Florida Property sale
July 1, 2010 7:59 AM   Subscribe

We have inherited a home in a retirement village in the Jacksonville Florida area. Prior to us inheriting it the home has been on the market for 2 years. The realtor lowered the price 6 months ago and tells us that it is best price in the area. The home has a 700 a month maintenance fee and we are anxious to sell so that we can divide the proceeds of the sale amongst the 3 children. Our realtor is telling us that lowering the price now won’t do much because there are not any people coming through the area. What do you recommend? Should we place an ad? If so where? Is there a senior magazine for retires in the snow belt of who would be interested. What is the next best course of action?
posted by ChrisB48 to Work & Money (9 answers total)
Has it been the same realtor for two years? Perhaps you should consider changing realtors. You may be in a contract with the current one, so you may need to look into things a bit.
posted by kellyblah at 8:17 AM on July 1, 2010

You might want to take it off the market and rent it for awhile, if renting is an option.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:42 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

my sympathies to the loss that your family recently experienced.

about the inheritance - a $700 a month maintenance fee? in Florida? are you sure this does not include nurses visits and a medical care plan? you might want to look at what this fee covers and uncheck some of the services provided. In the meantime, I agree with kellybish, it may be time to look at engaging other realtor, one who casts a wider net.
posted by seawallrunner at 8:45 AM on July 1, 2010

What about holiday renters? Try VRBO if its an good area for holidaymakers
posted by zia at 8:45 AM on July 1, 2010

I live in FLA. The real estate market here is a total mess.

Homes are practically being given away - prices are 20% of what they were in 2006/2007. It can be hard (maybe impossible) to sell anything in FLA right now.
posted by Flood at 8:54 AM on July 1, 2010

Maintenance fees often skyrocket in these conditions because the pool of actual homeowners keeps shrinking. Each house that goes into foreclosure means that the total of maintenance expenses how has to be shared among a smaller group of owners.

I know someone in the same boat. Florida real estate is a disaster. And the person who suggested holiday rentals obviously does not know Jacksonville.
posted by megatherium at 11:10 AM on July 1, 2010

This is the house you didn't want in your previous AskMe question, right? Why did you accept this unfortunate situation? It sounds like you got steamrolled by the old relative who wanted cash.

My advice, quit the bleeding ASAP. Get rid of the house by any means necessary. The $700 maintenance fee is costing you about $130,000 of the asking price. since that is what you could borrow at 5% for $700 a month.

Is the house even worth more than $130K? According to Zillow, the median price in Jacksonville is $113K. How about dropping the sale price to something competeley ridiculous? You'll *still* be ahead.

Even $10,000 would be a relative windfall for the 3 children. Relative to $0, or a negative number, that is. Anything at all is much better than carrying this house with the ridiculous maintenance fee. Sell it for anything you can get and never accept a trustee position again. The old relative shouldn't have gotten anything until this was settled.

Sorry you got reamed. Don't compound the problem by trying to recoup "what it's worth." Get out now.

Even if you are still acting as the trustee and my assumptions above are wrong, the same basic math works. In that case, the house is costing the estate $700 a month plus taxes, and should be dumped ASAP. Even if FLA real estate goes up again in (for argument sake, I doubt it) 5 years, the house will have cost the estate $42,000 + taxes. That's $42,000-$50,000 less to distribute, and this whole ugly mess hanging over all of you for years.
posted by Invoke at 2:52 PM on July 1, 2010

The realtor lowered the price 6 months ago and tells us that it is best price in the area.

I would also question whether this realtor is doing enough to sell it. The last price reduction was 6 months ago? Is it your priority to sell, and it doesn't matter if you sell if for 20% less than you could get? Drop that price.

You can find out if the realtor is correct about its being the best price in the area -- search online for comparable properties in the area (same number of bedrooms/bath, same sq ft, same amenities in the development). It's easy to see what others are *asking*, but several online services will also tell you what things have recently *sold* for, which will be the price you're interested in ultimately. Trulia, Redfin, Zillow, Realtor.com are all online services that will show prices and other data.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:22 PM on July 1, 2010

And in those online listings, see what the listing for your property looks like. Good pictures? Good description? etc. Does it show up as having been on the market for two years? Have the realtor take it down for a couple weeks and then re-list it at a lower price, with new pictures (if the old ones are bad).
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:24 PM on July 1, 2010

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