Home Selling in 60614>Question Details

Siggi, Home Seller in Chicago, IL

How can I sell?

Asked by Siggi, Chicago, IL Fri Oct 10, 2008

I listed my house with a realty firm in the same week the real estate market started to go 'down the drain'. It's been sitting there with some showings, but no offers. Although priced right, for the last 6 month I'm offering it far below appraised value. Still no offers. The media screams: Don't buy, you can't afford it. And you will not get a mortgage. I'm hoping for a cash buyer, the only buyer that's still out there. I staged the home, did a home inspection, and created my own website in addition to the MLS. But I don't know anymore what to do. How can I sell? What did I miss?

Help the community by answering this question:


You really just have to sit tight, unless you have the cash to drop your price. Many people are in the circumstance where their place is worth way less than they owe and for whatever reason, need to sell. There is no reason to pass judgement on Flat Fee listings these days. I don't see how busting your butt and doing an MLS broker listing is all that bad, as it allows you to take what would be spent on a commission and use it to lower your price further and ultimately result in a sale. Many people are in that boat, and I was one of them. For realtors to sit here and condem you for your personal choice (whatever choice you made) is unprofessional. In todays market, people have to do what they need to do to survive and live. Yeah, it's not like you have someone doing all the work for you and guiding you, but for those of us that bought condos and over priced SFH in the past 5 years didn't truely have someone working in our corner who was concered about the best property choice for us. You can do it yourself if you put the time and effort into it. As long as you yourself are willing to do the work yourself and that means:

1. keep on top of sold condos in your area that are similar and could be used as comps,
2. check out incentives other are offering,
3. make posters - put them up everywhere you can,
4. make online flyers and post to as many Web sites as you can.
5. network
6. keep on top of changes with the simulus package(s) and incentives to homebuyers
7. keep on top of homebuyer programs in your area (if they still exist)
8. reduce as far as you can comfortably, and the right buyer will come along.

I made it 6 months on the MLS (flat fee) and had dual offers on my condo. Was this the best way to go? For me at the time, with my job and financial situation it was. Could I have sold faster and maybe for more with a realtor - it's possible, but so is winning the lottery these days. However for me, with my original LP and my final selling price, I couldn't have done either with a full 5-6% realtor commission. My place had already dropped $15 in two years. If I had listed with a realtor, I would have needed a higher list price and been totally out of the ballpark as far as comps. It's the opportunity cost of being stuck with a condo I overpaid for, and having a situation come up where I absolutely needed to sell before the market recovered.

The bottom line is you are the one that has to live with your financial & living situation, not a realtor. If you need to sell and can't totally drop your price below your competition for whatever reason, be prepared to sit and wait. If you really don't need to sell then by all means wait. Don't let anyone condem you for your choice you make. Do what is right for you and your situation.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 10, 2009
Hi Siggi

I really enjoyed Chigirls answer.

If you decide to go with a Flat Fee MLS option please consider our company. http://www.kalerealty.com we have been in business since 1951 and pride ourselves are customer service

Best of luck
Web Reference: http://www.kalerealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 10, 2009
Hi Siggi,
Sure, you must be upset, but 6 months is an average time to be on the market. Although the market is sluggish, houses are selling. The appraisal you got means nothing in this market. A buyer will pay what they think is the right price. Remember, in this market it's price, price, price and nothing else!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 10, 2008
Siggi, so understand, the chicago market started declining almost 3 years ago. Also, the only thing, and this is the most important part of getting your home sold, is it listing price. You need to be 12-17% below the current average list price of your search group(or be willing to sell in that percentage range) to be on the radar of the very few buyers currently out there. If you do not have to sell, then don't. I agree with the other comment regarding the appraisal - unless it is very current - (less then 30 days) then it is worthless.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 10, 2008
You missed nothing you are doing a GREAT job, homes are moving slower with all lending changes, NOW into a slow period of the year "holiday season". You might want to remove your home from MLS private sales only then beginning of year reposted in MLS, not many homes are sold Nov- thru Feb. http://www.lynn911.com http://www.homes-for-sale-dallas.com
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 10, 2008
Hi Siggi

Realtors hate when I post these- But, if you are doing all the work yourself why are you listed with a Real Estate firm? You can sell by owner and still list on the MLS thus saving you 2.5-6% on commissions. By being able to save on the commission you should be able to have a lower asking price and have a better chance of selling.

Please contact me or visit our site if you should have any questions http://www.kalerealty.com

Thanks for your time and best of luck!
Web Reference: http://www.kalerealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 10, 2008
It appears the appraisal value opinion was incorrect. I just appraised a property the original list price was $130,000. The list price was revised 5 times and 330 days later it sold for $75,000.

