Andrew Wetzel's Musings

May 26, 2017

When is the best time to sell your client’s house?

Filed under: Uncategorized — awetzel @ 4:50 PM

We all know what happened to the housing market over the last decade. The lingering effect is that many homeowners who paid too much or you refinanced for huge amounts are still stuck with houses worth less today than what they paid or what they still owe. Many wish they had sold when they had the chance and are impacted by markets that declined greatly since the peak.

Sellers decide to move for a variety of reasons and how they price their house depends on a number of factors including:  what they owe, what they need to buy another house, a refusal to sell for less than what they paid, assumptions about what they think their house is worth and other often fanciful thoughts.

Part of a listing agent’s challenge is “qualifying” the seller — determining what their plans are. If their plans are not realistic, such as asking for an unattainable price to balance their desired purchase, a real estate professional should really think about whether to accept the listing. At the very least, listing agents must properly advise their client so that they have appropriate expectations.

Many who plan to buy and/or sell are motivated by need; others by choice. Which is it? Are they motivated by money or time? If motivated by money, they need to remain patient, as that could take longer; if motivated by time, they need to price appropriately and adjust according to results.

The real estate market is a cold, detached conglomeration of data; you can wait for it to change but you cannot force it let alone try to “time it”. Some key questions to assess with your client include:

  • What is the cost of not selling now?
  • If you are selling to buy, which happens first?
  • Will the seller who owns the house that interests your client accept an offer contingent on your selling or settling your house?
  • Are you averse to accepting an offer without having a specific house in mind to buy?
  • Will the buyer interested in your house allow you time to find a house?

Unless a client can carry two mortgages, selling and buying are interdependent. Manage that coordination for maximum financial protection.

To answer the question:  it depends on a variety of factors but until we ask questions and get answers, we will not know.  Simply stated, houses sell each and every day of every year. Some months are better than others but a properly priced house will sell and every house has a price at which it will sell. Our job is to put the puzzle pieces together and best represent the interests of our client.

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