Need some help selling a home in NJ

millie42June 19, 2008

Myself and 3 siblings inherited a home from our parents. 2 of the siblings live there but can no longer afford taxes and bills, so we have decided to sell.

The place has not been kept up....basement unfinished and bathroom and kitchen outdated.

There are 4 bedrooms, a living room, and kitchen. All rooms have been cleaned and painted neutral colors with fresh white molding and mini blinds on all the windows.

For the neighborhood, it is not updated enough, but we decided to sell "as is" ourselves.

Neighborhood is nice, very close to NYC buses, and the yard is larger than those across the street.

We plan to move out siblings prior to sale; house will be clean and empty.

How do we go about finding out how much we can get for this house without fuss? We want it "priced to sell" without going too low, as proceeds from sale will be the only savings these 2 siblings have left. They are 10 and 20 years from retirement with low-paying jobs.

Sorry this is so long.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think in a situation like this you are making a mistake in not using an agent. First of all, there's a very high probability of emotional battles between the four siblings. Especially if two or more are financially unstable or disabled. It helps to have a third party to manage expectations and mediate. Also, if you aren't sure how to set a price there are probably other issues that you won't be sure how to handle.

That said, if you want to give FSBO a shot you could still interview agents and get their opinions. You may end up using one of them - it's not unethical to consult with them. You could also get an appraisal, but even if you get an appraisal I'd still interview the agents. Then if you decide you need an agent you don't have to start the whole process all over again.

I really, really think that in situations like this it's best to stay as uninvolved as possible. I probably wouldn't even have painted (that's probably already raised the stress level of the siblings living there). Would have just handed the keys to an agent and told her/him to call me when there was a bid. I know you are trying to help your siblings, but unless you are a conservator or the like it's really not your problem. Others will disagree.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with solie,interview several realtors and have them run some comps for you, to establish a price for home...No need to tell them you may or may not go FSBO...

You mention you and 3 siblings inherited the home, but are any of you the executor? If not,let the executor do the work, as not to cause rifts among the family

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 2:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What part of NJ is the house in? I just sold in South Jersey, my parents sold in Union county in 2006, the market is brutal. I don't think I would do FSBO. We actually tried it for a few months on my dads house, one guy strung us along for a few months then vanished, didn't return our phone calls. Getting the agent was a lot easier.

Some parts of NJ are more desirable then others but you have to be priced right. is a good place to start, look up the zip along with the similar info. It will give you an idea of what houses are selling for.

If you do decide to FSBO make sure you use a service that will list on the MLS.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 5:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you may want to consult with a real estate attorney so you know exactly what's involved in selling a house that is concurrently owned by three people.

I think that's going to be a bigger headache than the actual selling of the house.

As for getting realtors in to give you a price, the three that I had in did NOT give me price until I would list with them. They did give me a list of things I needed to do to make the house sellable and they gave me a number that I needed to be under (so I would know if I could even afford to sell it) but not what number I needed to be at.

And I was cool with that, because their knowledge is their product. I didn't expect them to give it all to me for free. What they did tell me is what they were willing to give "for free" when I was considering listing with them.

From what I've heard even if you list on the MLS a lot of realtors will avoid you because they feel that they have to do "all the work" if they bring a buyer, so I'm not personally convinced that being in the MLS is such a boon, but it's only an opinion. Our particular neighborhood gets a lot of "drive by lookie loos", who want to live in this neighborhood and trawl for fsbos on the weekends, hoping they'll find a fsbo sign. Lot fewer nowadays, but they're still out there..

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 7:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The reason I mention listing on the MLS is for buyers to find the listing. When I was looking for a house, I didn't have time to search FSBO sites to see what comes up. I actually did see one or 2 in the newspaper, but we never looked at them, don't know why.

btw, you can claim your house on zillow then add for sale info. One gal in NJ actually had people find her through zillow, last I heard, she hadn't sold though.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 8:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thank you all for the help

My sister is executor and is looking on realtor dot com and zillow as suggested here.