Read Jack Schlenk blog "Price is right" and other articles .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 21, 2009

I'm sure this is not what you want to hear, but I am trying to give my unbiased opinion as a potential home buyer. The truth is that your house might not be "priced right" because if it were, it would sell. Yes the market is weak and the potential pool of buyers is much smaller than it was two years ago, but there are many buyers sitting on the sidelines and they WILL buy when a house is truly "priced right." The problem is that a lot of sellers are unable or unwilling to sell at a market clearing price. If you really have to move NOW and you don't have the cash to pay off your mortgage, I would suggest that you call your lender and try to facilitate a short sale. You would be surprised how willing they are to work with you.

As for the question of hiring a "Realtor", I personally think the only value a "Realtor" brings is exposure to the market. If you already have good market exposure, it's probably not worth your money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 12, 2009

I'm really a "get to the point" type of real estate consultant. I'm not a professional blogger and write long novels here.

If your home is listed in the MLS, then tell me what the MLS number is and maybe I can give you some advise. Just saying your house isn't selling doesn't say much.

Basically, my only suggestion is to understand that if your home is in outstanding condition compared to other homes in your area, then it should be averaged priced. If it's average in condition then it should be the lowest priced.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 10, 2008
I am going to give you some news that might surprise you.

The problem is not that homes are not selling. Look at the link below from Trulia. The problem is the YOUR home is not selling.

You don't refer to your Realtor, so it sounds to me like you are selling with an MLS Entry Only Broker (like one of the posters asked "why would you waste money on a Realtor?" or you are selling without professional representation.

Because I don't have unlimited time and your situation could be anyone of these three scenarios, I will hit the highlights. You are welcome to contact me directly if you have questions.

Selling without professional representation - a tough job, even in a good market. If you can sell on your own, great, but don't feel bad if it does not work out. 85% of home sellers that start on their own list with an agent to sell eventually. Also, homes sold with Realtors average 15% higher price.

Selling with an MLS Entry Only Broker - remember when that poster said "why waste that money on a Realtor?". This is why. You are asking people who have never seen your home, do not know your personal situation, or know your local market, questions that SHOULD be answered by your Realtor. MLS Entry Only brokers do not offer that advice, and you should know that in most cases listings of MLS Entry Only brokers have similarities:
1. They fail to sell more often
2. They sell for less money - in my MLS they average 3-5% lower than full service
3. They take longer to sell.

Selling a home is more like chess than poker. You need to be aware of what the market and your competition are doing. And unfortunately unless you have a Realtor giving you weekly market updates, and coaching you, you don't really have a clue about the market.

Here are some basic facts that most Realtors don't know:
1. The buyer that first sees the home they buy sees it with a Realtor 90% of the time. So if you are not marketing to Realtors, that's a problem, and if your listing is overpriced or poorly marketed, Realtors will not show it, they'll show homes that show more value.
2. The average buyer looks at 10-12 homes before writing an offer. So we expect 10-12 showings in the first two weeks (or one offer) or we adjust the price.
3. Homes that sell in the first 30 days sell closest to asking price. In my market that means they sell at 99.7% of asking, compared to 92.7% at 120 days,

Hope this helps. I would be happy to refer you to a top REaltor that CAN sell your home for top dollar.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 10, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Hi Siggi,

The current market is extremely frustrating.

Even when right-priced homes sit on the market with little or no activity. In the current market it is imperative that you enlist with a real estate professional who is taking full advantage of the full complement of tools to aggressively market your home.

Good for you that you have a property website. A 21st century agent will provide you with a website specific to your home (my most recent listing is http://parkingincluded.com); coop listing on the mls which seeds to myriad realtor sites via IDX agreement, preferred status at realtor.com and tribune.com, constant and rejuventated expression of the listing with professional materials at sites such as craigslist, trulia, vast, backpage, edgio, zillow, etc. Aside from online materials the right agent will deliver professional hardcopy marketing materials predicated upon professionally shot pictures, appropriate textual description, and aesthetic appearance.

Where appropriate the right broker will advertise the property with signage at the property with website reference and, when relevant, host open houses for two or three weeks after you list to seek to trigger momentum. And finally, the right agent will be conversant with the overall market and fully represent your property during showings and open houses.

At the end of the day it is not about a "hard sell" - but you absolutely need to have an advocate on your side who will sell your home. As one respondent pointed out, don't expect a miracle overnight. But in the right hands at the right price (something that a true professional will help you determine) you will get traction toward the transacting of your home.

Feel free to make your way toward me via my profile. I have met a number of very happy clients through this forum and would love to include you in this group.

All the best!

Tom McCarey
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago with @ properties
Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 10, 2008
Why are you doing all of the work, website, staging- did you hire a professional Realtor or a discount Broker?
Your Broker should be guiding you, giving you advice. Forget about the appraised value, unless you had the appraisal done 2 weeks ago! Plenty of property is still selling, and there are many buyers who still qualify for mortgages. Where is your property?
You should get a second opinion from a pro who works in your neighborhood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 10, 2008
You like the house, that's why you bought it. Maybe just keep the house. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 10, 2008
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