Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : "WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FOR SALE?"


I hosted an open house at my listing in River Bend on Sunday.  The weather was fairly typical for an April day in Illinois.  Wet and raw.  Highs in the lower 50's...

Despite the inclement weather, the turnout was solid.  Nine groups came through...

The comments were fairly consistent.  Tons of space.  Gorgeous windows.  Love the neighborhood and the model...                                                                                                                                                

"But why are there so many for sale?" many visitors asked.

"There must be 30 homes for sale!" said one very impressed yet concerned visitor.

"Actually, there are 15," I answered, knowing the conversation wouldn't stop there.

"Why so many for sale?" asked the gentlemen.

Hmmm.  In just over three years as an agent, I have answered this question many, many times, especially in regards to River Bend.

Why are there so many for sale?

River Bend has 150 townhouses in it.  15 are for sale today.  That is 10%.

Seems high, but maybe not that surprising...

First off, oversupply is common in today's market.

Secondly, I feel in developments such as River Bend that were built between 5 and 10 years ago, the drop in the market can be even more glaring...

The average buyer of a townhouse generally lives in it about 5 years.  After 5 years, the typical buyer is looking for something a little bit different.  Perhaps they have outgrown it?  Maybe they want a yard?  

So when a development reaches maturity (after it has been sold out for 5 years or so), many owners are just starting to get the itch...

In a good market, that supply is quickly gobbled up.

In a tougher market like we are facing today, the results can be quickly dropping prices as well as a glut of inventory.

And that is what we have seen in River Bend and many other neighborhoods like it.

"At the end of the day, the number of homes for sale is not your problem," I remind my would-be buyer.  "It is your opportunity..."


A Realtor you can trust.



                                   Townhouse in River Bend, Lisle Illinois
                                   -River Bend on a sunny afternoon

                                   River Bend on a January day...
                                   -River Bend on a snowy day in January...




Comment balloon 12 commentsKen Tracy • April 20 2009 11:35AM


Good luck with selling your property! The home looks truly gorgeous and the snowy picture looks like a scene from a movie. In Northern Virginia we are starting to experience homes <$500k being "gobbled up" and off the market for full price or just under full price in a matter of days..! Hopefully this good news will extend out your way soon!

Posted by Gina Tufano, Ask Gina & Company, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Ask Gina & Company with Pearson Smith Realty) almost 9 years ago


That's always a tough question. Even in a good market chances are that 5% of the homes will be for sale.

Featured in the group "Whacked!!!"

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 9 years ago

Ken, It can be hard to correct a buyer on the number of homes for sale cause you don't want to come across as disagreeable.  I completely agree with you about the over supply of homes on the market.

Posted by K.T. Ruthven, ePro (McKinney Realty of Aiken) almost 9 years ago

Great pics.  I typically say "10%(or whatever it is) is a bit high.  We may be in one of the greatest buying opportunities we may ever see.  If inventory were at 4-5% we would not be seeing the deals that are out here; so you can either buy when the market is low and inventory is a bit high or wait until inventory is low and prices are back up.  Does that make sense?"  Now they should have a picture that this is the time to move on something.

Posted by TIM MONCRIEF, Over 2,000 homes sold….. (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Ken... given the market and the economy I would say that 10% seems lie a very reasonable and manageable number.  Tim tells a good story with his explanation... I'd use it! :)

Posted by Steve Shatsky almost 9 years ago

Ken - That's awesome that you had 9 groups come through. That looks like a really nice community.

Posted by Robert Schwabe, Orange Park Real Estate (EXP Realty) almost 9 years ago

I don't understand why buyers ask this question. Did they watch the news even once last year? I have my own standard answers but on this question I just want to reply golly gee don't you know one thing about cause and effect?

Posted by Sabrina Kelley, Woodland Park Colorado Mountain Homes and Land (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Hi Ken,

That is great 9 people.  One of the things people forget is that real estate is about a home and people change their needs over the years. It is not just an investment.

Good luck with the townhome and the new buyers!

All the best!

Posted by Kevin O'Shea, White Plains, NY Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 9 years ago

Hi Kevin, Sabrina, Robert, Steve, Tim, KT, Richard and Gina.  Thanks for commenting.

Thanks for the Whacked Feature (my first!) too.

There are some large sign posts in this neighborhood that make it look worse.

Perhaps if they all listed with me!:)

Yes 9 groups was awesome.  The neighborhood has a lot of interest.  It is in a good spot.

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 9 years ago

I have to ask? How can I get my open houses to get 9 groups?

Posted by Nannette Hilliard, CDPE, ABR, CRS (Century 21 Zwygart Green County Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

This becoming a very common question, especially in larger communities. I've had to deal with it myself from time to time.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 9 years ago

Hi Nannette and JL.  Thanks for reading.

Nine groups was great.  Felt odd, especially considering the weather.  The day before, on a condo in Naperville, I had two groups come by.  Sometimes nobody comes.

I keep having them.:)

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 9 years ago

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