real estate

6 things real estate agents wish you knew

Selling a house probably takes longer than you think
Selling a house probably takes longer than you think © bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock.com

If you're selling a home, it's important to understand the timeline, says Jeffry Wiren, principal broker with Re/Max Equity Group and past president of the Portland, Ore. Metropolitan Association of Realtors.

"And that's something most people don't understand," he says.

Underestimating the time it takes -- and building a schedule around those unrealistic expectations -- adds stress, Wiren says.

Instead, realize how long the process takes in the real world (not just your head) and plan accordingly. Another important factor: Different markets (and prices) move at different speeds, he says.

Wiren's sales schedule breakdown:

  • Getting your home in shape: two weeks
  • Average time on the market (varies widely with location and price): 2 1/2 to three months
  • Negotiating after an offer: one week
  • Preparing to close (assuming a traditional transaction): 30 to 45 days

What the agent wishes you knew: A smart seller allows a minimum of four to six months to sell, Wiren says. And that's if you have a home that's priced right in a good market with one solid offer that makes it to the closing table.

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