Lucia Burns, Realtor Extraordinaire, CNE
Lucia Burns

Lucia Burns, Realtor Extraordinaire, CNE
Realtor in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley & Fountain Hills

Predicting the Unpredictable Time on Market

Putting your home on the market is an exciting and challenging time!  In the beginning it looks pretty straight forward. Price it. List it. Sell it.

There are actually many layers to getting the best of those three simple steps.  One of the most challenging aspects of the home sale is predicting the timing.  It is also, one of the most crucial elements as all plans remain dormant until there is a definite date to strategize around.  So it’s nice if we can get our arms around this early!

The best you can do to predict the market time is to know your competition and have an agent with the skills and patience to do some detailed analysis of the current market.

Three months is the current market cycle for drawing comp sales and information.  Six months history if needed to identify any trends.  You will want to know market times. Not just the vague averages but actual market time based on specific circumstances relative to each sale.  It skews the numbers unfairly to believe a home that requires cosmetic updates due to outdated carpet and rainbows of wall paint would be comped for timing against a recently updated and fresh twin. They will not be the same timing.

Physically inspect competing homes for character and quality. This will give you a better understanding of where you are in the selection process. The needy property will sell after the best of show are absorbed so you need to know what that number might be.  You can manage your expectations from the start using accurate data intended to perform to the guidelines and not generalized reports that set your expectations too high which leads to frustration.

You also need to have an agent who understands how to calculate absorption rates. Again, this is data that can’t just be based on area generalizations.  If there are twenty homes in the area, there needs to be more discovery about the character of homes and how they relate to the overall absorption rate which will in turn translate into more accurate timing based on your individual property.

I like to provide my sellers with a customized timeline that illustrates not only the entry to the market with anticipated market time but the seasonal concerns that affect market time as well. This provides a visual map for clarity of conceptual information as well as forecasting potential movement on list price. It’s a lot easier to make adjustments in price if you had early information that prepared you to recognize the potential and to confidently know when to make the change.

This is important research not only to negate the concern of a property lingering but it also serves as a preparation for properties that sell immediately upon listing.  You need to be prepared that your home and it’s condition are in demand so you don’t recoil after receiving a swift response from the market.

That’s the overview for forecasting market time. Can’t forecast market anomalies……yet, but I’ll be working on it!

Lucia Burns




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