real estate

5 tips to sell home before buying another

Q: How long will it take to sell?
How long will it take to sell? © Feng Yu/Shutterstock.com

No one can predict specific events. But using the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, data, a real estate agent can measure the time it takes for comparable homes to move from initial listing to having a purchase contract accepted to the closing of a sale.

In a pronounced sellers' market, "You might see averages as little as eight to 20 days" for homes to go under contract after listing, observes Kristy Gonzalez, agent with ERA Evergreen Real Estate in Hilton Head, S.C.

Another forecast on selling time can be gleaned right after a home is listed. "Certainly you can get an idea of how fast it will sell," says Gonzalez, who adds that on some of her listings, agents were booking appointments for buyers to tour within hours.

Real estate sales are seasonal in most areas, with winter and holiday periods less active. The time-to-sell forecast might be influenced by seasonality, but "the buyers who are looking then tend to be more serious," Gonzalez adds.

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