Unusual markets can spur some unusual behavior, as today’s low level of homes for sale in the Chicagoland area proves. Over the summer, we began to observe some homebuyers in Chicago, as well as Northwest Indiana, Southeast Wisconsin and Southwest Michigan, employing fairly aggressive tactics to take homes off the market, even going so far as to make full-price or above-full-price offers sight unseen. We also began noticing that a lot of these homes were coming back on the market a couple of weeks later when the deals fell apart.
It turns out, buyers were using the equivalent of Chicago’s “this chair saves my parking space” tactic, tying up the listing with a contract and then using a minor inspection issue or other technicality to get out of the deal if the home didn’t check all the boxes. In our opinion, this is negotiating in bad faith, but how do you sniff it out and prevent it if you’re a home seller?