Slow sales in Windsor Essex housing market causing angst among sellers

Steve and Sylvia El-Helou built their house in Stoney Point in 2015, but now the couple want to liquidate that house and two other properties in Chatham-Kent, take their two daughters, and hit the road in an RV.

The spacious house has been on the market for a month. The price has been reduced from $1.2 million to $1.1 million and not a soul has come to see it.

“Personally, I just thought with the market the way things were going that it would sell fairly quickly,” said Sylvia, a teacher who plans to school the couple’s two daughters while traveling the continent.

The family needs to sell the house and two other properties to finance the odyssey.

“This has been the biggest thorn or hurdle that we have to cross,” said Steve.

At the peak of the house selling boom in March the average selling price in the Windsor Essex area was $723,739. It was down to $520,634 last month, according to the Windsor Essex County Association of Realtors.

Homes are taking several months to sell now such as this one on Parent Avenue. It has been on the market since mid-June (Dale Molnar/CBC)

“Selling a house is a real drag. It takes awhile and everything is in a box and you can’t find anything,” said Michael Tersigni, who has been living out of boxes packed and ready to move for the 87 days his parents Parent Avenue house has been on the market.

“My kids are all grown up now so me and my wife don’t need a house with all this room and we just want to downsize, but we can’t go anywhere,” said father Mario Tersigni, who says they have dropped the asking price from $499,000 to $399,000.

Mario and Michael Tersigni stand outside their home on Parent Avenue.  It has been up for sale since mid-June.
Mario and Michael Tersigni stand outside their home on Parent Avenue. It has been up for sale for about three months. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Real estate agent Jackie Patterson says balance has returned to the market where there are an equal number of sellers and buyers. She said the buyers have the luxury of taking more caution and getting homes inspected before buying.

“I know when I got into real estate the market was exactly like it is now where houses are sitting on the market for six months to a year,” said Patterson, adding that the average wait time is around a month.

The El-Helous say they can wait a while longer before selling but the delay is keeping them from experiencing their dream life.

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