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Old 11-24-2009, 03:08 PM   #1
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Real Estate agents

Well, after one full year for sale a little rental house finally sold - just closed. We had advertised on Craigslist, tried the local paper, had a sign out - couldn't close a deal. A year ago a local Realtor had suggested $125k as a price - we demurred, feeling it was worth more like $140. Kept the gas heat and water on and the lights burning so it would be warm and bright for any showings. Installed new vinyl in the kitchen and laundry and hall, kept the lawn mowed and edged and the shrubbery pruned and leaves raked. Did about $3000 in repairs and updates. Back on August 31 we got an offer of $134K through another Realtor - a family doing a HUD loan and scooping up $8000 in Obamabucks. We signed on to provide closing costs, a worthless home warranty, a new roof and gutters, and some pest repair. Also said we would pay 3% to the Realtor. Bottom line, we ended up with maybe $118k after all repair, utility, commission and tax costs. Not bad. Might have done as well if we had gone with the Realtor a year ago, maybe we did $10k better by waiting.

The biggest thing is, this Realtor really earned his money. He dealt with the HUD office, dealt with the inspectors and appraiser, rounded up contractors and hustled bids for the work needed (and got better prices than I would have from my normal sources). He closed the deal.

Mostly I've been pretty dubious about spending the bucks on an agent if we're selling - in this case it was well worthwhile. Respect.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #2
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One of those life lessons here.

The value of a real estate agent is in getting traffic through your listing and it taking care of all those pesky details.

Except in a sellers market, that won't happen much with the do-it yourself approach.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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I'm hardly an expert as I've been in my current home for 32 years...... But based on the single experience of selling my dad's home in a distant state after he died, I think the commission we paid to have an agent handle the sale was money well spent.

I could only take a week off work to handle dad's affairs and that was spent primarily sorting out the "keeps" and "tosses" of his personal and family stuff. I did find time to locate an agent who I liked and everything after that was handled by phone and mail. This guy was really a blessing. He arranged and managed all the minor repairs and clean-ups and had the service providers bill me, checked on the house frequently and did the usual marketing to get it sold. When we drove down for the closing, we found everything we paid for had been done well. There was no charge beyond the normal commission prevalent in that area at the time. Given the nightmare this could have been, we were thankful to run into this guy.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
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Congrats!

Anytime a first time home buyer is involved, you need a realtor. Too much hand holding for your average seller.

Reminds me of a friend who tried to sell his house himself (a starter home for most). Two deals fell thru before he hired a realtor and closed it.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:33 PM   #5
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Just listed mine with a realtor. Just about have to in this market to get the exposure.

Ck 6
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:37 PM   #6
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My wife is an agent, she is one of the good guys,been doing it since 1988. The last couple of sales have been really difficult to close, but she did it.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:09 PM   #7
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Between a rock and a hard place. Moved into this manufactured home in 2006 after we sold our really nice home at the peak of the boom. Now we're not satisfied with the situation. Really great house with 2025 sq ft, vaulted ceilings, textured drywall, granite countertops, etc. It's just not what we want. Time to move on. Trouble is how do you sell something like this, especially in depressed times. Our solution is to buy something in our desired neighborhood, preferably new or vacant, take our time to move in (our best situation), and then try to rent this out. It's paid for as would be the new house. I think we can rent this for about $1000/month and get about 4% return on our money. If we sold, we would have to take a big loss. I just worry about renting; however, this is a 55+ community and think that would reduce the normal rental preblems. I'd like to sell but don't think the times are right.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:16 PM   #8
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Congrats on the sale calmloki. 1031 ex perhaps?

From my experience, the realtors that I've dealt with recently are doing more to earn their keep. Less of the recreational part-timer types that were rampant during the bubble years.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasadenaDC View Post
Congrats on the sale calmloki. 1031 ex perhaps?

From my experience, the realtors that I've dealt with recently are doing more to earn their keep. Less of the recreational part-timer types that were rampant during the bubble years.
No 1031 here - we did one some years ago and the diminished depreciable amount on the exchanged into property hurt my feelings. Also, as I understand it, the amount one depreciates on a rental over the years is recapture taxed at 25%, while profit on a sale is taxed at 15%. Right now we aren't planning to buy more rental property and a 1031 into a rental that we then convert to a private home has been made less attractive by the IRS. We're just going to pay the taxes, take the remainder, and move on. Simple has it's virtues.
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