Getting a Head Start Getting Used to “2015”

Once upon a time, before I was a Realtor — and personal checks were actually handwritten — it was a couple of days into January before I started using the “new” New Year (and invariably got the date a wrong for a few weeks after that).

2015Now, I typically start using the new calendar year (2015 in this case) in the Fall.

That’s when people are interviewing agents to help them buy or sell a home — and everyone needs to agree to a contract term.

Average Contract Length

For a market average $200k home, I’d typically ask for a 5 month listing.

That allows a couple of weeks of home prep; 2-3 months of actual market time to attract a Buyer; and another 6-8 weeks to close.  See also, “How Long Should the Listing Be?

If the house needs more prep, is at a higher price point, and/or is more unique, a 6-8 month term could easily be appropriate. 

Buyer “To Do” List

While Buyers don’t have to prep their home for sale, they have to do other things.

Like find a lender (and establish their purchase budget); get their finances and credit scores in order; and zero in on a few neighborhoods where they want to focus their home search.

Do the math, and you get a contract term that easily runs until April, May, or June .  . . 2015.

P.S.:  Corollary to the above:  want to buy or sell in 2015?

You should be interviewing Realtors . . . now!

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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