Timing is everything. Or is it?

June 25, 2018

One of the biggest concerns we hear from move-up buyers and downsizers is their fear about timing their sale and purchase correctly. These timing issues can feel overwhelming. Some timing issues may be beyond your control, yet others can be easily calculated with the help of your real estate professional. When you think about timing the sale of your home in Bethesda, you must take into consideration four time frames. 

1. Home Prep – First, think about how long it will take you to prepare your home for the market. Any repairs you’d like to make, any projects you’ll need to complete, and clean-up you’d like to do. Remember, if your home looks like an average home in the neighborhood, you should see average results in terms of the price and time on the market. If your home is above average (amazing curb appeal, more updated, larger, more appealing, you may see above average results, like a higher price or faster sale. The phenomenal homes can draw multiple offers and cleaner offers with fewer contingencies.Sad Pose

2. Marketing Prep – Once your home is photo-ready, your real estate agent will need some time to photograph the home, prepare marketing materials and roll out the marketing campaign. At Hollish Hill Group, we build a marketing strategy for your home and give you our recommended timeline. 

3. Average Days on Market – Once your home is on the market, a clock starts ticking. We call that time frame the Days-On-Market. It starts when your property goes active and ends when you accept and ratify an offer. It’s a good idea to understand what has been happening in your neighborhood so you can get a handle on the amount of time you will have to keep your home showing-ready. 

The average Days on Market takes the calculates the time properties in your area were listed as ACTIVE before accepting an offer. It does not include the time properties were listed as COMING SOON. When the number is low, it means that homes are selling quickly. This typically means there is low inventory compared to the demand by buyers ready to purchase. When the number is higher, it generally means that supply of available homes is larger than the demand.  When buyers have more choices, they tend to take their time when selecting and bidding on a home. Other factors impacting the average days on market include, mortgage rates, age of neighborhood, lending guidelines, time of year, time within school year, desirability of neighborhood compared to adjoining neighborhoods, pricing, and weather.

4. Prepping for Settlement – This final time period between offer acceptance and settlement is not factored into Days on Market. In Bethesda it is generally about 30 days, but can be a lot longer for new construction and shorter for a cash deal. During this period of time, the buyer conducts inspections, the lender appraises the property and approves the buyer for financing. The seller makes any required repairs, and moves out of the home. The closing company orders the title work and survey, issues title insurance and works with the lender to prepare the closing disclosures. The buyer will acquire homeowner’s insurance and conduct a final walk-through on or before the day of settlement. This can be a stressful part of the process because the settlement date becomes everyone’s deadline. So, before you ratify a contract, make sure that date will actually work for you.

Timing the sale of your home and the buying of your next one can get complicated. Depending on your particular situation, there are financial tools and real estate tools available to make the coordination of your sale and purchase a smooth process.If you’re considering a move, give me a call at the Hollish Hill Group to discuss the timing that works best for your unique situation.

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