Thursday, December 06, 2007

Do I list my Lincoln Park Condo in December?

Photo by Leo Reynolds

I know... lame. But I just had a conversation today with a client. They took their listing off the market this month and will bring it back in... March. March.

Of course, I feel this is a big mistake. Oh, I don't have the listing. How can that be you ask? I am representing them on the buy side, but they chose a discount broker on the sell side. First, they have sold a couple places prior and second, they have a "crazy" dog which would make a Realtor useless for showings. So there you go.

But I feel waiting until March is a mistake. I guess I should back-track here. They have had slow traffic as of late (and they have told me some of this was due to the discount broker not relaying showing requests or even having a working appointment system). The last time this discount company was used years ago, it went well. This time, not so good. Problem is, who is accountable?

It's not unusual to take your place off going into the holidays. But it's not always the best thing to do. For one reason, inventory is at it's lowest, so you may stand out if your place is looking good. Secondly, there are transfer buyers coming in, serious buyers who have not found a place yet and new buyers looking to close before March leases are up all out there NOW.

Many leases come up March 1st...and even March 31st. And, it usually takes a minimum of 30 days to close. Mostly 45 plus days. You follow? Basically, you can miss a large part of the spring market by waiting until March to list your property.

Many worry about the market time. Fine, you take the place off in December, list in January and show the market time from the last year. Big deal. If your place is well located, say in Lincoln Park or Gold Coast, and looks good... no self respecting Realtor is going to pass it up.

I was also asked by a family friend if they should list now (it was the end of November) because they found another house they wanted to buy. Again, my answer was not based on the season, but based on how well their house will stack up against the competition. Will your house look great? Will the marketing be great? Will you price right?

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