Always Keep the Sale in Mind, Even when You’re Buying

Last time, we discussed the importance of allowing extra time to sell your home as the current market is showing a nationwide trend toward longer listing times. For Chicago and surrounding areas, the 2007 first quarter average was 131 days for detached houses, according to recent numbers from the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois. Market time aside, there’s something else you do that will help ensure a smooth sale later on, and it starts before you’ve even purchased the property to begin with.

We’re talking about “salability.” It may seem strange to already be thinking about selling a home, even before you buy it, but with a housing market like we have today, you’re better to set yourself up for the future now, than to have to sink a ton of money and time into preparing your property for sale later on. Now this methodology does require a bit of research, but that’s nothing your trusty Dream Town real estate agent can’t handle. Things you want them to find out are:

  • What kinds of homes have been successfully selling in the area of which you are looking? Do smaller first-time buyer starter homes sell better than larger three- or four-bedroom properties? Do condominiums go faster than detached homes?
  • What factors make a location desirable? Is it proximity to downtown or the lake? Is it access to public transportation or expressways? Perhaps the quality of the nearby schools makes a difference, or what types of establishments and businesses are in the vicinity.
  • What about the property’s amenities? Does having a parking space up the resell value of your home? How about features like top-grade kitchen appliances and hardwood floors? What types of “wow factors” does a particular home have?

You get the idea. Basically, it’s best to speak with a Realtor who knows the local market, because in every city the answers to these questions can vary drastically. Now this strategy doesn’t make sense for every homeowner. Typically we recommend it for anyone who thinks they might be selling within seven years of purchase. Any longer and it’s hard to judge what gives a property high resell value and the ability to gauge “salability” gets less and less accurate.