How to Sell a House in 21 Days

Sold by Jim Duncan

I started to write this post in early November, soon after my clients and I ratified the contract on their house and right about when the story was published on the Newsplex. I almost didn’t do the Newsplex story.* (see the end of this post for the rationale)

The single greatest takeaway from this story: If you are thinking about putting your house on the market in the Charlottesville area in the next several weeks, start now.

A few of my rules for real estate:

“Under Contract” ≠ “Sold”:

– “Under Contract” means: “we need to get through the loan application, loan commitment (including appraisal), home inspection and any other contingencies.

Most importantly – What did we do to get a contract on this house in three weeks? Simple:

1: My clients worked hard. For a long time; we met last year and discussed strategies for getting their home ready to put on the market, the value of pricing the home right, what they needed to do and what I needed to do to prepare for the marketing of their home.

2: We priced it right; tracking the real estate market, the sold competition and most importantly, the active and under contract competition.

3: We worked the first offer we got. One of the real estate truisms is that the first offer is usually the best offer; you might not get another offer.

4: We got lucky with the buyer’s agent; she’s one of the best in the area and that was one of the factors we evaluated when evaluating the offer. I’m probably going to touch on this aspect in a later, separate post, but the quality and competence of the opposing real estate agent matters. If I can advise my clients that there is a reasonable expectation that the transaction will go relatively smoothly in part because the other agent agent is competent, that’s a serious component we evaluate. (as a contrast, if I don’t know or trust the other agent, that’s a factor as well)

5: My clients worked really, really hard and were realistic about the market and their expectations. I can’t emphasize this one enough. Selling a house is hard work – for the sellers and their representation. Being willing and able to work, be realistic and reasonable is invaluable.

6: Lastly – price absolutely matters, but it’s not always the most important factor. (as an aside, my feelings from the linked post regarding other agents’ competencies have shifted quite dramatically as I have gained much more experience; when I wrote that I had been in the business just over three years; now I’m entering my 11th year)

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1 Comment

  1. Steinar Knutsen January 10, 2012 at 13:45

    Yes, we did work very hard! 

    We moved pretty fast and relied heavilly on your knowledge and expererience to make it happen.  Your market reports and comp data were extremely valuable – it was great to get these early in the process so we could work the numbers and calculate our options right from the start.

    Thanks again for your guidance throughout the process Jim!  


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