Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sizing Up the Competition

I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm planning on going back to grad school next fall. So, I'll probably need to sell my condo. A realtor friend mentioned that there's a huge inventory of condos in my neighborhood right now because they're throwing up new buildings left and right. And I'm worried that higher interest rates are scaring away potential buyers. All this to say, I think it'll take me a heck of a lot longer to sell this condo than it took to sell my last one.

Well, the other day, I bumped into my upstairs neighbor. Her husband and I had purchased our condos at around the same time, nearly 2 years ago. So, I mentioned that I was thinking about selling my condo next spring. Her encouraging response? "Yeah, we're probably going to do the same thing." I'm thinking, 'Uh, oh.' Our units are nearly identical in terms of floor plan and layout, except that my unit has a couple of extra upgrades, a larger outdoor deck and hardwood floors throughout. I also paid more for my unit than they did for theirs. So no matter how you slice it, my condo is going to be priced higher. And I can totally see some buyer wanting to use their selling price as a starting point for negotiations on mine 'cause that's precisely what I did when I bought my place. Sigh. This'll be interesting.

On a more positive note, one of my good friends has been looking to buy a new townhouse, in the general vicinity of the school where I'm hoping to do my graduate studies. And she offered to let me stay with her (assuming that I pay rent, of course). So, that's a load off of my mind. I was so not looking forward to the prospect of student housing or renting a house with a bunch or random strangers.


LAMoneyGuy said...

How much has the Chicago RE market gone up over the last 2-3 years? Many parts of So Cal have doubled. If you are sitting on substantial equity, that's great news. Price it right, and get the sale done. Don't price on "the high side," it won't sell. Many sellers in inflated markets are currently chasing the market down with monthly reductions. The problem is that buyers are already turned off to their place.

Best of luck!

IRA said...

Unfortunately, the Chicago RE market hasn't gone up very much in the past 2 years. And it's definitely slowing down in the last 6 months. Meanwhile, the builders keep building, so there's a ton of excess inventory in my neighborhood.

I agree with your sage advice. Best to price it on the low side for a quick sale. No sense being greedy.