Housing Market - Venting and Question

Updated on July 23, 2011
L.M. asks from Spring, TX
17 answers

Hi Ladies,

Well, I have had my house on the market with a realtor since April. I have had 3 showings. No contact with my realtor etc... I finally decided to take it off the market and relist with another more involved realtor as mine flat out sucked! She pretty much came over, put a sign in my yard (which she could not even do, she left it on my porch for my husband to put in) and then I never heard from her again. Well, after terminating that contract and talking with a new realtor, I discovered that my house was priced about 18K more than it should be!!!! I am soooooo devistated. So, I spoke with my realtor lastnight and she told me that I will probably be looking at coming to the table with 10K at closing. I almost vomited! So, in a nut shell, I am paying to have someone buy my house. How fun. The thought of leasing it scared the bajesus out of me and since my parents name is also on my house (bought the house during my divorce so needed a co-signer) this puts us all in a pretty crappy situation. I cannot believe that because of all the forclosures and short sales in my area, I am simply screwed. Unreal. Sad. UGH! Anyway, has anyone lately had to do this? Did you choose to lease or rent it out vs. sell it and why? (besides having to come to the table with that money as that is a no brainer) Any experience with leases? I just want to be out from under this house as my parents do. My husband and I got married in February and decided that we would move into his house as he had a bigger house in a better location in regards to commuting to and from work. We plan on selling this one too within the next year or so to purchase something together with extra space for our kiddos. At this point, I am feeling like that may not even be an option for us if the market stays the way it is. Houses are being appraised so low because of all the short sales and foreclosures. If I would have ever known that the market would be like this...I would have never bought my house. This is unreal.

My fear of renting and leasing? Well, I am a VERY clean person and my house is in excellent shape. If I hand the keys over to someone, who knows what may happen. What if they trash my house, smoke, have pets that poop in the house, are hoarders...the possibilities in this area are endless. YUCK YUCK YUCK!

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So What Happened?

Well, after having my house on the market for several months...I FINALLY have a buyer. I am supposed to be closing on my house next Tuesday. Can't wait. I ended up having to come to the table with 17k between the sale price, paying closing costs and realtor fees. I have confidence that in the long run, it will pay off. Thanks to all for your advice and experience with this, I am so glad I was not alone with this. It's a sad reality for the housing market.

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answers from Tulsa on

Don't rent it out. Get a PROFESSIONAL realtor with a name brand company(ERA, Caldwell Banker, etc...) Price it right or realtors won't even show it. Get out from under the house and be done with the stress.
You won't regret it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I paid $369 in 05 and now my condo is barely worth $300. We have been renting it for 2 years (we bought a house), taking a loss each month but have very good tenants. Scared to do a short sale. Sucks!!!!

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answers from St. Louis on

Wana buy a house in Peoria? No? No one else does either. Thankfully Troy's house has been paid off for years so we are only putting out taxes and a couple utilities.

The market sucks! You are faced with the same choices as everyone else, hold on to it or take a loss.

Being in my house for almost 20 years I will have to tell you the truth, it isn't the appraisals or short sells that is driving the value down. It was over valued before everything blew up. From 1990 to 2000 my home increased $20,000 in value, from 2000 to 2008 it increased another $100,000. I would say $80,000 of that was never real. It hurts but it is the truth.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My husband is a real estate broker, and what you're describing is exactly what the world is like right now. It's too bad that your first two agents didn't tell you that the price you wanted was too high - but yes, if your home sits on the market for 30+ days with no showings and no offers, you're priced way too high. I agree that selling your home at a loss makes no sense financially speaking. If you're able to get enough rent for it to cover your mortgage, I would go that route. (Hey, even if you end up being a bit short every month, it is still probably worth renting it out.) Think of it this way. If someone else is paying your mortgage for you every month, in 15 years or less, you will be able to pay off the mortgage on that house, and then it's mostly profit after that. You will be able to go into your retirement (or your kids going to college) owning this home that provides income for you every month. That's not such a bad deal! Try to think of this over the long term rather than being upset about not being able to get out from under the house. It is an asset that will pay off over time. In the short term, if you get out of it "at any cost," then you will be upside-down, and that is not the route you want to take. I would rent it out, personally. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I thankfully don't have to sell right now, but I'm crushed that our home has lost 50k in value since we bought in 2001. Fed up with the irresponsible people who bought homes they couldn't afford and ruined prices in our area.

