When to list? Possibly being transferred...

mkkristenOctober 23, 2009

There is a distant possibility that DH is being transferred from the Chicago office to the Charlotte office. We should know something in the next couple of weeks, but I like to research and plan so figured I would get started. If we do get transferred, it will be on "our timeline" so to speak. Our plan would be to go down in the spring and narrow down neighborhoods. We would move sometime after school ends in mid June.

Our market isn't hot, but it isn't dead either. And I know every market is different, but I'm trying to decide when we would list our house. We are in the top school district in our town, the house is updated, and the few minor problems we have(cracked floor tiles, new baseboards, etc), we would fix before listing. If we were to list end of Jan/beginning of Feb, could we stipulate that we aren't going to be out until the end of June and close then? Will that kill a sale? I refuse to move more than once. We aren't going to play that game.

This transfer, if it happens at all, is very flexible--we wouldn't have to take a transfer at all, so if our house didn't sell, we simply would decline the transfer(with no repercussions on DH's career) So knowing all that, when would be the best time to list?

Also, it's been about 3 years since we bought the house and we did that by owner. What are realtors getting these days for commissions? For all I know, since we are probably still so close as far as equity in the house to what we owe, we might lose money on it.

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We would love to have you down here in sunny Charlotte! It has been my wife's and my favorite place to call home.
I beleive you pretty much narrowed your options by the fact that you do not want to move into temporary housing. That being the case, get hold of a good agent down there, and have them tell you the average days on the market in YOUR neighborhood, and then add 3 - 4 weeks more. Even more importantly, do not let the amount of money that you owe on the note influence what the sales price should be. If you want to play the averages DOM, you have to price it very fairly. No matter when you list, do not state in the MLS when you can or can not move out. Negotiate that after a buyer falls in love with your property... more leverage for you.
Each market is different, and commission is always negotiable, but here in Charlotte the norm is 6.0%. Remember too, that if you negotiate to 5%, then the commission you are offering to a buyers agent goes from 3% to 2.5%...
Anyhow, come on down... four distinct seasons but none too long nor harsh, mountains 1.5 hours to the west, and beaches to the east about 3 hours away.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 7:05PM
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In this market you're probably limiting your options by listing early with a possession date into June. We did it a number of years ago when transfering from Denver to San Fran....my hubby's relocation package mandated that we list the home within 30 days of accepting the tranfer, yet I wanted the 4 kids to finish out the school year. We listed in February, sold the first week on the market, had three offers even though we gave possession middle of June. The agent told us we would have sold first day on the market with multiple offers if the possession date would have been sooner!! The key is to make sure your home is well maintained, clean, clutter free, and priced to sell. It's also imperative that prospective buyers know that possession will not be until June. You'll definitely lose some buyers by listing in February with possession in June, so since you're flexible it may make more sense for you to list in April or end of March at the earliest.

You'll love Charlotte...my daughter lives in the Ballantyne area and I visit her often. Charlotte is a wonderful city. Good luck with your move.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 7:35PM
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How long is the typical period of time from offer to closing in your area? I was in the exact same situation several years ago,listed in Feb,offer accepted march 1st,closed 90 days later,school was just about out..worked great,however the market is much more sluggish now,so i wouldn't wait until April..Good Luck

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 7:47PM
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If it were me, I'd get an appraisal as soon as you find out whether a transfer is an option, regardless of when or if you plan to list it. That would at least give you an idea of what you might expect from a sale. This might help you decide if you want to consider the move or not, since you sound ambivalent about it. I think it's especially important, given you believe you haven't built equity in your present home even if it hasn't depreciated in this market.

If you got it at the 'right' price you may be pleasantly surprised. If you find the opposite situation, it will give you more time to make some decisions.

I've lived all over in my life, and when considering a career move, salary and especially what you get out of or put into a house isn't always the most important consideration. Lifestyle, quality of family life, and other expenses like taxation rates and cost of living in your new location can impact you more than profit on a house sold. IOW sure it's important, but shouldn't be a limiting factor.

If you haven't been to where you're considering moving, I'd certainly be taking a little holiday and scope it out. Not just to look at property either. But to get a feel for what your lifestyle would be like there. It may make a decision for you.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 12:36AM
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Calliope--those are good points. We had an appraisal done back in May I think for a refinance. I remember it being lower than I would have liked, but can't remember how much lower. I'll have to pull it out and look. I think I visited Charlotte when I was a kid, but can't remember for sure. DH and I plan on taking a mini trip there in December if we get word soon, to check the place out. DH wouldn't be taking a salary cut, and cost of living is MUCH cheaper there, so we would definitely be ok in that respect.

