the “month’s supply” measure (indicating how many months would it take to sell out of the current inventory if no new homes are listed) at the end of the March 2018 was 3.1.  This number has been keeping steady since December 2017.  As a reminder, a good, balanced market, is when the “month’s supply” gauge is somewhere between 6-7 months.  The current measure of 3.1 indicates a strong seller’s market.

Average Home Price

In support of the number indicated above is the fact that the average sales price continues to climb up.  At the end of March 2018 the average sales price was $230,000.  This, in comparison to $220,000 the year before, yields a modest 4.5% increase in an average property value.  It is observed that the largest increases in the property values came from the lower priced homes, while the larger homes, particularly in Lake County, have seen stagnant, if not declining prices.  This is mainly due to very high property taxes which are driving away some of the demand for these homes. 

Interest Rates

When talking about the Q1 of 2018 it is difficult not to touch the topic of interest rates.  There was a lot of discussion about interest rates and how the FED has increased, and plans to continue to increase interest rates few more times this year.  While rate hikes by FED are not directly related to mortgage rates, a correlation can be made between the two events.  The mortgage rates have indeed increased and a conventional 30 year mortgage will now cost you somewhere around 4.25-4.5%, depending on the creditworthiness of the borrower.  According to the, the average 30 year interest rate at the end of March 2018 was 4.44%, with .5% points, while at the end of March 2017 this rate was 4.2% with the same point percentage.  Clearly, the interest rates are on the rise and this can be considered an impediment for the homebuyer.  However, it is important to note that despite this increase in mortgage rates, the rates are still considered to be some of the lowest in history, and as such, a good deal for the borrower.

Market Activity

All this leads us to a measure of market activity (number of closed sales) for the Q1 of 2018.   Due to all the factors mentioned above, the market activity has indeed subsided in the first three months of this year in comparison to the same period last year.  The number of closed sales in the MRED region in the first three months of the year was 22,556, in comparison to 24,193 in the same period last year.  This yields a 6.8% reduction in closed sales.  While this number can be considered significant, the real estate agents are hopeful that the number of closed sales in 2018 will rebound and at least meet the number of closed sales in 2017.  Realtors are hoping for more seller movement at the end of the school year, which should help the buyers who have been looking for a while to find their perfect home.  And as the interest rates should not be changing significantly at least until June this year, the Q2 of 2018 should be a good time for both buyers and sellers.   

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Congrats to Paige L!

Congrats to Paige L. on the purchase of her new home in Wonder Lake. Paige was a new client to Enterprise Realty Brokers and we thank her for using our services. We look forward to working with Paige in the future and we wish her the best of luck in her beautiful new home.
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New Agent- Welcome Giorgia

We would like to welcome the newest addition to our team, Giorgia Kusic. Giorgia joined Enterprise Realty Brokers because she recognized the quality that our company offers to its clients. She wanted to be a part of a growing company where she can truly make a difference. She brings another level of energy and passion for real estate to our team. Giorgia will primarily service the southwest Chicago suburbs. She speaks English and Serbian. You can reach her by calling 708-340-3668 or emailing [email protected]





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ERB Welcomes Val Popovic

Enterprise Realty Brokers welcomes Val Popovic, an experienced real estate broker specializing in the representing buyers and sellers of residential real estate in the city of Chicago and suburban areas. With dozens of successful deals behind him Val brings the experience and quality of service to our company. Val is a great addition to our team and we look forward to working with him in the years to come.  To reach Val please call 312-780-9300 or via email at [email protected]


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How to Make a Good First Offer on a House

March 21st 2017- Many people are drawn to the American dream of home ownership but they never realize how complex it can be until they get right in the middle of the process. Of course, having an experienced real estate agent to guide you is definitely an advantage. In spite of that, many people believe that low-balling on their first offer on a house is the way to go. After all, who knows? Maybe the owners are so desperate to sell that they’ll accept the low offer.

Though buying a great home at a low price is everyone’s dream, it normally doesn’t work. In many cases, the owners are offended by the offer and won’t even make a counter offer. How sad to see someone lose out on a home they’ve spent months searching for. So what should your first offer on a house be?

This is a question often asked by our clients here at Enterprise Realty Brokers. Though our commission is higher if you pay more, that never influences our decision or advice. As professionals in the home buying business, we want our clients to get a great deal. However, we don’t like to see clients lose out on a house they love just because the offer was presented wrong. Instead, we work together with our clients to help them arrive at a number they feel good about, and a number that’s strong enough to win if there are multiple offers.

If you’ve searched for months to find that perfect house, then it’s definitely our goal to help you get it at the lowest possible price. We arrive at that number by utilizing several helpful resources. This includes years of experience and the helpful insights available from the Multiple Listing Services (MLS). Here, we can quickly discover the average home price in a specific neighborhood. That’s a great way to learn what you can expect to pay for a comparable home in any area.

A long time adage for real estate agents, the location of your home is paramount. Sometimes home values vary greatly when there’s only a mile or so between a prime, highly desired location and a not-so-great location right next to the railroad tracks.

Of course, a lot goes into deciphering those figures. For example, based on data provided by the Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) service for real estate agents in the Midwest, the closing price of a property in February 2017 was on average 97.1% of the last listing price of the property.  With the demand for real estate increasing, this percentage has grown steadily over the years.  In comparison, this ratio was lowest in Feb 2012 at 94.1%.

Does that seem confusing? For the average consumer, it is. But that’s why you pay commissions to an experienced broker. It is our job to know what all this means and use the information to your advantage.

Online portals like Trulia and Zillow, as well as the county assessor’s office, provide estimated values of the property or estimated value ranges.  Using just one of these resources may not be completely indicative of the property value, but using multiple resources and comparing the results should start to paint a clearer picture.

Another expectation from every real estate agent is the ability to produce a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).  Every real estate agent should be able to produce a good CMA that includes an analysis of past sales in the area. The CMA should include the condition of the home as well, something that online portals and the tax assessor are unable to consider.  This is crucial especially for those properties that are in very poor or extremely good condition.  While online portals and the county assessor’s office mainly focus on the rules of averages (property condition), CMA can really take into account the condition of the property and the value it adds or subtracts.

Possibly the most important consideration is what the property is worth to you.  Being near a good school or your job can cause buyers to pay more for a house. Other factors like these include the desire to be near family or friends, or simply a love for the neighborhood. People will sometimes pay a small premium to get homes like this.  And we see nothing wrong with that.  The fact is that you will be spending a good amount of your life in the home and your family’s happiness is worth something.

Working with the right real estate agent who can point these things out is very important.  Buying a home is not an easy process.  It is usually one of life’s biggest investments. To have the best possible experience, it’s essential to work with an agent who cares about your goals.

Enterprise Realty Brokers was founded in 2006 with the simple objective of offering our clients the best real estate services available. We strive to help you locate and buy your dream home at the lowest price.  We go the extra mile for each client to help them achieve their real estate goals.  We’ve altered the playing field in real estate by focusing on technology and data to deliver the best services and great results to each client.

When you’re ready to sell and buy residential real estate in the areas of Cook, Lake and DuPage County, we hope you’ll give us a call. We have the experience to assist you in every way, giving you the advantage over other home buyers.

By Dan Cuckovic, Managing Broker/Owner, Enterprise Realty Brokers, Inc.