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Real Estate Q&A: How long will it take to find a buyer?

by Mary Bryan Fields

Q. How much time is needed to find a buyer in today’s market?

A. Longer market times are the first indication that market conditions are changing from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. The relationship between the supply of available properties and the number of buyers looking for a property of that type determines the selling price of your property. Because price influences how quickly a property will sell, any property can be sold quickly in a buyer’s market. When you set your offering price, you determine how long you’ll have to wait to find the right buyer. The more competitive your price, the quicker you’ll find the buyer!

Your first step is to decide your desired time frame for selling. Next, make a list of properties like yours currently offered for sale (supply). Then, determine how many similar properties have sold during the last six months (absorption rate). Now, you’re ready to compare your property to three to five similar properties that have recently sold to determine a selling price range. If the absorption rate is slow with abundant inventory already on the market, your price should be at or below the bottom of the selling price range to sell quickly. If you can wait longer to sell, price nearer the middle of the selling price range. If market conditions reflect fast absorption with limited supply, price to the top of the selling price range if you want to sell quickly. In extreme market conditions you may be able to price above the selling price range, as in 2005-2006, or you will need to price below the selling price range, as in today’s market, to achieve your desired time frame for selling.

The important point…. You cannot control market conditions, but you do control your pricing. In any market, if you really want to sell your property, price it right!

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