Home Selling in Chicago>Question Details

ariesgal63, Renter in Chicago, IL

My husband and I bought our 4 bedroom, 2 bath condo in the Lakeview area in 2010 for $535,000 and now that we are considering divorce

Asked by ariesgal63, Chicago, IL Mon Jun 10, 2013

I talked to a realtor and she said that the house is worth less than what we paid for, the only way to make money is by waiting couple years and I don't want to wait.

What are my options? Should I sell and take a loss? We might break even if we listed it a little higher price that we paid for? Who knows?

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Evelyn S. Fred’s answer
First, sorry to hear about your pending divorce, not an easy time in your life I'm sure.

I totally agree with Bill.

Rentals for a 4/bedroom in Lakeview range from $2595 - $6800. Without know what your place looks like and how it compares to the others it is difficult to determine where in the scale your rental would price out.

Homes for sale (not sold) in the area range from $449k - $565k.

Hope this helps during this very difficult time in your life.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Thanks so much for all your input. I did find a realtor that recently sold a few homes in my area very quickly. She sounded very optimistic so I am working with her on this. Let's see, maybe we'll end up making a little money out of this sale.

I am not going to short sale. That's a bad idea.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Excellent. Best of luck with the sale.
Flag Tue Jun 11, 2013
Lots of good answers here. Have you considered buying your new place and THEN dealing with a short sale? If you do the short sale it will be at least 2 years before you can get another mortgage. If this is possible for you to do it may allow you to still get a great price on a new place and then deal with all the rest.

My office is in Lakeview and I'd be glad to discuss your options and the value of your current home.


Deb Russcol, GRI
The Realtor Who Listens to Your Needs!

Direct and Fax 773/353-9185
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013

1) reconcile your differences and keep on living in the home
2) one of you stays in the home and buys the other one out at fair market value
3) rent out the home, split the income and expenses, and sell at a later date - (4Br in Lakeview will rent very quickly)
4) Sell the home now and move on with your lives
What you paid for it has nothing to do with what it is worth.

Work with a Realtor to determine the current market value, list and sell the home, and then move on.

Should you need any assistance, please contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Good Morning,

I would invite a handful of agents over to your property and interview them. Over 90% of the real estate agents out there don't know how to market and sell homes. You may have ad an average agent come by who doesn't understand the metrics, absorption rates, inventory, market trends, etc and could be throwing numbers your way. For all of my clients I put a strategic pricing plan in place as we both know that you want to maximize the amount you walk away from the house with. Sounds simple however you will find very few agents understand even this simple step, which goes along with the other 3 reasons why homes sell or don't sell.

I would invite 5 top agents.. like me.. to stop over and give you a value as well as show you what they would do to ensure the sale of your condo.

Sohail A. Salahuddin | Founder and Team Leader

Innovative Property Consultants Group | Sales and Leasing


Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

425 W. North Ave. | Chicago, IL 60610 

O: 312.335.3230 | C: 312.437.7799 | F: 847.805.6030

"Extraordinary Service For Extraordinary Lives"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Hi Aries Gal,

Lots of good information so far. Here's one more brief series of caveats:

It may well be that your condo is flat in value to where you purchased in 2010. It also is conceivable that you have gained traction to where you purchased but this relies on the specifics of your home. By this I mean its location, finish quality, layout, school district, and exterior construction (brick or block or frame). A final consideration having blended all the other elements together is what else is now on the market.

The current market has spiked radically in favor of sellers due almost exclusively to the lack of inventory. At the same time there are droves of buyers waiting in anticipation for the home that is right for them amid historically low interest rates.

In the past two months I have listed a number of homes that were quick turn arounds for my sellers. Two had purchased in the last year and one in 2008. In each instance the traction we experienced was remarkable - 10% gain for a Southport Corridor penthouse, 9% gain for Lincoln Park loft and a nearly 20% gain for an East Village duplex from where it was listed less than a year ago.

These results are both situational (where the home is located and how it compares to what else is available) and related to the marketing strength your broker brings to the table for your as a selling client. Lots of folks want your listing. There are far fewer brokers who have the sheer and simple capacity to thrust your dwelling into a marketing orbit that yields results.

Perhaps my track record as one of the city's top brokers since 2002 will prove beneficial to you as you ready for this transition. I will be more than happy to meet with you to discuss at greater length. My contact information is below.

Tom McCarey
Broker Associate
The Real Estate Lounge with @properties
Direct - 773.848.9241
Email - tom.mccarey@atproperties.com
Nearly $200 Million in Personally Negotiated Transactions
Licensed to Sell Real Estate in IL with @properties - 1586 Clybourn - Chicago IL 60642
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
email me at jmichaels@remax.net to discuss your options
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Hi Aries, start with getting another opinion. You live in an area of the city with excellent market performance over the last year and strong demand. If value does not work out, we go from there. Too many variables to give solid advice without knowing more.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Have a market analysis done to see how things are trending in your immediate area. Is your home updated? Is your association healthy with reasonable reserves? I often will suggest what improvements can be made at minimal cost to garner the highest return and help you stage the home to sell it faster. Once you know what price range your home would sell at you can figure your expenses to see where you stand. Can you rent in your building? I'd be happy to assist you with no obligation. Prices are on the rise in your area. Email me if I can help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Take your time. Work on your personal life first. If it cant work out, explore the short sale option. But dont just jump right into a big decision so quickly.

