When I attempted to sell my 2/1 condo in spring of 2010, there came a point when my agent hinted that a significant price drop might get the job done. While we had some showings, the Home Buyer Tax Credit was going to expire soon. When we initially discussed putting my place on the market, I explained that I knew I wasn't going to make any money off my place.
My goal was simply not to bring any money to the table to cover transaction costs or mortgage shortfall. Bonus if I actually walked away with a little something to add to the down payment fund. I believed I communicated that and my realtor was fine with that goal. The paradigm was Price It Right and It Will Sell.
My realtor couldn't tell me exactly how low we could price it so that I wouldn't have to bring money to the table over transaction costs and or sales price. In fact he could only give me a rough estimate and was reluctant to do any work to refine that estimate. Apparently a top seller who has been in the business for years couldn't crunch some numbers to give his client the information necessary to make the best decision possible.
He did argue that even if I had to bring a small amount of money to the table out of my down payment savings, it would be a good thing to be free of the condo and could quickly start saving again. That would have also meant moving into Nightingale's cramped 1 bedroom condo in the south loop.
If he had said something like "if you lower your price to X and we get an offer around that amount, you'd end up bringing approximately $2K to the table," I might have actually considered it. But again he couldn't be bothered because I was being unreasonable not lowering my price enough to get the sale done. Of course tweaking his commision was probably not an option either.
I never had to formally make that decision because no official offers came my way. The Paradigm switched overnight to Do Not Put Your Home on the Market If you Cannot Afford to Sell It. My Realtor basically abandoned me when I couldn't lower my price any further.
Nightingale moved in here and we rented her condo at a slight loss. Looking back, it was the right decision because we have more space here.
If I tried the same thing today, based on the comps, I'd probably have to bring more to the table. How much more? Again, impossible to say. Best guess is in 2010 I might have had to bring no less than a couple grand but no more than 10K to the table. Today I'd probably be lucky to get away with only bringing 10K to the table.