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Builders and agents: What their relationship means for the future of real estate

by Jason Porterfield

Like most of the nation, the housing market in Chicago is caught up in a perfect storm of high demand and low inventory. It’s the sort of situation that can offer phenomenal benefits for developers and the agents who work closely with them to find the right buyers for their properties. The Illinois Association of Realtors recently found that demand for housing remains strong in the Chicagoland market. With such a limited number of homes available and buyers still eager to snap up new homes at asking price or better, it becomes even more vital than ever for builders to stand out to their prospective clientele. Finding the right buyer for a property often requires the help of a knowledgeable real estate agent.

In the city of Chicago, home sales fell 1.7 percent year-over-year, from 3,321 to 3,266 in June 2017. Inventory was down by 14 percent statewide, from 68,720 homes last year to 59,088. Homes were on the market for an average of 49 days in June. Last June, they took an average of 55 days to sell.

A tight inventory remains a daunting obstacle to meeting demand. Chicagoland builders have responded by bringing new home construction up to its highest levels since the Great Recession, according to Metrostudy. During the first quarter of 2017, new housing starts were up 19.2 percent from the same period in 2016, with 7,249 units started, including single-family homes, condominium developments and duplexes across the Chicagoland area.

Builders work hard to foster relationships with agents, and there are numerous benefits for both sides. The developers receive the help of skilled professionals who know the properties they’re selling and can bring them to an established client base. Agents are helped by gaining access to prestigious new projects that they can market to those clients to solidify those relationships. We asked homebuilders in the Chicagoland area to share their experiences of working with agents. By and large, the relationship between homebuilders and agents has grown closer in recent years, which allows all parties to draw from the same pool of information and serve potential homebuyers better.

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