Timeline for Selling
Two of the biggest questions sellers have is how long it will take to sell and what is the process once in escrow? The answer to the first is it depends. How long a property takes to sell is a function of three main factors:
- Price and the market
Price is often the biggest factor.
There are different pricing strategies for different market conditions. Is it a seller’s market or buyer’s market? How easy is it for buyers to obtain financing? Do you price high to leave negotiating room or price low hoping for multiple offers? This is as much an art as science and I bring both to you in the process. Where the initial price is set can greatly affect the final sales price. Often overpricing can lead to a lower sales price than pricing right to begin with.
Condition of a home also affects time on the market. Homes that show well sell faster, plain and simple. There are many ways to maximize how your property shows, some have a big payback some less so. I advise all my clients on the best ways for current market conditions.
Marketing – My marketing plan is designed to bring the most buyers to your property up front. The more that see it the sooner it will sell.
In a strong seller’s market properties can be on the market for just a few days before selling. In a strong buyer’s market the average days on the market can be over 100. Again, this varies depending on the price point, competition and many other factors. This should all be laid out for you before you list your property.
Escrow – The escrow period begins when an offer is accepted. Timelines are all negotiable between buyer and seller. For residential properties buyers generally need two to three weeks for their due diligence (inspection contingencies, title research, evaluating disclosures, etc.). Depending on the mortgage market, loan approval and appraisals can take anywhere from two to three weeks. Due diligence investigation and the loan process generally run concurrently, so by the end of these periods the deal looks solid or it is cancelled. After that it usually takes one to two weeks to process the final paperwork for loans, move money and sign the closing papers. So the total process is generally 30 – 45 days.
For land sales the time frame for investigations are usually longer because it takes more time to research issues like sewer, water and boundaries, etc. if they are not already in place. In addition land loans are more complicated. Investment property transactions can also take more time, especially for arranging loans.
This is all a rough guideline. I have had transactions once in escrow, close in less than a week and also take over 6 months. I have had properties sell on the first day and others take much much longer. Each property has its own opportunities and challenges, all of which change timelines. This will be part of our discussion when we meet.