The bad news for sellers in Barrington is that there are a lot of other houses on the market to choose from. The good news is that homes are selling at a faster clip than last year. What hasn’t changed is the need to set realistic expectations.
“Sellers need to get real to get their homes sold,” says Melanie Parsons, a real estate agent with Keller Williams in Barrington. “They need to listen to their agent and price their property appropriately.”
This no nonsense approach, and a deep understanding of the Barrington market and community, has led Parsons to become the top selling agent in the Barrington area for Keller Williams Realty.
“Trends are neighborhood specific, for instance, different in North Barrington than South Barrington,” she says. “Not everybody necessarily needs five acres these days, although it may suit some buyer lifestyles. Market times in the village are considerably shorter because of the desirability to be near all the quaint shops and restaurants, and access to the train.”
Another piece of advice Parsons offers to potential sellers is that they must be committed to sell if they want to start the process of listing.
“You have to examine your motivation,” says Parsons. “There is a tremendous amount of preparation that goes into listing a house—staging; professional, drone and sometimes twilight photography; along with everything else to engage potential buyers. Sellers have to jump in with both feet. Now is not the time to test the market.”
Even if sellers invest in some improvements or deferred maintenance—as they should within reason—getting the price right from the start is still the key.
“Market time is not your friend, so if you price it right from the beginning, your property will sell faster and for more money.”
Parsons adds that regardless of how a property is priced, the market will always determine its value. If a property is priced too low, buyers know and the seller will get multiple offers. If it’s priced too high, it will just sit on the market. This is especially true for higher priced homes.
For buyers, it’s pretty much all good news. More homes on the market means more affordable options and more property and land for the money.
“There are so many properties and different options to choose from, buyers can find something that suits their lifestyle here in Barrington,” Parsons says.
For potential buyers looking at communities from which to choose, Parsons says Barrington has plenty to offer.
“Especially compared to the North Shore, Barrington offers the option of larger lot sizes,” she says. “Also, the train line runs right through town so it’s an easy commute downtown, and the schools are outstanding.”
Parsons has been selling homes and helping buyers in Barrington for more than 15 years, and her background in fine arts helps her “understand what a house is and what it can become.” She has a good eye for what needs to be done to get it sold.
“What is exciting to me about real estate is that each house is like Forrest Gump opening a box of chocolates,” she says. “When you open the door, you never know what you might get.”
What clients get from Parsons is a deep understanding of the local market, the various neighborhoods, and a commitment to helping them set expectations.
The proof is in results: her homes sell for 97.8 percent of the list price or average.
“I enjoy getting to know people. It’s all about helping them meet their real estate goals, whether that’s finding their dream house or the right home if they’re downsizing or investing,” she says. “Also, you’ve got to be a professional and know your numbers and trends in order to be in this business.”
Melanie Parsons is with Keller Williams, 600 Hart Rd. #105 in Barrington, 847-772-7179, barringtonrealestateexpert.com.