Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD) has frequently been identified as a misunderstood value play, and with a lot of real-estate carried well below its intrinsic value, it's easy to see why. 

However, the money that's unlocked from selling or spinning off real estate is only as good as the business you pour it back into. Sears doesn't pay a dividend, so I wouldn't count on one of those to come about with the excess cash. The company may buy back shares, but if you have a deteriorating model, it's only a matter of time until the value of those shares falls back down. 

The only option, and that which Sears is exploring, is reinvesting in the business, but with its track record of capital allocation, the Fool's Austin Smith is still skeptical that the company can make it work. See more in the following video.

Austin Smith and The Motley Fool have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Home Depot and Lowe's. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.