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How do I sell my house while living out of state?

I have a 3b 2 ba condo on the NW side of Chicago that I've owned for about 3 years. Because of a new job, I'm now living in NC. I'd like to sell the place but have no idea of how to go about doing so while I'm living on the east coast. Does anyone have any tips/suggestions or even things NOT to do in order to make sure this process goes smoothly?

I have renters now but am thinking after their lease is up I should sell. I won't be able to let the place sit for long bc I can't afford the mortgage plus the rent that I'm paying for my place here (so it needs to be a quick sell). Any help would be appreciated.
  • November 13 2012 - Irving Park
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Answers (15)

I suggest you find a local Realtor that is technologically proficient.  Most things can be done digitally/electronically, and of course there is always the USPS to handle everything else that cannot be done that way (ie notarizing a grant deed, etc).

If you need me to refer a Realtor in your area from our database feel free to contact me in private.  I do make a small fee for the referral that your listing agent will be paying us--just a disclosure because I'm honest.

Best wishes from So-Cal and good luck
  • November 13 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
If you wish to sell your property in Chicago, you will need to find an excellent listing agent.   I'd probably start by getting recommendations from friends, relatives, and colleagues.    Read some posts by agents on this Advice section to see if you like their style.  Then, start calling and doing phone interviews.  (Think through the questions very carefully before calling).

Some interview guides:

Selling your home, five helpful tips

10 reasons to work with a Realtor(R) (This can give you a start on your interview questions)

How to negotiate with a listing agent.  

Although you can start the interviews by phone, I'd try to narrow down to the top three and fly up for the weekend to interview face to face.   Ask them to present a CMA, market plan, discuss communication etc.  

Please alert your tenant you are considering selling, and provide the appopriate notice (as per laws of the state) for non-emergency access so you can walk through the place with your agent interviewees.

If you put the property on the market while still having a tenant, realize this is very disruptive to the tenant's life.   Offer some sort of compensation, such as reduced rent or a payment for each showing.   We paid for a weekly housekeeper for one tenant when we were selling so the place sparkled even though with tenant clutter.








  • November 13 2012
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Personal referrals are the best!  You can also call around to the local RE offices, ask to speak to the manager and request they connect you with a Top Producer who can help you, especially since you are not local.  There are tons of excellent Realtors out there and I am confident that you can find one.  Use Zillow...see what agents in your area has great reviews from clients. I get more calls from new potential clients because of my reviews. Thats why I work the way i do.....the testimonials speak for themselves.  Good luck to you!
  • November 14 2012
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I manage a couple of properties out of state and while it makes things a bit more difficult, if you find a Realtor you can trust, you can get things done.  I have also found it helpful to retain a cleaning service, carpet cleaning and painting crew as well.  Typically your Realtor can assist with this as well.
  • November 17 2012
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Profile picture for Matt Laricy
I would get a good agent to help you out. Interview two or three agents and go with the one you mesh best with.
  • November 27 2012
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Have you asked your current tenants if they would be interested in purchasing?  If they are not, I would suggest that you consider using a Realtor to help you.  We can manage the showings for you, keep in contact with you with updates on showings, be present for any inspections and much more while you are out of town.

Selling a home can be stressful at times, let me know if I can be of assistance to you.

Respectfully,

Gus Drugas
  • May 07 2013
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Profile picture for Team Tempel
Contact a local real estate agent in Chicago and ask for assistance. I would look for someone that is in the immediate area of the home your trying to sell, they will know the market and know the pricing best. Check the Agent out by getting references and calling them. If you don't like what you hear go somewhere else.
  • May 07 2013
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everything these days can be done through internet. I mean signing all the paperwork. All you need is to hire a good realtor you trust. I worked with clients being overseas and don't even come to the settlement. you can communicate through SKYPE as well.
  • May 07 2013
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I agree with /StuartSantana. You need an agent who is tech savvy.
  • May 13 2013
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  • May 15 2013
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The best advice is to google local realtors in that area and interview at least 3 agents who suits you.  You'll then choose the one who is best for your property sale.
  • May 15 2013
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I'm not sure if you've already worked this out or not, but perhaps someone else is facing a similar dilema.  While your concern is quite understandable, it is easily managed.  From your current locations, NC,  go to a few brokers offices and find a referral agent you feel comfortable with.  They can arrange a referral for you to an agent in Chicago who will take care of the details of marketing your property for sale in your absence.  Your listing contract and many of the other details involved in selling property can be managed electronically like many of the other agents that have responded to your question have stated. 

  • May 15 2013
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Hire a good agent who uses electronic signatures. Interview a few before making a decision.
  • May 16 2013
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Hi there,

I know living out of state can make selling very difficult, but it can be done.  Firstly, get referrals from zillow or friends or family and interview them over the phone and ask them to follow up with CMA (competitive market analysis) via email... in those discussions share with the realtors that simply b/c you are out of state, you need the realtor to check on the home often and oversee any required work, etc... Then you will easily be able to sign all paperwork remotely and get your place sold.  Good luck!
Janice Copeland :)
  • May 16 2013
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Contact three realtors and interview them for the job.  I work in northwest Chicago (think areas along Milwaukee Avenue and the Blue Line train).  If you are traveling to Chicago in the coming months, you can setup all three appointments and interview the agents for the job of selling your home.  Otherwise, you can do a video conference via skype or gotomeeting.com and documents can be sent and reviewed through e-mail, the technology is there.  There is a great program called DocuSign that allows you to sign offers electronically and saves a lot of time, especially when you're not local.  Good luck!
  • October 27 2013
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