If you want to sell your house next year, when should you get started?

Are you thinking about selling your house next year?

Every neighborhood is different, and markets are always subject to change. Currently, average market time is amazingly low.

The number of days on the market, known as DOM by agents, always varies due to the price range. Accurate time on the market also assumes that a seller has priced the home somewhat realistically, based on recent comparable sales and not more than 10% higher than the suggested price from three independent real estate agents.

Given that homes are selling extremely quickly, you don’t want to go on the market too soon, even if you want to ask for a “rent back after sale” to stretch your move out for personal reasons.


Lenders will generally request that a buyer close an escrow in 60 days or less to guarantee an interest rate. Of course, higher-priced homes average closer to 70 days, but many still go under contract within 40 days, particularly when they are competitively priced, close to shops and coffee, and accessible for travel. So, even with a 60-day escrow and a rent back, you still may not be ready to go on the market. But the wisdom of good advance planning should definitely be on your mind.

Please don’t start painting, carpeting and redoing your yard before giving me or another qualified real estate adviser the opportunity to walk your property with you first.

The first step is to figure out if fixing up your home is going to give you a better return. I like to come up with a comfortable budget and not exceed that budget, which is easy — provided the plan is well executed and that we are not shooting from the hip in a last-minute rush. Perhaps you may even want to have a pre-inspection of your property to know of needed repairs in advance.


Of course, decluttering, dumping, liquidating, depersonalizing and making charitable donations is always good advice, and you can never do that too early in the process. Honestly, you should start with this as soon as possible; the sooner, the better.

Please don’t start painting, carpeting and redoing your yard before giving me or another qualified real estate adviser the opportunity to walk your property with you first.

Next, talk to your CPA or tax adviser to make sure you are up on the best strategy to save you money and avoid last-minute, unexpected surprises. Decide if selling is the best for you, and look at renting as an alternative. Know that with renting, if you lock yourself into a long lease, the market might not be as strong when you are ready to buy.

Next, evaluate where you are relocating. Are you planning to buy or rent? Do you want to buy a property, or would you rather take the pressure off your shoulders and buy a replacement home once you’ve got your home under contract?


Please call a qualified adviser to discuss the pros and cons of either buying first or selling first. Perhaps you may even want to discuss the possibility of a contingent purchase.

Even though you are not ready to go on the market, start paying attention to homes for sale and homes under contract.

Your agent can set you up as a guest on the MLS, or you could search yourself on either Red Fin or Zillow. Not only is it informative to start watching the market early; it’s actually fun!

Your real estate adviser can help you with your search parameters to make your search most informative.

Finally, you need to interview early to find a real estate agent you trust and feel is a good fit. “Good fit” is very personal; it may not necessarily be someone you meet on your first interview. My advice is to speak with three agents and, from there, trust your intuition.

Start getting your family on board and your commitments on the calendar so that you don’t need to change the go-to-market date at the last minute because of a wedding, vacation, graduation or birth of a child.

I’m a planner, very organized and always thinking. There is no need to be fearful, but please plan early and give yourself some time and freedom to make your move a positive experience.

Ron Wynn has been among the top 100 agents in America for over 10 years, as noted on REAL Trends/Wall Street Journal. Ron has represented over 2,200 sales totaling over $1.5 billion in sales volume in his 30-plus-year career as a real estate broker in California.

He is a noted speaker, trainer, advisor and writer affiliated with Compass, and previously affiliated with Coldwell Banker for 20 years. He also provides weekly coaching articles for over 3,000 real estate agents worldwide and online.


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