How long will it take for my house to sell??

I get asked this question on every listing appointment I’ve ever been on.  I normally don’t reply with an amount of time, but with a sequence of events that needs to happen to attract a buyer.  The honest to goodness truth is that any house should sell pretty quickly if the seller will do everything on the list I give them and price it correctly.  Granted, there are exceptions…..million dollar house?  Will take time since there aren’t many buyers in that price range.  A unique house?  May need a unique buyer.  An overpriced house?  Will usually only sell to an idiot with a careless/stupid Realtor.  A normal house in any neighborhood in Lexington Ky?  If done right, it won’t take long.

I’ve been doing this long enough that I know how it usually goes with a seller.  I see the house.  I ask the sellers if they are willing to do any work that needs done to attract the buyers that are out there right now.  Sometimes they don’t/can’t/won’t do anything.  If they don’t/can’t/won’t, I tell them the price I think their house will sell for just like it is.  Usually though, the seller picks a few items from the list.  We put it on the market.  They get positive feedback for the things they have done.  They get negative feedback for the remaining items on the list.   After awhile, the seller starts to realize that they are going to have to do more items on that list.  They do one more item.  Still doesn’t sell or offers are way below where they should be since the buyer has subtracted about 5 times the cost for the remaining items on the list.  I’ve been on the buyer side of this.  They almost always say something like “If I have to paint this whole house I’m not paying a penny more than $XXX,XXX!!”  or “I would need to replace all the carpet and I like hardwood, so let’s just subtract the cost of hardwood from the asking price and go from there.”  Can’t blame them, after all, it is their market these days.

Eventually, the seller plugs away at my list until it sells (And sometimes being realistic about the asking price has been on the top of that list since day one).  See, there is the sequence of events I mentioned at the beginning of this post.  Now that the house is ready, it is going to sell because it is competitive and will almost always fall on the short list of a buyer.

But what happens to the people who do everything on the list from the beginning and price it correctly?  Their house usually sells in a matter of weeks.  Why?  Because buyers want the best house for their money.  Make your house THAT house, and start packing.

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