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Ardell Dellaloggia's Blog

By Ardell Dellaloggia | Agent in Seattle, WA

How Long Does It Take To Sell a House?

How long does it take to sell a house? is sometimes a question that people think has no definitive answer, but it does.

The answer is 60 days...or not. Yesterday I wrote a post with three clear, recent and real examples of Sold in 5 days, Sold in 60 Days and Sold in 71 Days.

Unless the Seller has an urgent need to sell quickly, as in the first example in the post linked above, a seller is often not happy when a house sells too quickly. You want to at least "test" the highest REASONABLE price to be pretty certain that you didn't leave money on the table. Sold in 60, with or without a price reduction, gives you the Peace of Mind of knowing you could not likely have gotten more, and that is often worth an extra few weeks on market.

Usually a "test" period is 30 days vs 60 days, but you have to be careful not to jump the gun and reduce a price unnecessarily. I find setting the goal at 60, unless there is some compelling evidence to do it more quickly, works fairly well...UNLESS!

UNLESS you are in the wrong Price Bracket. This happens when people list at those "right over the mark" numbers of $409,000 or $359,000 or anothing just over a $100,000 or a $50,000 increment. I try not to do that...in fact my sellers probably don't do that pretty much ever.

THIS is even MORE important now that people Use the Internet to look at homes. If you are priced at $409,000 and they are looking from $350,000 to $400,000, you are INVISIBLE to them. They can't see "a smidge over" the way they used to when they were looking "in an mls book" and could see "the next page".

If you aren't getting any showings...well...you don't wait 60 days to figure out why no one is coming.

RULE OF THUMB

NO ONE IS COMING to see the house = Price is WAY off!

LOTS OF PEOPLE COMING to see the house, but no offers = something AT the house doesn't match the Asking Price. It seemed to match when they viewed it on the internet...but once they got to the house...something there prevented them from making an offer.

Usually your agent will know about whatever that may be before you listed the property, as in my 71 day example at the end of the post. Everyone was willing to sod the front lawn and the yard...but it just couldn't be done at that time of year. We weighed the cost of carrying the property until it could be done against the price reduction, and the price reduction was more cost offective for the seller. They had already moved into their new home, so the costs of carrying the vacant house against the price reduction led to the price reduction after no ovvers in 60.

Some will ask why the buyer who paid Full Price at the new price, didn't just offer $10,000 under asking when they saw the house 4 to 6 weeks before? BECAUSE the neighboring 2 houses were also in consideration, and so they offered on NONE of the 3 until we lowered our price a "smidge" from $399,950 to $389,950. That made the spread between the other homes wider...and resulted in not only my listing selling...but the other two close behind it.

When the same buyers are circling the same houses for 60 days...often one selling causes a domino effect.

If you are thinking about Selling your Home in the Seattle Area...give me a call at 206-910-1000. I'll always give you the straight scoop.

ARDELL

Comments

By Aaron Schreiner,  Tue Jul 12 2011, 16:43
This is a great post...thoroughly researched and well prepared. Thanks for answering the question that's on everyone's mind.
By Ardell Dellaloggia,  Tue Jul 12 2011, 17:01
Thanks Aaron. I don't write many posts here in Trulia, I usually blog in my other places. So I very much appreciate the comment!

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