When the time is right, speak to a few agents, and see who you mesh best with.
Web Reference: http://Americorpre.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
In behavioral economics what you are feeling is called loss aversion. The reality is that the loss has already occurred. It's just a question of whether or not you recognize it. Somehow people mistakenly believe that the loss becomes more real when they actually sell. The real question is what better use do you have for the money right now. This is a much longer discussion that involves the financing aspect of your original purchase but let's simplify and say the condo can only be sold for $500,000 now. If you were sitting on $500,000 right now would you buy that condo? Definitely not. Therefore, you would rather have the money than the condo. So why would you keep it? Therefore, you should sell. Is that $500,000 better invested in that condo or some alternative asset? If the condo will only appreciate by 5%/ year but you can invest at a higher rate than that then you should get rid of it and put the money elsewhere.

Also, the list price is irrelevant. You're not going to fool anyone by making it higher. If it's worth 500K then listing it at 600K will not get you any more money than listing it at 550K. It will just sit longer until you drop the price.

As I said this is a much longer discussion so please feel free to call me at 312-738-0232.
Web Reference: http://LucidRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013

I am not from your area; however having been in your situation in the past it is good to get sound advice as you consider your options.

It is absolutely correct that you need someone in your corner as you navigate this challenge, You need an aggressive on-line marketing plan. That is the key to success in selling your home in today's world.

You also need to find a realtor who you are comfortable in working with and knows your area. It is important to establish a trusted relationship. It is worth your time to interview at least three realtors. Ask each realtor to provide a market analysis for homes in your immediate neighborhood and compare what they have to share.

At this time in many areas the market is down. If you can not wait to sell you may need to examine how best to pay the mortgage off and move forward. A trusted realtor can help you with this.

This should get you started. I hope it helps. I wish you the best!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Hi there,

Although I'm not the first to respond I definitely hope you'll find my response helpful and will hopefully work with me as your Realtor!

Although I respect what this Realtor mentioned it is honestly best to talk to a couple in order for you to be confident in what is being told to you. After all, it's a huge sale and you two want to be sure of your decision, especially when it comes to either paying money out of pocket or actually walking away free and clear. One huge plus is that your home is a 4BD in the Lakeview neighborhood. Larger units are EXTREMELY popular with buyers because people know they can't buy a place and sell it in a year when they grow out of it. Buyers want space and when you combine having a 4BD with a lack of inventory your home will likely be extremely popular with buyers thus likely commanding top dollar.

Now, all of this depends on many other things and there is no true way for me to give you an accurate list price without physically viewing your home so if you would like I would love for us to come up with a day/time for me to stop over, introduce myself and get a quick look in order for me to give you a truly accurate list price. It's very easy and won't take much time at all.

Also, should we end up working together I would like to go over what I can offer you really quickly. Marketing is everything, especially online marketing since over 90% of buyers start their search online. When you list your home with me I can offer a physical marketing book for your home including professional photos, floor plan, neighborhood information, unit/building information, etc. This is passed out during showings and open houses. I also market your home by expanding all of your online ads on sites like Trulia and Zillow. Almost all Realtors leave your online marketing very basic. I go in and expand on your listing to include all of the information in the brochure, links to your home's website, brochure, floorplan, etc. I can honestly go on and on but it's easier to discuss in person if you'd like.

For a look at my website including client testimonials make sure to click on my website link, below.

Jeff Stewart
REALTOR®, @properties
3101 N. Greenview Avenue | Chicago, IL 60657
309-269-3499 CELL | 773-305-0480 FAX
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Well the answer depends upon if you are going to buy a new place to live. Property values are down, so if you take a loss on this property but you buy a house now that house will also cost much less and interest rates are very low. If you wait to make money on your current residence then you will have to pay more for both the purchase price and may also get a much higher interest rate. call me at 773 755-9200 or email me at chicagoloans@aol.com ans we can discuss your options.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Get another opinion from someone familiar with the neighborhood. Call me at 773-914-5309 or email bbiederman@citypointrealty.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Short sales are never easy and are even more complicated when couples are going through a divorce. I am sorry you are going to have to decide what is best for you. Renting prolongs the situation and it may be be better to sell now. I would be glad to discuss your situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
I'm an appraiser and a broker and would be happy to give you my opinion on the value. Please feel free to contact me to discuss further.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
I would rent the house and then sell it. If you like, you can contact me and I can rent and manage the property for you both. I am sorry for your situation.
Web Reference: http://Www.markmalave.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
I would definitely have another realtor look at it and see what the comparable a are doing. The market is getting better and supply is limited. So you may not be as far off as you would think.

I would be more than happy to do a complimentary market analysis for you.

My email: hollyh@atproperties.com if you are interested.

Best of luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
I would definitely have another realtor look at it and see what the comparable a are doing. The market is getting better and supply is limited. So you may not be as far off as you would think.

I would be more than happy to do a complimentary market analysis for you.

My email: hollyh@atproperties.com if you are interested.

Best of luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Very easy do a shortsale I just close a similar case in the same area ..you keep pay your mortgage and do the shortsale
Call me for more info or email me at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Perhaps get a couple more opinions. The market has clearly changed and prices have started to go up, particularly in neighborhoods near the Loop and north to Lakeview. It is also true that the statistical bottom of the worst R E market since the Great Depression was 2010 so a few more opinions as to market value might help. If the consensus is that values are really lower than what you paid you can still give it a try to see if you can break even. It does not cost you anything to try.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
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