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6 things real estate agents wish you knew

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Selling could take lots of time
Selling a house probably takes longer than you think © bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock.com

Selling could take lots of time

If you're selling a home, it's important to recognize the timeline, says Jeffry Wiren, principal broker with Re/Max Equity Group and past president of the Portland, Oregon, 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 -- creates stress, Wiren says.

Instead, realize how long the process takes in the real world (not just in 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: 2 weeks.
  • Average time on the market (varies widely with location and price): 2 1/2 to 3 months.
  • Negotiating after an offer: 1 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 4 to 6 months to sell, Wiren says. And that's if you have a house that's priced right in a good market with one firm offer that makes it to the closing table.

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