Home Selling in 60618>Question Details

Maha, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

Should I try to sell my condo without a Realtor?

Asked by Maha, Chicago, IL Tue Aug 17, 2010

I bought a condo in Chicago's Irving Park neighborhood October 2008. I am getting married so I have to sell it within the next year and the sooner the better. However, I am afraid I might end up loosing on the deal if I have to subtract my Realtor's and the sellers agent's commission. Should I try to sell it by myself? Is there another option?

Help the community by answering this question:


have you thought about a short sale ? if you owe 180 and the house is worth 190 you will still owe at the closing because of the transaction fees. if it's only worth 175, or 150, you could owe tens of thousands !

If you do a short sale the bank will pay all the fees and usually waive the deficiency.

Feel free to call me to discuss. A consultation is 1,000% FREE and the short sale service is also free.


Thanks !


Lonny Miller

Realtor @ Charles Rutenberg Realty
Serving Chicago and Suburbs
ph 847-347-4666
fax 847-737-1436

'Helping Sellers of Short Sales Throughout Chicagoland'
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 21, 2012
try all your options, use more than one resource, post your listing everywhere
every state has someone who wants to relocate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
I realize this is an old question but trulia is full of them so deal with it, maybe someone else can gain from the answers.

Maha, You answered you're own question when you said you NEED to sell within the year. Although you can sell your home on your own, your desperation or "Need" will show to clients unless you have an excellent poker face throughout the entire transaction. That aside, real estate agents have access to a larger pool of clients, tools and resources than you. Get the assistance of an agent, you're first drop in price selling on your own will cover the amount any realtor will charge. Sure you can save a few bucks selling on your own but unless you want to undergo the added stress, especially in a declining market of selling your home on your own in addition to planning a wedding, I'd probably leave the job to the pros to handle.

I can give you some added security against listing with an incompetent agent even though I'm in another state. I can help you pick an agent and send them your info as a referral if they agree to accept my terms in order to list with you which will include the ability for me to pull the listing from them if you are ever unhappy with their services. Call me to discuss these options if you haven't sold yet on your own. There are some advantages to using a "middle man" if it won't cost you anything extra.

Seeing this post was made almost a year ago, I'd like to hear how it turned out for you, what you ended up doing and how the wedding went?

Cheers, God Bless and Much happiness...

Victor Kaminski
732-650-9911 Ext.302
Toll Free: 1-866-745-4622 Ext.302
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 24, 2011
Hi Maha,

I'm not a real estate agent, but I do know that homes sold with a real estate agent typically fetch higher prices on average, so listing might make the difference that keeps a little more money in your pocket. Another thing, make sure your condo is absolutely pristine and clean. Remove clutter, do minor repairs, touch up paint, and have your agent do professional-style photos as opposed to the cheesy-looking snapshots so often seen on the MLS. I would explore staging as well. Staging and professional photos might help you get a higher price. If you have great photos on the MLS, it will help you attract far more traffic to your condo. You never get a second chance to make a first impression!

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 15, 2010
To Jeremy Drobeck: did you ever hear the expression "the man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"?
As a lender I don't imagine you are getting many Realtor referrals! Perhaps you have had a bad experience but you should never, especially as a lender, knock the services of a qualified professional realtor. I've run across plenty of incompetent (if not shady) lenders over the years but I would never run down lenders to a client, I just make sure they use a reputable and professional one with great references. Many lenders that I have worked with over the years have thanked me for helping them get the job done and in a few cases, it probably wouldn't have happened at all without my efforts. A good lender recognizes the benefit of a professional pro-active realtor. I wouldn't refer a client to you if you were the last lender around, so its a good thing we're not in the same area!
Nancy Perlman
Chicago IL
ps strange that you don't see a lot of responses from people who successfully sold FSBO answering this question??
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 15, 2010
If your condo is worth less than what you owe after commissions, you can explore a short sale if you have a heart ship. There are many heart ships such as loss of job, loss of income, relocation, health, etc. Qualifying for a heat ship is not difficult as one would think and is usually a 1 or 2 sentence paragraph answer your write in on a short sale packet, You should speak with a Realtor who specializes in short sales and see if you can qualify to proceed with this alternative. I can help you as I specialize in short sales.

