A home’s first weeks on the market are crucial


By Marilyn Kennedy Melia
CTW Features

Listen carefully, home sellers, and you will know if your sales strategy is effective.

“The market speaks to us,” says Jason Gooing of ERA Freeman & Associates, Portland, Oregon. “And it never speaks more clearly than in the first one to two weeks.”

With the current low inventories of homes for sale in many markets, it’s especially likely that sellers who’ve priced their home correctly should expect an offer within a certain initial time frame, observes Michael Seiler, real estate professor at the College of William & Mary.

As Gooing notes, an initial period as short as two weeks is telling.

“Within the first two weeks a property is on the market, the pool of potential buyers for that price point and area will have seen the property,” adds Victoria Aguilar of Nelson Shelton Real Estate in Beverly Hills.

A seasoned listing agent should be able to provide an expected window for a bid.

Explains Miami Beach real estate agent Ross Milroy, “In a sellers’ market, when demand outstrips supply, you can certainly expect an offer within the first two to four weeks. Buyers can be very emotional and are quick to make compromises and make aggressive offers when the supply of housing is tight.”

On the other hand, not all buyers have the financial wherewithal to quickly submit a strong bid, notes Ross.

If, for example, buyers will probably seek an FHA mortgage because they don’t have much available for a down payment, homes priced near the FHA loan limit may expect to wait longer for a viable buyer who can muster a required down payment.

Seasonal factors also influence the speed of sales.

A home sale strategy has three basic components: price, condition of the home, and a marketing plan, explains Debbie Kirkland, broker-owner of Century 21 FirstStory Real Estate, Tallahassee, Florida.

When an initial period passes without the expected buyer interest, one of those three factors can be adjusted, notes Kirkland.

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