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Reducing the stress from selling a home and moving

January 5, 2018
By BOB and GERI QUINN - Homing In , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

One aspect of selling a home that can be unsettling for many people is not knowing how long it will take for the right buyer to come along, so you can get your home sold and move on with your life. The stress levels can intensify once your home is under contract with a buyer, and you realize you have a limited amount of time to get it all together and be out of your home by a contractual deadline. This pressure can be compounded if you need to get your current home under contract with a buyer, before you can commit to buying your next home, as you try to coordinate the sale, purchase and moving, while hoping nothing goes wrong.

There are several ways to help relieve some of the stress involved with selling a home and preparing to move by a certain deadline. One of the best things to do is to start preparing your home by decluttering and getting rid of stuff before putting your home on the market. This can involve getting as many things as possible boxed up in advance and temporarily placed into storage, or selling and giving away the stuff you no longer need. If you are serious about selling your home, you are going to need to do this at some point anyway, so it's better to start on it now, instead of waiting until the last minute. By doing this in advance, your home will also likely show better to buyers and you may get more money for your home.

Another way to help reduce stress levels is by having more knowledge about the process involved with selling your home, so you have a better idea of what to expect. For instance, when a home goes under contract with a buyer and into a "sale pending" status, a seller will usually have about 30 to 45 days until the sale is finalized and they need to be moved out of their home. There are usually several additional hurdles to clear before a seller is home free, such as the home inspection and a lender's appraisal, if the buyer is financing the purchase.

The market can also provide us with useful information to help estimate how long it will take a home to go from being a new listing to a closed sale. One such statistic that helps provide this type of time frame estimate is the cumulative days on the market, or "CDOM." This is a running total of the number of days that a home is listed for sale, until the sale is finalized, or "closed." As with many housing market statistics, the preference is to use the "median" number, which basically creates an "over/under" point, where half of whatever is being measured is under that point and half is over that point. So the "median CDOM" tells us the point in cumulative days at which half of the homes that sold closed in fewer days, and half of the homes that sold closed in more days. For example, if the median CDOM is 90 days, then half of the homes sold were closed in under 90 days and half in over 90 days.

In the Cape Coral single-family home market, we can calculate the median CDOM by specific property types and price ranges, to give a home seller a better idea of how long it may take to close on the sale of their home. Then within the first two to four weeks that the home is listed for sale, we can utilize other market barometers to get a better reading about our initial estimate of how long it may take to get a sale finalized. This allows us to utilize factual market data to discuss and implement strategies that can be taken to speed up the timeframe for finding a qualified and interested buyer, if that is what the seller desires.

For those of you who are not into all of the numbers but just prefer a conceptual overview, the median cumulative days on the market will usually be less for lower priced homes and more for higher priced homes. So as a seller, the higher your listing price, the longer it will probably take to reach the closing table and finalize the sale. But, not every higher priced home will take longer to sell. The key element at any price range in our current market is to price a home at a realistic and "reasonable" price range. If you have your home priced too far above its "reasonable" price range, it will not matter whether it is a lower priced home or a higher priced home, it will take longer to sell and there is a much higher probability that your home will remain unsold, unless you make aggressive price adjustments along the way.

Going back to the numbers, here is an example using dry lot single-family homes. First, we start by establishing a benchmark for the overall Cape Coral dry lot home segment, which had a median CDOM that averaged 93.58 days in 2017. So half of the dry lot homes that were sold had the sale finalized in less than 93.58 days, and half had their sale finalized in more than 93.58 days. If we break this down into price points, we discover dry lot homes priced between $150,000 to $200,000 have a median CDOM of only 79.42 days, or 15 percent below the benchmark. But if a dry lot home in the Cape had a higher list price of between $300,000 to $350,000, it would have a median CDOM of 135.33 days, which is 44.6 percent above the benchmark, meaning it will likely take longer to sell this particular home.

As a seller, it is important to try to accurately determine the realistic price range where you are most likely to attract a buyer. This is not always easy to do, which is sometimes why price adjustments may need to be made based upon the market's reaction to your home once it goes "live" on the Multiple Listing Service and the Internet. But by knowing how your home fits in with the market and where you are pricing your home in relationship to its realistic price range, we can help give you a better idea of how long it may take to close on the sale of your home. Having this type of information, along with taking some steps to prepare yourself as much as possible in advance, you may be able to reduce some of the stress from having to meet closing deadlines, as you quickly prepare for your next move.

(The sales data for this article was obtained from the Florida Realtors Multiple Listing Service Matrix for Lee County, as of Jan. 1, 2018, and it was compiled by Bob and Geri Quinn. It includes information specifically for Cape Coral single-family homes, not including condominiums, foreclosures or short sales. The data and statistics are believed to be reliable, however, they could be updated and revised periodically, and are subject to change without notice. The Quinns are a husband and wife real estate team with the RE/MAX Realty Team office in Cape Coral. They have lived in Cape Coral for over 38 years. Geri has been a full-time Realtor since 2005, and Bob, who also holds a Certified Financial Planner designation, joined with Geri as a full-time Realtor in 2014. Their real estate practice is mainly focused on Cape Coral residential property and vacant lots.)



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