How Long Will It Take?

If you are thinking of selling your home then one of your questions will certainly be: “how long will it take to sell my house?”  In today’s market, it’s worth calling a few real estate agents just for the entertainment value of the possible answers:

  • How long would you like it to take?
  • Let’s list it and see what happens.
  • Anyone who claims to be able to answer that is lying.
  • When the Moon is in the 2nd house and Jupiter aligns with Mars.

If you would like to plan your life around more than astrological projections or wishful thinking, you and your Realtor have some work to do.

If you want to sell in your time frame and not endure months of inconvenience and anxiety, you must be the best value on the market. Value is made up of price, condition, location and emotional intangibles like attractiveness. So how do you set and manage the value?

Evaluate Comparables: I don’t think there is an alternative to previewing the Active comparables with a knowledgeable local Realtor. You must visit the houses in person and realistically “think like a buyer”. You should also drive by the houses that have recently Closed or are Under Contract. Carefully study the online interior photos and make lists of the pros and cons compared to your house. 

Ask yourself: would my house been chosen over the ones that just sold?

Market Analysis: Your Realtor should show you a detailed market report of the inventory of comparable houses, the absorption rate (how many will sell each month), and the average market time of the Closed sales. The report should be based on data from MRED (the MLS of northern Illinois) and independent research from a company like Altos Research. You should be able to develop a very clear picture how many houses like yours will sell each month.

Ask yourself: do I want to be the next house to sell in my area?

Be Realistic: Will your house will compete against distress sales in your area? Foreclosures or short sales sell for as low as 40% below market value so you must make your home worth the difference in price.To sell in this market, your home must be compellingly priced, professionally staged and be aggressively marketed by a full-time Realtor with a successful brokerage.

Ask yourself: do I really want to sell?

“How long will it take to sell my house?” won’t be a quick or simple answer but it doesn’t require a crystal ball. A real answer will require that you are realistic, willing to work hard and that you hire the right Realtor.


About Leslie Ebersole

Leslie Ebersole has written 4 posts in this blog.

Leslie Ebersole with Baird & Warner Real Estate services buyers and sellers in Kane County and DuPage County, about 40 miles west of Chicago. She lists and sells homes in St Charles, Wayne, Geneva, Batavia, Elburn, Bartlett and West Chicago.