There are a few down sides to a short sale including a possible lowered credit score and a problem re purchasing another condo in the future. Remember though, if you have to come to closing with $30k to $40K (that you do not have) to sell your condo in this market, this may be a wise decision.

This decision should be based on what the numbers say after you subtract the sales price you can realistically get, minus the commissions, minus the closing costs. Also, and most importantly, you must be a candidate for a short sale. If it is close, like $5 to $10 k and you can come to closing with these funds somehow, then a short sale will not be worth the time and possible future credit ramifications.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 29, 2010
A qualified, competent Realtor is going to get you more in additional sale price then you'll pay them in commission. The time, money, effort, and risk you are undertaking by going at it alone is not worth it.

If you'd like to discuss your options I'm here to help.


Scott Newman
Newman Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 29, 2010
Man a lot of Real Estate Agents answered this question. Of course they all told you to list the home. I'm not a real estate agent and hopefully will give you a non bias answer . . .

The majority of homes sell with a Realtor, thats because it's typically the path of least resistance. Why not put your home up for sale by owner. Give it a month, I've sold many homes over the years with and without a realtor. Lots of times a someone down the street may see that sign and buy that home right away. If your home is still sitting there in 30 days list it. The main reason to list is that you will reach many more buyers via the MLS (the place where realtors go to search for homes in an area). All the other crap realtors do is just fluff, open houses, advertising, etc. . . . they do these things to 1. make you happy, 2. attract buyers (statistically the buyers they attract will not buy your home, but another home with the agent will get paid on)

Most homes sell with an agent and because the property was listed on the MLS, no other reason.

One more thing for what it's worth. . . there is value in having a 3rd party help negotiate, mainly so they can talk some sense into you the seller who is emotionally attached to the home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
Of course not, unless you want to offer owner financing. Think about it...Who looks at homes that are for sale by owners? It's usually someone who can't qualify to buy & therefore they don't don't have an agent representing them. They're the ones looking for you to be the bank. Or, it's someone looking for "A Deal." They think that since you're doing all the work yourself as opposed to paying a Realtor, THEY should be the one to benifit & they'll give you a lowball offer. So...you're going to give up all your free time to be there opening your home to strangers who want to give you a low price or borrow money from you? Don't you have your own job to do? Hire a professional & move on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
Hi Maha,

Of course you can! Begin by finding out how much your home is worth by looking at similar properties that are for sale in your area on websites like Trulia. Then a great way to start the selling process is by informing everyone in your condo that you plan to sell. Neighbors are a fantastic source for leads! If your condo rules allow, many times your direct neighbors take advantage of the opportunity to make thier units bigger by purchasing yours and breaking down the walls between them. Additionally, other neighbors usually know of family memebers, friends or co-workers who may be interested in puchasing in the building. Set a time frame to sell your condo yourself, and if nothing comes to fruition, then hire a Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
One more thing I forgot to mention: When you're ready to list, list it with that agent who provided the market info for you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
I'm a realtor and happen to think that the commission is a bargain, but if you're interested in saving it and taking on some of the burden yourself, a Condo is not a bad place to start because they typically sell for about what the last one sold for, not withstanding upgrades. Set a time frame where you will try on your own and then list it for sale, say 30-60 days.
1. Find yourself an experienced realtor who has successfully sold condos in your complex and have him give you the sold comps. Price your condo accordingly.
2. Take or pay someone to take lots of high quality photos of your place, after you de clutter it.
3. Build a property website, there are lots of resources on line where you can do this.
4. Advertise with flyers, newspapers, post in the community center if you have one.
5. Host a couple of open houses and see who comes.

Now comes the important part. No matter what anyone puts in front of you, do not sign any contracts. Have their attorney send you an offer, which you can review with your attorney before signing.

