When is the best time of year to list a house that's probably a teardown?

Asked by Mike, Lombard, IL Fri Jan 25, 2008

My house isn't falling apart, but I've been told (by the local assessor) it's a likely teardown because it's a small, old house on an unusually big lot (lot is 50% wider than all the neighbors'), and there have been several teardowns in the neighborhood. I want to sell within the year, but can wait if there's an optimal season for builders to be shopping around. This is suburban Chicago, if the weather matters.

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Dtj, , 31558
Tue Feb 5, 2008
It really depends on your motivation in selling the house. If you are not in a hurry then List with a realtor. To me it sounds like the property, since it is large, may be worth more than the house.

If you are more motivated to sell the property put an add in the newspaper; "Handy Man Special", approximate location and your phone number (no price). You'll be amazed of the response you get, all levels of rehabbers from light rehab to full rehab plus Real Estate Investors offering a price you might like.... and a quick sale.

Alot depends on the location of your property.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
It depends on how long the tear-down and new construction would take. An investor would work backwards from the prime selling season--generally early and mid-spring. And yes, weather does matter some--I'm sure Elvis (or another good Chicago agent) will correct me as to the prime time, but it's usually as soon as the weather starts turning decent.

So, let's say tear-down and new construction would take 7 months. (That's just a guestimate, and an observation based on some I've seen. And it depends on many factors.) Whatever the time period is--allowing a bit in case there are problems with permits or other unexpected issues--subtract that from the date it goes on the market. So, assuming the investor wants to put the new house on the market in February, that means he'd want to purchase it no later than July.

However, it might make sense to put it on the market earlier, and offer to lease back for a period of time. That way, you get it on the market as soon as possible--you don't want to miss your window of opportunity, either--but it gives the investor an opportunity to time the tear-down and rebuild so that it works best for him.

So, check with a Realtor familiar with Chicago regarding timing. But, in this market, considering that you indicate you're flexible regarding timing, I'd be inclined to put it on as soon as possible, offering to lease back for a period of time.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Vassi Saviano, Agent, Elk Grove Village, IL
Thu Apr 3, 2008
Mike, if you want to sell within the year, you should list your home now as we are experiencing longer market times. If your home is located in an area where there are other teardowns it will likely attract builders, and other prospective buyers. Don't be concerned with what is the correct time for builders, just be concerned with what is the correct time for you. If your home is priced appropriately for it's condition and location it will sell. If you sell to a builder, who may not be ready to build just yet, perhaps you can rent back.
Web Reference:  http://www.VassiSaviano.com
0 votes
Ekerry.com, , Wheaton-Glen Ellyn
Sat Mar 29, 2008
Sell now then rent. Check your home values on our web site.
0 votes
Peter Szczyg…, , Addison, IL
Mon Feb 11, 2008
I'm a Realtor / Investor and I've seen prices on land take a slight hit with all the inventory builders have on the market. The high end homes are no longer moving as quickly as in the past with lenders being more careful with loans and certain loan packages that fueled people to buy more then they could afford are no longer here.

With a tear down your home maybe marketable at any time to a builder as long as he has the funds to keep his projects moving. Most new construction that I've seen start during the warmer months for the excavation and exterior building, and the builders leave the finishing (drywall, paint, carpeting, etc) of the inside for the winter months and sell their properties in the Spring when the buyer high peak season hits.

As someone suggested, you can try to sell your home as a "handy man special / LAND" and you will attract more types of buyers and possibly get more offers.

email me your lot dimensions, what your looking to get and either address or nearest street intersection and I'll take a look to see if it would be something that I'd be interested in.

0 votes
Mary Bremer, Agent, WHEATON, IL
Tue Feb 5, 2008
Builders are trying to resell their inventory lots and/or vacant homes right now because of our slump in the market. It generally depends on where your home is located. In most markets, if you lot is wider and unusually bigger, then ANYTIME is a good time for a builder to pick up a property (because those properties are desirable). If there is a house on it, a builder will usually rent that out until he is ready to build. Some builders that buy tear-downs, will try to have one property at a time. When that property is close to being finished and ready for listing, they pick up a new one so they can keep working.
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Wed Jan 30, 2008
The time period will be influenced by a number of factors with which the builder will have to contend.

Here's a real example: Although this happened in NJ, it illustrates how assumptions can prove to be false, even with experienced individuals.

Tear down on a 1 acre lot in 1 acre zoning. Wide lot, nice size back yard. Current house nicely positioned in the center of the lot. ......and the survey revealed the lot was 2 ft short in depth to meet the minimum property depth, and a variance was requried. The need for a variance would add several months to the time required to carry the property. The result impacts the value and desired closing date.

We are in a cold weather climate and find that builders look year round. Becaue inventory is coming on in spring, the builders are more active and visible then. Much depends upon the builder's inventory, how well his/her inventory is moving, and this/her cash flow.

There are no guarantees, but I hedge my bets on early spring for cold weather markets. The local conditions may suggest alternatives, and some local RE Pros may chime in with specific insight for your area.
0 votes
Laurie Chris…, Agent, Oak Park, IL
Tue Jan 29, 2008
Hi Mike,

I'm a RE/MAX agent in the Chicago area, and basically from what I'm seeing, builders are going after the deals...

I'd be happy to provide you with a market analysis for Lombard and show you the recently sold comparable properties. Feel free to email me at lchristofano@remax.net

Best of luck!

Laurie Christofano, Realtor
RE/MAX in the Village
0 votes
Lise Desorme…, , Atlanta, GA
Sun Jan 27, 2008
Mike, my father, a builder/developer in a cold weather climate began each year in spring and he became very busy through the year until the ground was covered again. Sort of like a race to do as many quality homes as possible in a window of time.
Web Reference:  http://www.rmr-usa.com
0 votes
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