Buying or Selling a Home/Winter Sale of Property



If I could give you some background.

My husband and I live in Chicago and are retired.

We live in the University of Chicago neighborhood (along the lakefront).  We live in a 101 y/o condo in a 9 unit building.
We have lived here since 1988.

I tried selling 2 1/2 years ago; got an offer within a month from a U of C professor and his wife.  They put $$ down but then had 21 contingencies, and also for us to pay 2 years worth of condo assessments and relinquish items in our storage locker plus seeking other $$ for "miscellaneous" repairs.  They threatened us with withdrawing the offer if we didn't accept, so I took them up on it.  Turns out their lawyer said they really wanted our place and threatened to sue afterwards, but our lawyer said based on what?  I also found out (through forwarded emails) that our agent was telling our lawyer things we hadn't approved (like trying to rescind the decision we made to pull out). I was also ill at the time and wasn't in a good position to fight back and forth.

We have been laying low with the property until we signed on to sell this past April.  Our neighbor at the other side of our building listed just a month before us; she has 500 sq ft  (1900)more than we do, but is on the third floor and also needed a totally new kitchen and windows, electrical, walls re-worked (ours just needs a slightly updated kitchen). Her place sold at $20,000 less than the asking price.  So our asking price (based on having 500 feet less than her unit) had to be lowered.  

We have already lowered the price once by $20,000 three months ago.

We have had about 5 couples out to see our place since we listed in April.

Although our agent shows up on time, he doesn't seem to beat the bushes, so to speak.  I am constantly having to initiate the follow-ups, offer suggestions.  He relies only on the internet presence.  

(I found him in the Chicago Magazine listed as one of the city's top producers.    

Because of the impending fall season, I asked about his plan(s) for our property. He suggested lowering the price again.  Our side of the city seems to be slower than where he is. I tried to be reasonable with the pricing from the beginning, looking at comps constantly and the block we're on.  We haven't lowered the pricing a second time because we are unsure of what to do and what effect it might have.

I guess my questions are: 1) should we pull the unit off the market over the winter and keep the price the same for spring 2) keep it on the market as is over the winter season; or keep it on and lower the price.  2) If we put it on hibernation for winter, would we owe him commission because he wouldn't be actively able to sell (although I did say to him that I would continue on my end to promote our condo (word-of-mouth, leaflets, etc.) and if he knew of anyone, to show it).

Thank you for your insights.  We are spinning our wheels here and not sure what approach would make a good plan.

Hi Connie,

I sell in So Cal so we don't have a real winter season... I have a feeling with freezing weather and snow you most likely do have selling seasons...

The price a unit commands is always a major point to a sale.. and subjective to the buyers out looking at properties... it is too bad the first buyers were not worked to get the deal closed... most contingencies can be worked through is you are able to divorce yourself from the 'item' that is holding things up... and sometimes a little give from the seller goes a long way with the buyer...but that all said, I do understand that some things just can't happen or deals come to term....

But on to your questions:
1. Most likely Yes would get you better return come the Spring Selling Season and give your unit time to "Rest off the market" so it can be fresh when re-listed (and do re-stage to have it look NEW and FRESH)  Price will be set by the market place at the time you return to the market - Maybe UP - Maybe DOWN
2. I suggest NO unless you just have to sell
3. On continuing to Market? Again you just continue how old the listing is... Funny thing with Buyers, They don't want to be in a bidding war, but even worse the don't want the property NO other Buyer wants...
4. Find a local agent who know the area... you mentioned yours is from another area... I'd go local

Good Luck

Buying or Selling a Home

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Connie Wildasinn-Broker,GRI,CPRES,RealtorŪ


Broker,CPRES,GRI,RealtorŪ, Investor since 1979. Buying or Selling Residential and Income/Investment Properties, How to understand the process, how to negotiate through the transaction, What to Look for - But more importantly 'What to lookout for!', How to tell if the time is right - or hold on and wait. Why "Not to listen to your friends and even your family members", Who really has your best interest at heart?. Understand why any market is a good market and how to spot a good investment for you! If you are looking in California.. check out my website and if you need assistance in a neighborhood I don't service, I will locate a local agent to that area who actually knows their profession and can assist you in your needs!


4th generation Realtor in the real estate business, I have helped for over 2 decades clients buy and sell, I am the owner of a local brokerage in the Los Angeles /Long Beach area, and have been a top producing agent in the area since I became licensed. Working through a deal is different to every client, no two people or deals are exactly the same. Knowing how to bring professional advise to the table with clear and concise understanding of real estate world. I can help you handle your buying, selling and investing, managing a 1031 Exchange, working with Equity Sales,Certified in Probate Sales (one of a handful!), Pre-Foreclosure, Regular and Short Sales there is little that I have not seen come across my desk over the decades!


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