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Domain Realty blog: The status of the current real estate market in Chicago — and what it means for both buyers and sellers

The Chicago market is, for lack of a better word, aggressive. There is a lack of inventory for buyers right now. There’s a stat that says for every Lincoln Park home, there are six buyers. So what’s going on is that things that are desirable and priced well, you have to anticipate moving quickly and not having a lot of time to necessarily process and digest what you’re buying. Because the properties that are desirable are moving that quickly.

You also have to anticipate multiple offers, so a lot of times we’re recommending to our clients to bid as close to the list price as you can and you’re comfortable with, and to not really ask for a lot of concessions.

That trend is prevalent all over Chicago, but especially the north side, anywhere from Lincoln Park and Lakeview to Lincoln Square. And even some of the outlying areas like Jefferson Park or Edison Park. If something is desirable, if something has value, it’s going to go. So buyers don’t really have the ability to have cold feet. Once they’ve missed out on an opportunity, which inevitably is going to happen because either they haven’t gotten to the property fast enough or they just took their time with it, they learn quickly that that’s the case.

In Logan Square for instance, we have clients looking for two- and three-unit buildings, and they’re just not there. People aren’t selling because, in that particular scenario, rents are increasing in that area because of gentrification, and owners see that. So when they do list it, and list it at a good price, they can anticipate that there are going to be multiple offers and they’re not going to be willing to concede on a lot of things, even after a home inspection.

We have a client buying in a high-rise market downtown, and there were two issues that he had that, in a different market, he probably would’ve had addressed. There was some water damage to the floor near a sliding glass door, and there was a crack in the wall from the building settling. And unfortunately, because he was the first offer in and because he didn’t offer full list price but they did accept it, the seller wasn’t willingto give any kind of credit or anything. And the client is having a hard time digesting that.