Kevin, Both Buyer and Seller in Montclair, NJ

Is it even worth listing my condo if I can't afford to sell if for less than what I paid?

Asked by Kevin, Montclair, NJ Mon Mar 23, 2009

I bought a 1 bedroom condo in Montclair about 18 months ago for 235K, now my fiance and I want to move to a bigger home, but a condo the same size and dimensions in the same buidling as ours was listed for 199K.

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Hi Kevin, good advice from the last poster. Forget about selling your condo for now, price is everything, you simple cannot sell for over the current market value. No agent, no amount of marketing can make up for a pricing issue. Information is so transparent, unless of course Congress is involved (sorry, couldn't resist) that prospective buyers will know what you paid and will not pay more unless there is good reason, like substantial upgrades.

I concur - enjoy your life and stop worrying about selling now. Everything is cyclical and this too will pass.

What you are getting is advice from real people who just so happen to be agents too - I would give this same advice to my own son.

Jeannie Feenick
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2009
Hi Kevin,

I agree with Jeanne. First of all, even if you were to sell your condo for what you paid for it, it would still have to appraise in order for somebody to get a mortgage. Unless you can find somebody that has alot of cash and wouldn't mind over paying for it, but that's unlikely. Your best bet if you really want to move is to rent out your condo and if your qualified, purchase another home. When the market recovers you can then sell your condo. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 17, 2013
Hi Kevin

contact me if you are still interested. Montclair prices are much better now. I have a client looking to purchase in the $235k range
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 17, 2013
Hi Kevin one option if you can afford it is to rent your condo and purchase your new home and sell the condo at a later date. However you didn't state if the condo for sale is a short sale or foreclosure
or just one of many condo's selling for that price. It could possibly be that the unit is priced below the
market due to one of those factors and you may be able to get a better price once that one is sold. If that unit is priced at the current fair market value your options are slim for recovering your purchase
price now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 16, 2013
The Montclair market is really starting to heat up again. You should get a local agent to give you a current market value and if it's close to what you want give it a shot. If you can't get your price you don't have to sell. I just sold a condo in West Caldwell for $145,000 in a complex where the most recent sales were $125,000.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 16, 2013
Thanks again everyone for the answers and advice. In my situation, I owe about 202K, but was hoping to sell the place for at least the 235K that I paid for it and use the difference between what I owed and what I sold it for as a down payment for a bigger place. If a comparable unit is selling for significantly lower than what I anticipated listing my unit for I'm assuming my chances of getting 235K are pretty slim. Thanks again for all the help!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 24, 2009
Kevin if you owe 235k you can put it on the market for what u owe if you get an offer for 80% of what u owe your bank will release the note but the negative part of this deal it will hurt your credit score alittle not much or you can come to an agreement with your bank to make it show up on your credit report as a late payment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 24, 2009
Kevin, I have a very similar situation in play right now - a great highly improved townhouse in Bridgewater upgraded to the highest level in rooms that count - kitchen, baths, plus new heater, a/c and water heater. The seller has paid real money and far more than the differential between their unit and other similar ones on the market. The issue is this - even withstanding all of these improvements, the market has responded that they will only pay within a certain band, which falls well below my seller's expectations and investment into their property. While a new buyer would not be able to replicate what my seller has done for the difference (it is a similar differential to the one you describe) but buyers in this market are not ready to give it up. Considerations such as how they may choose to spend the money arise, as well as questions as to whether they would spend it at all. And so, I'm sorry to say that I believe it unlikelyt that you will fetch more than the current market value for your condo.

I'm glad you are finding the dialogue here on Trulia useful - it is a great resource!

Good luck and best,
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2009
Kevin, all the prices went down by about 20%, which is great for buyers but not for sellers. My guess is, the other condo is "priced to sell". Certain updates might not make much difference in the price:it's nice for you to live in, but buyers may want it to their own taste. Also, since you bought your condo 18 months ago, you don't have any equity in it yet; If you can afford it, your best bet would be to rent out a condo and buy a house. In a few years you can sell a condo at a better price. Good luck in whatever you decide!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2009
Thank you for all of the thoughtful responses. As a followup would having a condo that is approximately the same size as mine, but priced significantly lower hurt my chances of getting the price I want? My condo is a little nicer and has some updates that the cheaper one doesn't, but I'm not sure they are worth the difference between 199K and 235K. Thanks again for all the responses, they are definitely giving me food for thought.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2009
If you want to be safe stay home for the next 2 - 5 years but if you are looking for Action to make some serious money in real estate definietly make the move now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2009
Kevin, there is a lot more to life than a bigger house. Having two homes of which one a rental ,(if you find a renter), will be an anchor on your life. Maybe live for a few years in the condo ,enjoy your life wih nice dinners and vacations to exotic places ,while saving for a down payment of a house where you and your fiance( later wife ) can live in for many years. These are the best years of your life .Enjoy them and don't be a slave of the bank. Also remember buying and selling is costly.
This is not necessarely the message of a realtor but from someone who has seen a lot and got a lot of life experience.
Good luck !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2009
If you currently are making the payments and have the resources to continue making them a bank will not consider a short sale. Perhaps you should consider renting the condo and using it as a long term investment. If you are in the same situation as most who bought when you did you will probably be in a negative cash flow situation. If you and your fiance can swing the payments on the new place I would hold on the condo. I would suggest you contact a reliable lender in your area to sit down with you and put together a plan of action. I am dealing with a client in a similar situation and he is working with a local bank to do a portfolio loan rather than one that has to meet Fannie Mae guidelines. Check out all your financial options before you make a move but selling now and having to come up with the cash difference doesn't seem to be a wise move.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2009
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