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The 7-Day Home Sale May Be a Thing of the Past

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In the past few years, the real estate market was so hot that homes that were put on the market were sold within a matter of days. And according to the latest market report from Zillow - this is no longer the case.

Daniel Houston with Inman news recently wrote, "half of the homes with a Zillow listing on the week of Oct. 16 had spent at least 54 days on the market, up from a median of 38 days the same time last year, according to a new report from Zillow’s research team. And the share of homes selling in a week or less has fallen from 1 in 3 in the spring months of 2021 and 2022, to 1 in 10 this month. At this pace, the typical home listing by the end of the year could sit on the market for 68 days, according to the report. It’s a big shift, but still indicates a market that remains somewhat fast-moving compared to what industry professionals were used to seeing before the pandemic began.

The current market is much different, which means that the old ways of selling a home are no longer as effective. Here's a look at why the 7-day home sale may be a thing of the past.


1. The Current Market is Slow

The current real estate market is much different than it was in the past. To sell your home in just seven days, you must have buyers lined up and ready to go. However, in today's market, buyers are few and far between or at least reluctant to buy due to far higher costs due to mortgage rates.

This means that even if you do have buyers interested in your home, they're likely to take their time making a decision.


2. Homes are Staying on the Market for Much Longer

In today's market, it's not uncommon for homes to stay on the market for months before they finally sell. This is due in part to the fact that there are more homes for sale than there are buyers interested in purchasing them. Additionally, seasonal adjustment for the winter months increases the time on the market for listing.

This allows many buyers to take their time when making such a large purchase.


3. Seven Days Simply Isn't Enough Time to Sell a Home

When you're selling a home, a lot goes into it - from showings to negotiating offers. Mostly the 7-day home sale was just a mirage as most homeowners spent weeks, if not months, preparing for the market because the home had to be in perfect condition to ignite the bidding war. Again, this was possible because so many buyers were waiting for homes to hit the market. For example, it normally takes 16-20 showings to produce a buyer for a home. In the last few years, you might get twice that many showings on the first day.

In today's market, seven days is unlikely enough time to generate the number of showings necessary to find the right buyer. The biggest difference is sellers are often waiting for new buyers to enter the market, and that takes time.


4. You're Likely to Get Less Money for Your Home if You Sell it Too Quickly

If you're looking to get top dollar for your home, the goal of selling it within seven days might cost you money in the long run. To get the best price possible, you need to make sure that your home is in tip-top shape and priced in line with current market conditions and buyer expectations. That means potential buyers may want time to view it multiple times before making their final decision.

In previous years sellers would intentionally underprice their homes and let the market set the price with a bidding war. That tactic doesn't work when buyers don't take the bait. Underpricing your home now will likely leave money on the table. To counter this, you need to price higher to leave room to negotiate, which may take longer to complete your sale.


5. There are Other Options Available if You Need to Sell Quickly

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your home quickly - whether it's because you're relocating for work or you're facing foreclosure - there are other options available.

You can talk to your bank about refinancing or try working with a real estate investor who can buy your home as-is and close on the deal quickly. However, if you are willing to discount the price enough, a 7-day home sale is always possible.


Bottom Line:

The bottom line is this: if you're thinking about selling your home, don't insist that you'll be able to do so within seven days - it's just not realistic any more.

With that said, there are still options available if you find yourself needing to sell quickly - so don't despair! Reach out for a personal market evaluation so you can make sound decisions based on sound data.