The Second Most Popular Question in Real Estate

What’s the second most popular question in real estate? (the first being, “what’s my home worth?”)

“How long will it take to sell my home?”

Unless the Realtor is going to buy it, the honest answer is, “I don’t know.”

However, it is possible to give the owner an estimated range, based on the following four, inter-connected variables:

One. Price.

The higher, the longer.

Locally, for example, there is currently a two year supply of $1 million-plus homes for sale in Edina.

If you are contemplating selling one . . . that’s how long you can expect to be on the market.

By contrast, smaller, more affordable homes in popular Twin Cities neighborhoods like Linden Hills and Fern Hill take an average of 3-4 months to sell now.

Lately, homes under $250k or so in particular tend to sell fastest because they appeal to first-time home Buyers, who by definition don’t have to sell another home in order to buy.

Two. Condition and updating needs.

As I’ve blogged previously, homes that require major updating (over $100k) have been tough sells in today’s market because Buyers have to have that money in reserve.

Cheap mortgages — and they’re now well under 5% — don’t make it any cheaper, or easier, to tackle a major remodel.

Three. Relative Value.

Homes that are well-priced, staged, and marketed relative to their peers sell faster.

Always have, always will.

Four.  Broad or narrow appeal, or, “the quirky factor.”

Yes, it’s true that “all real estate is unique” — but some real estate is more unique than others.

It’s also the case that there’s “good unique” and “bad unique.”

So, views of the Minneapolis skyline from the west side of Lake Calhoun would be an example of the former.

A home with an odd floor plan and a hodgepodge of architectural styles, the latter.

The common denominator in all four of the above variables is, how broad or narrow is the potential pool of Buyers for the home in question?

As a general rule, the broader and deeper the pool of prospective Buyers . . . the shorter the market time.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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