I know people who've leased homes out and it's worked well for them. They've hired rental management companies to find great renters and manage the whole thing for them. You might look into that and see if it makes you feel better about this option.

P.S. Not all renters are scary. We're friends with a family that's renting across the street and they're actually improving the home. Out there almost every weekend planting flowers and doing other gardening. House looks better than it has in years.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Most of the homes in my neighborhood that were up for sale are now being rented out. Not the best option, but better than losing a great deal of money on your home. If we were to sell now, we'd lose at LEAST $80k! So, we are stuck in our home that needs major renovations for now, and we have no idea when we can get out, or even rent it out.

I suggest preparing yourself for the prospect of becoming landlords...research your state laws on the rights and duties of landlords and tennants, find a reliable handyman (unless you or your hubby can fix things as the need arises), and start looking to see what the current rental prices are in your area. Good luck! I certainly understand how terrible it is to be underwater on your mortgage.

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answers from Richmond on

Would it be an option to RENT out your house? A lot of people are doing that now... houses will sit on the market forever, you're paying money for the house NOT being sold... so instead of losing money and letting the property sit there, people are renting their homes to at least cover the mortgage. Maybe consider this as an alternative if it would work for you. Best wishes!

I'M a renter... that's pretty offensive. I'm not dirty, I don't smoke inside, my dog is housetrained (so are my kids)... My RENTAL house is in better shape BECAUSE OF US, we've invested in the property and fixed it up, bigtime. VERY offensive... and it takes a lot to offend me.

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answers from New York on

If it makes you feel better...

We built in 2005 and paid $360,000 for our home.
I took a job about an hour away last year and the commute is tough. We knew we would take a hit, but hired a realtor and listed at $325,00 at 6% commission (3 for each agent). We had maybe 10 showings in 8 months.

We relisted with a different agent for $289,900 with 5.5% commission. We received an opening offer today (3 months later) for $250,000. Of course, we'll neotiate that (hopefully) to $275,000. Even at that, it is going to cost us about $40,000 for the priviledge of selling our home.

The market stinks and it is essentially because of the number of people who bought homes and then defaulted on their mortgages. Our financial advisor has suggested to us that we take the financial hit and then rent for 2 years to recover our losses. You may want to consider doing the same. When we did the "math", we can recover our $40,000 in three years by renting and reducing the commuting costs.

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answers from Washington DC on

I'm sorry your situation sucks...

If you don't have the funds to come to the table - then I would strongly suggest you renting the house out until the market stabilizes and you have the equity and money to proceed...

it sucks that you had a horrible agent...you can complain about their lack of response to the company and the real estate board...

if you can rent/lease it - do...it's money in the door and will keep you from taking a short sale or having more money to come to the table to close...talk to the agent and find out if she does rental listings, how much you could rent it for and if they are also a management company to help you with this...it will make your life easier!!


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answers from Los Angeles on

I have rented out homes before. I'm so tired of hearing why they, renters, can't make the rent payment.

They have money for all kinds of Boy and Girl toys and vacations, but always seem to have a problem paying the rent.

You are in the same boat millions of people are in. My home is about half what it was worth in 2006, and I'm in California where home prices were ridiculously expensive to begin with. If I could get out from under my home and only have to pay 10K, I'd jump at it.

Good luck to you and yours

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answers from Dallas on

I would lease and go through a management company.

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answers from Boston on

We had to pay $25,000 to sell our old house. We had a renter but it was just too stressful to worry about paying two mortgages and managing a tenant, so we cut our losses as soon as we had a buyer, which was 10 months after we listed it and $50K under our asking price. Yes this sucks.

