The seller’s time, effort, and investment are the most important parts of the process. The seller’s willingness to adequately prepare the home for presentation by improving, freshening, landscaping, and generallymaking the home pristine—and to live in that presentation-readiness state for the time it takes to sell the property —will greatly affect both the sale period as well as the price at which the home sells. A market in which homes normally sell in no more than six months of listing is considered balanced or neutral, which means a good number of homeowners are selling and buyers are purchasing; therefore, neither has an upper hand. A variable, for instance, like a major company entering — or moving from— the area will tip the scale toward homeowners to make a swiftmarket or toward buyers to make a slowmarket. The typical selling time in a swiftmarket might be 30 days, while that of a slowmarket may be up to nine months. Typically, any number below six months is considered a seller’s market. LIVING IN A SWIRLING FISHBOWL A house on the market requires keeping the home in a constant “show- ready” condition, and adjustment to changes in day-to-day life that are inherent in the process. Sellers get out-of-business-hours phone calls from unrepresented prospects and buyers’ agents to show the home; frequent updates by phone, email, and text and show appointment scheduling messages from the listing agent; repair and reconditioning appointments; and inspections. The house may be photographed for online, periodical, or brochure presentations. There are repeated showings when the home first hits the market. Keep your home in pristine showing condition for impromptu visitors — the perfect prospect might just drop in at dinnertime. Rude, perhaps, but necessary to accommodate. CHILDREN (AND PETS) SHOULD BE UNSEEN, UNHEARD Children and pets are distractions for potential buyers, affecting their experience of your home. You should plan for your children to be elsewhere and your pets crated or leashed, and no toys lying about or dog hair on the sofa. The dishes should always be done and the kitchen sparkling.
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