So the Realtor®'s that looked at the house and did some market research gave me news which I'm not entirely surprised about, but also not willing to roll over and accept. Given their fees, which are insanely too high, I'm looking at pretty much a break-even situation. Given real fees in line with other agents, and a bit more comparison to properties that I think are more similar, I might be able to eek out $10k.
I'm annoyed with the situation, but there also isn't much I can do about it. To compensate for the crappy situation, I kind of play a time game in my head. If I could get rid of the house today for less than I would like instead of six months from now, there's $8k worth of payments to think about to offset what I didn't get up front. My goal is to bank as much cash as possible to unload Diana's house, which clearly doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon, and paying on hers in the long term doesn't bother me as much.
It still bothers me that the actual sale price may be lower than what I bought it for. Not that my mortgage has ever been a burden financially, but it sure would be nice if I had something to show for it. While it's always the case in the first ten years of a loan, it's like I've pissed away 100 large on property tax and interest. And the worst thing about it is that there isn't enough left over to get in on something else in Seattle while the property there is also cheaper.
At least I know what I'm up against now. Microsoft has a network of real estate people they use, so naturally I'm gonna talk with them. If their rates are lower, that alone is incentive to see what they can do.
What's really broken about the business is that these folks are all little more than marketers. That's a different job from actually selling. They don't get to actually pitch anyone directly and make an emotional appeal, the way evil car salespeople do.