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answers from Chicago on

I was a homeowner for 10 years, sold my house in a short sale due to a job relocation. We are now renting a home in a very nice area. I love the freedom of renting, 2 year lease with a transfer clause. My rent payment is as much as my mortgage payment was. We know how to take care of a house. The owners and neighbors will all tell you that the house is in better shape and cleaner than when it was owner occupied. If you rent, I would look for former owners that have good credit otherwise, even if they had to short sell or forclosed on a house). Check out where they used to live and see what it is like. You can find great renters, especially if you charge a pretty high rent, and then give them some creative license, within reason, with the house. My biggest fear renting was having to live with white walls and mini blinds (I am really into decorating) so that was a deal breaker for me. Just a thought from this side of the fence.



answers from Naples on

Relax about your fears of dirty tenants. You just need to chill out in that regard. ;-)
Hire a property manager and they will handle everything related to leasing your home for you, for a surprisingly low fee. Typically 10% of the rent money.
Besides that, your only other choices are stay there or cough up the 10K.
You probably wouldn't qualify for a short sale as it sounds like there isn't a real hardship.



answers from Louisville on

Yes, we were just in your situation, only mildly better. We put our house on the market in May of 2010 and didn't get an offer till April 2011. We ended up selling the house for a lot less than we paid for it. The only reason we got anything back is because we had been working on paying off the house early before my husband lost his job. We barely got any of the money we had paid into. If it had taken much longer to sell the house, we would have leased it through a property manager. They take a lot of the guesswork out of renting. My sister and her husband have been doing this for several years and have had zero problems in spite of multiple renters over the years. Still, I totally understand your concerns. Just know that there are A LOT of totally normal people who are renting these days who will take good care of your home. Good luck!



answers from Houston on

Hi, You've had a lot of responses, but I'll throw in my 2 cents. We went through this in the 90's. Unfortunately we bought our house in the 80's then the oil bust, and the housing market went bust too. Our neighborhood went way down when there were so many foreclosures and so many houses went to investors who paid pennies on the dollar. We decided to rent, and it was OK for the first 2 tenants, though not great. The last one we had to evict and I said I'm done with that. We sold it for what we had paid for it 14 years earlier. At least we did not have to bring money to the table. If I had to do it over, I would have gone through a management company, because they can do background checks etc. But it really depends on the neighborhood you are in. If it is a nice neighborhood, you can demand a pretty good price for rent, and you should break even. With this economy, a lot of people cannot get into a house and need to rent. Plus a lot are afraid to buy. Even with my bad experience, I think I would rent , and be picky, picky, picky about who you lease it to. We went for the first who showed and interest, and that was a problem. You might even ask friends for referrals of people they know are reliable.



answers from Albuquerque on

Yes, we had our condo on the market for 13 months with lots of showings and only 1 offer (that was 10k below asking and would've had us paying 8k out of pocket). We finally took it off the market and started renting it out (to have it "established" as a rental property before we made an offer on a new house). We stayed with family for 8 months (started looking at houses once we had the downpayment for new house saved--took about 6 months). We found THE HOUSE on our first official weekend of house hunting, so it was a good thing we had the money saved.

Anyways, being a landlord can be very, very stressful! Since we started our rental in December ("off-schedule" compared to most rental properties), we did a 6-month lease. Our tenant was okay at first, but ended up being late 3 times and racking up a couple hundred $$ in fines with the HOA (late parties, reckless driving in the parking lot). After the 3rd late rent (and notice/threats from the HOA), he decided just to NOT PAY and we had to go through the whole legal eviction process which takes about 4 weeks! Fortunately, he didn't trash the place or really tear anything up (about $200 in cleaning, repairs, and etc), which was all covered by his deposit. But, now we have an outstanding judgement against him and we may or may not EVER collect... We are now on our 2nd tenant... and it's already getting dicey.

I'll just say that you and hubby need to be very secure in your choices, work together as a team, and do lots of research! Property managers are great, but you still have to pay them. For our area, we would take a significant loss to hire one. Fortunately, the rent we are able to charge just barely covers our mortgage + HOA fees, so our only loss is ~$10/month for insurance. Since we don't have a property manager, we bought the software/forms at Office Max for "Landlording" and I also subscribe to a great landlord website (LPA.com). There, you can find out about running credit/background checks, and lots of great information.

Whatever you decide, Good Luck!

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