You might get lucky and find a reasonable person who really wants to get into the complex and will pay a fair price, maybe splitting the realtors fee with you so you both win. You might get an agent who is working with a buyer but you'll have to pay them their side of the commission.

Most likely, you'll get a bunch of time wasters and "bottom feeders" who want to save the entire commission (they figure they're doing all of the work to find you) so you'll be no better off and, more importantly, you'll have wasted a bunch of time.

I have personally bought and sold lots of real estate over the years and can tell you from experience that a good realtor is worth the fee. A bad one is worthless.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
First - always loved the phrase "cup of Joe". Who is this Joe guy anyway.

Second - I would strongly recommend getting a real estate agent or broker involved. I am not in your area but too often I see people try to sell it themselves and the first thing a buyer does is discount their offer since you aren't using an agent. Then you get the same money AND lose the intelligence and skillset of a pro on your side. That is when repair issues come up, costing you more money, HOA transfers, etc.

But ultimately, the decision is yours. But next time your car needs service, you probably won't trust yourself with it because you really don't know all the ins and outs. So why do it with Real Estate where the mistakes and expenses can be much higher?
Web Reference: http://www.stefanwest.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
If you attempt to sell without a Realtor, you possibly will reach only a percentage of the buying public. Choose an agent who will work with you and advertise your property properly. Putting it in the MLS is only one way of getting it sold... make sure they have a marketing campaign pertinent to your type of property. Since the prices you are seeing, often are sales with commissions, it is a misnomer to worry about losing deals because of it. Unless you try to avoid dental fees by doing dentistry on yourself, in this economy, I suggest you get Real Estate professional's assistance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010

I live near there and if you need a realtor’s advice or grab a cup of joe (both on me, of course), I’d love to meet with you.

Mike Yun, Broker
Jameson Real Estate
(414) 526-8998
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 19, 2010
Who's going to show the property to prospective buyers? Who's going to take care of the open houses? WHo's going to make sure you have all of the correct documents for a legal contract?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
There are really only three types of prospects that call on homes for sale by the owner: the ones who can't qualify, the ones who just want to look for the sake of looking and the ones who are looking to get get a property at a discount because they know you are not paying a brokerage fee. Think about it.

Look at it another way: You have a perfectly good diamond necklace you want to sell. It has never been out of the box since the day you brought it home from the fine jewelry store. Do you think you can sell it for the retail price at a yard sale?

A professional Realtor will not only reduce the amount of work you have to do, and help you to reduce your risk of liability, they will also help you net more money than if you tried to sell the property yourself.
Web Reference: http://theparrishteam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 17, 2010
I think you need to ask yourself: if you could afford it, would you list with a Realtor(r)? If the answer is, "yes," then I think you can't afford not to.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 17, 2010
Research agents and companies on the internet. Find out what their exposure is. Then pick three and interview them. Most agents will be happy to do a market analysis for you at no charge, but they will hope that if they take the time to do that for you that you will consider them to list your property in the event you are not successful.

Web Reference: http://www.lindacefalu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 17, 2010
what about what you might lose on the deal if you should price it poorly, or find that you're not as strong a negotiator as the buyer... or if you lose showings, due to your unavailability during the daytime, or if you lose showings due to your lack of marketing... or any number of things that can go wrong with a sale?

There are so many aspects to the sale of a property that impact the sale, 'other' than the Realtor's commissions.

You can list with an agent.
You can do flat-fee MLS
You can list with a discount agency (ala Redfin)
You can list with a full-service agency.
You can list with a full-service agency, and see if you can negotiate their fee.

Research carefully. You won't know, what you don't know... until it's too late.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 17, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
To sell on your own or with an agent is a decision only you can make, however do consider--your house is your home. Emotions are homebound---selling your house is a business transaction. In a business, a professional is able to best to protect your interests. Keep in mind that commissions are always negotiable between you and your agent, there are no set standards--if you do try on your own, be aware that pricing and marketing that maximizes your exposure are paramount--review recently sold similar properties in the immediate area, then make your determination as to a fair price and go from there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 17, 2010
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