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Chicago best market for home buyers, says Zillow

Homes For Sale Mount Greenwood area. Thursday June 20 2012 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Homes For Sale in the Mount Greenwood area. Thursday, June 20, 2012 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: August 12, 2012 6:40AM

Home buyers in Chicago have the most negotiating power in the country, according to a new study by the online real estate data company Zillow.

Chicago led the list of 50 large metro areas studied — followed by Milwaukee and Cleveland. Homes took longer to sell and buyers logged an average of five percent off the asking price. The study found in May 48 percent of homes in the Chicago area sold for less than their asking price after being listed for an average of 182 days.

New York, Philadelphia and Jacksonville also made the list behind Chicago.

The study defined a buyers’ market as one in which buyers have more bargaining power, thanks to listings lingering longer on the market and sellers being forced to cut asking prices.

On the other end of the spectrum, San Jose topped the list of cities in which sellers are in command — followed by San Francisco, Las Vegas, Sacramento and Phoenix.

Under the parameters of the study, a sellers’ market isn’t necessarily one where home values are rising, but is a market where sellers are more likely to sell their home for close to asking price and where listings spend less time on the market.

The Chicago suburbs of Downers Grove, Lockport, Buffalo Grove and Palatine scored the highest on the buyers’ index. The best suburbs for sellers were Bolingbrook and two Indiana cities, Crown Point and Valparaiso.

Home sales statistics from the month of May were analyzed in the report.

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