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The 6 Week Window of Sale for Your Home

Aug 17, 2007
In many cases in life, the rule of thumb is "time is on our side". Selling real estate in any part of the country is an exception to this rule. Not only is time not on our side; it actually plays against the homeowner and their Agent when they are trying to get their home sold.

Depending on whether you're in a buyer's market, a seller's market, an appreciating market, or depreciating market, many factors play against a homeowner whose goal is to sell their home for the highest price in the shortest amount of time. If that's not your goal as a homeowner, perhaps you should reconsider placing you home on the market. I'd be willing to bet, however, that it is.

Time on Market vs. Activity

The amount of time a home is on the market actually controls the amount of activity the home will generate. The bottom line is your property will attract the most activity from prospective buyers and real estate Agents when it first appears on the market.

This has been statistically proven over and over for decades, which is why it is so important to price your home at its fair market value from the get-go. If you don't, you may be wasting your time and all the activity your home sees in the initial stages of being on the market. You see, over time, the market will actually communicate to you what it thinks of the price you have placed on the home. Seasoned Agents are more than familiar with this phenomenon, which is why they start to get nervous after a home has been on the market for more than four weeks. There's a distinctive drop in activity around the four to five week timeframe.

The showing activity will actually decrease as the market time increases. It's a naturally occurring phenomenon that can be controlled if you price your home at fair market value right from the start.

Home Sales Activity Week #1

The first week your home is on the market is an exciting time full of activity. Your Agent will begin to execute their marketing plan for you home, which can/will include many of the following: print advertising (postcards, newspaper ads, flyers, etc), in-house marketing to fellow Agents in their brokerage, local board meeting announcements, Agent tours, open houses, and many others.

Believe it or not, the first week will bring 14% of all the activity your home sees over the next eight weeks. Let's assume, for a moment, that over the course of eight weeks, 100 potential buyers will see your home. Fourteen of these will see the home in the first week.

Home Sales Activity Week #2

Week number two is the best, based on the activity generated for you home, with 28% of the eight week activity occurring in this time frame.

By this time, there have been Agents through your home, and they are all aware of what you have to offer their potential buyers. The advertising, which often has a time delay associated with it, is now in full force.

The word is now officially out!

Home Sales Activity Week #3

Week number three runs a close second to week number two with 23% of the buyer activity occurring during this time. By this point in time, your home has officially seen 65% of the activity that it's going to get in the first eight weeks on the market.

This is definitely not time to give up or change anything, but it certainly is a time to consider where you're at.

Home Sales Activity Week #4

The fourth week on the market is the third best activity-wise . . . beating out week number one with 17% of the total activity.

Considering that 82% of all the activity you will see has already occurred by this time, it definitely warrants a discussion with your Agent about whether your price is at or near fair market value. If your Agent is confident in your home's price, perhaps it's time you review their marketing plan and make adjustments.

Home Sales Activity Weeks #5 - 8

Week five, in a decent market, is often a time to make course corrections (a price reduction, for example). Consider that 7% of the activity will happen in the 5th week, and by this point in time, you've seen 89% of all the activity you're going to see. It's definitely the right time to make a change.

Also, note that weeks six through eight see about 4% each. There's not a whole lot of activity left to occur for you home in the last couple of weeks. The greatest opportunity of selling your home is when it is a new listing. Once you hit the six week timeframe, it's time to start doing something differently. If you don't make a change soon, you may miss the "My Home Sold" window of opportunity.
About the Author
Dirk Zeller is the President & CEO of Real Estate Champions. His company trains more than 250,000 Agents worldwide each year.
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