How Does Goodwill Come into Play in Chicago Listings?

When you and your Realtor sit down to arrive at your property’s Chicago listing price, there is no controversy about the mutual goal. The object is to arrive at the highest figure that will attract the greatest amount of interest from qualified buyers. That it will also begin the process of getting to the signing table in the shortest time is built into that objective. The only mystery is how many qualified buyers will be currently searching the Chicago listings for just such a home.

That sounds a little simpler than it is in reality. The most basic element that goes into establishing the listing price is the Chicago “comps”—recent sale prices for comparable homes. But since no two properties are exactly the same, that is just a departure point: the most scientific part of what is actually more of an art. Other elements can be the momentum of the local market (are the prices people are willing to pay on the move? Up or down?), the relative condition of the property, the comparative desirability of the home’s location within the neighborhood, etc.

And when it comes to one of the least definable elements, there is the elusive “goodwill.” In standard business lingo, “goodwill” is a measure of the reputation of a business, which works out to the difference between the price paid for it and the fair market value of just its assets. That difference—the goodwill value—is something not usually considered in discussions of residential real estate. But that might be a mistake. To the extent that buying a home has an emotional component, goodwill in Chicago real estate is intangible, but real.

Goodwill in our realm is the emotional component—the ‘vibe’ that surround the property being listed. That factor will differ in how it affects any given prospective buyer—it is largely a subjective reaction. Of course, a property with high “curb appeal” will dependably rate higher on everybody’s initial “goodwill” meter. Likewise, one in prime condition will appeal to virtually everyone. A home that otherwise rates well—but which is too close to a noisy intersection—will almost always lose goodwill (in the most extreme cases, there may be such a thing as badwill!)

There is also the aura surrounding any given Chicago listing itself. For most of today’s buyers, the initial exposure to a home for sale is via its listing, so the allure of the photos and the descriptive language can be engaging, or off-putting, or nothing special (truly, a wasted opportunity). That’s where I come in. As your selling agent, I’ll make sure we get the most out of our Chicago listing. Making it a goodwill-generating machine is what I strive for. Call me when it’s time to sell—I’ll show you what I mean!

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