TCW - Jobs, Money & Opinion

Is Now a Good Time to Sell Your Home?


How do you determine what your home is worth and when to sell it?  Do you hire an appraiser?  Does your real estate broker set the value for your home?  Or, do you use the price of a comparable home or condo as the listing price for your property?


All of these resources will render a different number.  A bank appraiser may value your home at a lower price to protect themselves from a bad loan.  A real estate broker may price your home too high to secure the listing. So how do you know what the real value of your residence is and when to sell it?


I contend that the value of your home is what someone is willing to pay for it!  There are many other considerations besides comparables that differentiate your home from others.  Perhaps, it's your fabulous kitchen with Bosch appliances, your view of the Lake or an outdoor patio.  Yet, before you list your home or invest in another, it is important to have as much information as possible in order to set the right listing price for your home.


Meet, Keith Jurow, PhD and former economic writer for the Holt Advisory of Westport, Connecticut.  He currently writes a column for the popular investment blog site, Minyanville.  Practically obsessed with identifying information on the current values of residential real estate, he has been researching and writing about the housing debacle for years, seeking pertinent data to help homeowners and investors value their property.


Jurow has recently launched a publication for the Minyanville site called, Housing Market Report (  It will appear twice monthly and is packed with actionable data, charts, graphs, analysis and specific advice to help you make better property decisions.  Each issue will feature an in-depth look at a major metro market.


His first report is free and focuses on Las Vegas, but also has pertinent data on other markets, including Chicago.  He has valuable resources in each market that help him stay current and accurate, of which, he analyzes and offers advice for a subscription fee.


In his first report he says, "I have found that many sellers are listing their properties as if this was 2006.  It just doesn't work."  Jurow lists a useful graph from Zip Realty, showing the median listing prices for six major metro areas.  The median price in Chicago for a residential property in 11/09 was $239,900.  It dropped to $234,900 in 1/10, went back up to $239,900 in 3/10 & 4/10.  But by 9/10, the median price had fallen to $225,000 and fell even further by 1/11 to $199,900; $40,000 less than 11/09!


Unfortunately, it looks like we have not seen the bottom of the housing market.  The question remains, "How low can our home values fall? And where is the bottom?"  Jurow is convinced our home values will fall even further due to more foreclosed properties about to hit the market, which brings down everyone's value.


Jurow's Chicago housing report will soon be available.  I recommend it to anyone that is considering selling or purchasing a home.  The Chicago report can be purchased for $29.00 and seems to me to be a very valuable tool in assessing a residential investment.  Check out the website at Minyanville. Or wait for my reports after I read it!



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