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One fixer-upper, 26 offers

Updated: August 15, 2013 6:46AM



The listing: “This 2-story home has lots of charm but needs some stimulating new ideas.”

In other words, a fixer-upper.

That didn’t stop 26 potential buyers from making an offer for the three-bedroom Old Town home that went on the market in early June, with an expected closing Monday. The bidding frenzy for the home, built in 1897, is an extreme example of the superhot sellers’ market that’s taken hold in some in-demand neighborhoods.

“This year for most single-family homes I’ve sold, I’ve had an average of three offers,” said veteran North Side real estate agent Jennifer Ames. “My market time has shrunk dramatically.
. . . Put a nice house in Lincoln Park [on the market], and oftentimes, they are selling in less than two to three weeks.”

The listing for the Old Town property with 26 offers shows a scruffy, unfinished basement and a dated kitchen, but it’s in a historic area where the home turnover rate is low and where an entry-level, single-family home starts at about $650,000, veteran brokers say.

“Some serious work is needed,” listing agent Burt Fujishima said. “It hasn’t been touched in 40 years.”

Originally listed at $500,000, the final sale price is expected to be 30 percent higher, he said. “Out of 26 offers, 14 were cash.”

Still, competitive bidding — even in the more exclusive neighborhoods — was almost unheard of until this spring, Ames said. “This year, it has become almost the norm for properly priced homes in good condition.”

Stefano Esposito



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