We are really interested in selling soon and are willing to make the price very attractive. For example, if for-sales in the neighborhood are around $319,000 for similar house. We are willing to sell for $299,000 or even as low as $280,000 just to sell quickly.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I suggest you talk to a couple of realtors and ask what they would list it for. You can also have it put on MLS through various set fee companies.

You should price it a little lower then other houses in the same condition but there is no need to give it away. If other houses in the same condition are selling for $319,000 then listing it for $299,000 would probably get you a quick sale.

You might try putting it on Craig's List. It's free and you can include pictures.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you are willing to list below comps, go with a realtor & list it aggressively. Maybe even get it staged. I hate to tell people to spend money, but staged homes sell faster.

Selling a house is a big undertaking. You must have time & patience. It sounds like the "patience" & time are not there, so you may benefit by listing it quickly with a good realtor. Let them deal with the hassle.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 7:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"We are really interested in selling soon and are willing to make the price very attractive."

Why not sell the house at auction 'as is'?

"The NAR predicted that by 2010, 30% of all real estate will be sold by auction."

You say its in a nice neighborhood, close to public transportation and has a larger yard than the neighbors? Sounds like a good candidate for a quick sale. You won't have to mess with FSBO, hire a real estate agent or disclose any problems you are aware of. If you don't get your reserve price you can always put it on the market.

Links that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 5:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are all so helpful to us! These suggestions will be discussed and considered.

My sister has also contacted a real estate attorney who will help us.

Please keep ideas coming!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Latest news is that 2 siblings who live in house have apartments. They will both move in August.

That gives us an empty house to make some minor repairs.

My sister did some research and found that most of the homes in the neighborhood that were for sale recently have been sold...for more than we thought they would go for. I'm thinking the neighborhood is more desirable than we originally thought.

So far no excessive tension among the siblings. We are all trying to keep it business-like.

Thank you again for your suggestions.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 1:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, we got a cash offer while we were cleaning the house! Tomorrow we sign an "as is, no contingency" contract. It's for less than we wanted, but we close in 3 weeks rather than 6-9 months, and no work or additional $$ to put into it.

We spent an entire night running numbers this way and the end, the 4 siblings get about $2,500 less than we predicted.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 11:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 7:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All of the paperwork is in order. We close middle of the month.

Thank you all again for your insights here on this forum.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 2:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Thank you so much for giving us updates. And I'm glad it is going so smoothly. A four-way sibling sale could have been a nightmare. You must have done everything right, and all of you must be reasonable people. You mother would be proud :)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We closed! It was a bit emotional handing over the keys to our childhood memories, but we did it. The money is in the bank and everyone in the family is happy and moving on.

Our buyer could not have been a nicer guy...even our attorney commented on it.

Good luck to all of you!!

Susan, your comment about my mom meant so much to me during this time. All the best to you!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 12:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm happy for you, Millie. Once in a while, things go right.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 11:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Would you buy a home near fire station??
We're considering an offer on a single-family home...
Retiree - rent or buy home
We are newly retired and have a plan to sell our current...
Move or not?
Went to an open house the other day. The house was...
Do buyers prefer table & chairs or island in kitchen?
We are getting our house in order before listing it...
Specific real estate agent required by divorce decree
Hi real estate agents, does anyone know if it is legal...
Sponsored Products
Seagrass tall basket
Origin Crafts
Classic Home Furniture - Wood 4 Drawer Cabinet In Multi Color -...
Great Furniture Deal
Rusty Movements Metal Clock
$305.80 | Bellacor
Embarcadero Flushmount by Philips Forecast Lighting
$178.00 | Lumens
Cast Iron Slide Bolt with Ball Handle
Signature Hardware
Orange Crush Rug
$329.99 | Dot & Bo
Makam Oushak Rug 6' x 9' - LIGHT BLUE/RUST
$3,019.00 | Horchow
nuLOOM Handmade Indoor / Outdoor Zig Zag Chevron Rug (5' x 8')
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™