Chicago's Most Expensive Homes: Converted Substation Still For Sale After 838 Days

I first wrote about the ComEd substation at 924 N Clark St that had been converted into one of Chicago’s most expensive homes – a way cool luxury mansion – back in November of 2014. Since then I’ve also written a few follow ups about the price changes that followed the initial listing – the last of which I wrote in June 2015: Even More Bizarre Pricing On That Converted Substation. If you follow the links from one article to the prior one you will eventually get to my original post with the slide show.
Well, it’s been 838 days since the home was first listed and it’s still on the market. In fact, it just got relisted on Monday at it’s lowest price yet: $11.75 MM – still one of Chicago’s most expensive homes. When I say “relisted” I’m referring to a common realtor trick where we cancel the listing and then bring it back as a new listing the same day. It doesn’t really fool anyone regarding how long the home has been on the market because everyone can see the price history but it is good for popping up in front of buyers once again as a “New” listing and possibly getting additional attention.
Let’s review the history of this listing because it’s pretty interesting:

  • November 19, 2014 listed at $13.9 MM
  • April 23, 2015 relisted at $12.9 MM – possibly an error? See below.
  • 4 days later price raised to $13.9 MM
  • May 22, 2015 price raised to $15 MM
  • July 1, 2015 changed realtors, price unchanged
  • March 18, 2016 price lowered to $13.5 MM
  • April 22, 2016 price lowered to $12.5 MM
  • May 5, 2016 changed realtors, price unchanged
  • February 27, 2017 price lowered to $11.75 MM

This listing and it’s history demonstrate a few observations I like to periodically remind everyone about. First of all, notice that the sellers are now on their third realtor. There is an old saying in real estate that the preferred order in life is “first born, second wife, third realtor”. When a property doesn’t sell the seller concludes that it must be the realtor’s fault and often makes a change. I guess it just feels good to be able to blame someone and then take decisive action as a result. But after a seller changes realtors twice I guess they realize that just maybe something else is the problem.
It didn’t happen with this listing but sometimes the seller changes realtors while acknowledging that the price was too high by lowering the price for the next realtor. This move always leaves me scratching my head. So…clearly everyone agrees that the price was too high, the seller agrees to lower the price, but they simultaneously change realtors??? I could understand changing realtors if a realtor is clearly not doing their job in some concrete way but to change players just because the property did not sell when it was overpriced makes no sense.
The other observation is that this listing demonstrates pretty clearly that realtors don’t have any magic dust when it comes to determining the proper list price of many properties. That fact becomes really apparent when you look at the listing history of most really expensive homes in the Chicago area. There are often multiple price changes and long listing times because these homes are so unique that realtors don’t have good benchmarks to use in setting their prices. This also happens at lower price points whenever they are dealing with a unique property – e.g. it’s right next to the El track or it has a strange layout or extremely personal finishes – and a lot of properties are unique.
Speaking of unique…pretty much all homes at this stratospheric price level are unique as are their buyers and it’s no surprise that they can stay on the market this long. Just looking at the aggregate data across Chicago I can tell you that in February homes from $200K – $1 MM sold in 66 days on average while homes from $1 – 2 MM sold in 119 days and homes above $2 MM took 194 days to sell. As the price goes up it’s harder to price them and there are fewer and fewer buyers to choose from.
#ChicagoExpensiveHomes #ChicagoRealEstate #ExpensiveHomes
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area’s full service discount real estate brokerage. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think he’s the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.

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