Thanks for the input everyone! I know we have a lot more to research and think over, I just wanted to get a jump start on it all!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 10:45AM
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cost of living should be cheaper,no question...quality of life "should" be better,perhaps...trading BIG City life of Chicago for Charlotte,could be a small problem,IF you take advantage of what Chicago offers..

I lived very close to NYC and moved to just outside Philly, and the difference is very noticible...Nothing compares to NYC for cultural events/MANY great restaurants/Broadway/sport teams, etc..and Philly is no slouch in those areas,just much more scaled down

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 11:02AM
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Exactly! Things you can't put a price tag on are a lot more important than some think. The very first move my husband and I made after he graduated with his first degree, sure made a believer out of me where that is concerned. I used to call the area where we relocated the rectum of the earth, LOLOL. My opinion has softened over the years but we had taken every thing into consideration BUT the lifestyle we'd have to life given that areas confines.

When he went off to war, and came back to take an advanced degree, we opted NOT to go back to the position he had held and took a completely different direction career and locality-wise, and it was a good choice. Since then, we split and I moved again to a rural county in Appalachia, again a good choice for my life-style. That's so, so important. I didn't want to hit retirement and realise I had given up life quality for 'quantity' in material things.

Of course, different offices of the same corporations present different job atmospheres. I imagine your spouse has considered that and factored that in. That's important too.

Losing some on a house to sell isn't the omega, if your finances can handle it. Corporations often help in relocations and if they do, take advantage of the situation if it benefits you. If you move to an area of cheaper homes, and lower taxes it can even be a fiscal opportunity and you'll recoup your losses if you play your cards right.

Good luck, it sounds exciting.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 11:50AM
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Your biggest problem is going to be finding a good school district in Charlotte that has a house for sale in your price range..
Schools in Charlotte are not on the same par as those in Chicago area and navigation thru the road systems require a map, even for those who are long time residents!
STRONGLY recommend you get a complete address and directions for any place you decide to go in Charlotte. They love to use the same name in a number of different ways...Sharon View Road, Sharon Drive, Sharon Estates, Sharonville.......get the pic, it can be a wee bit confusing for a outsider.
By the time you declutter, do the fixes you need to do and get the house sparkling clean it will be time to list the house. So Feb seems right for a late spring sale by the time you get all the paperwork done and inspections. It may or may not hurt you having to wait till June to move as part of the contract, much depends on who your buyer is another family it may actual help a retired couple it may hurt.
A trip to Charlotte is a EXCELLENT idea. Just remember to compare apples to apples and don't get blinded by the nice weather in December in Charlotte when Chicago is up to it's knee caps in snow, ice and wind.
What works life style wise for one person may not work for you. The best way to find out is to make the trip and talk to the agents down there, visit the schools and look at few homes to get a idea of what is there.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 6:13PM
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While we live near Chicago, really the only time I go into Chicago is to see one of my doctors. DH and I will go to the doctor, stop and get lunch someplace and come home. Every couple of years we might go down to Michigan Ave or the Shedd or something, but honestly we don't take enough advantage of living so close because driving downtown is a total PITA. I hate driving in the city.

I have researched schools on greatschools.net Does anyone have any other resources for researching schools? Our elementary school and high school are both 10s and our middle school is a 9 right now. And I have found several comparable schools in Mooresville and Fort Mill SC(a couple other suburbs too, but those two stick out in my mind).

I feel confident we could find a good school and a good neighborhood. My worries are the career thing and house thing. DH is at the corporate headquarters now and is in good with a lot of the big dogs(actually my mom went to college with his CEO and is good friends with him and his wife--small world!), so he is trying to figure out and feel out what would happen if he moved away from them. His actual boss is already in Charlotte so that is good. He'll see how the career aspect plays out this week and I'll research the house part and hopefully we'll have an initial decision about moving forward my Thanksgiving.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 11:32PM
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Try city-data. It looks like they have a sub-forum on Charlotte under North Carolina. You can post questions and get answers from people who actually live there.

Here is a link that might be useful: City-Data Forums

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 2:25PM
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