CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, River North, Logan Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Already planning for Halloween? Look no further than the Macabre Masquerade at Violet Hour! On Wednesday, October 31 at 8 pm, put on your mask and stop by the gorgeous, candlelit lounge for an evening of cocktails, herb lore, and mystery. Your ticket includes unlimited pours of a specialty Halloween punch and access to an herb lore and infusions station. Here, you can pick up your own bitters making kit, enjoy tarot and palm readings, and enjoy amaro tastings. A specialty menu of appropriately spooky cocktails will also be available, starting at $10. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here.

Lakeview: Do you need a little comedy in your life? How about mystery? Well, at the Annoyance Theatre, you can get both- at Clued In: An Improvised Murder Mystery! After a single suggestion from the audience, a cast of six professional comedians will choose a detective- and then invent a tale of crime, secrets, and scandals! During the show, they’ll employ tropes and characters such as Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes, Encyclopedia Brown, and more. The show runs every Thursday from at 8 pm, from now until November 1. Tickets are $12, $8 for students. Find more information and purchase your tickets here.

Lincoln Park: On Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14, the Chicago Architecture Center presents the 7th Annual Open-House Chicago. This free public event offers behind the scenes access to over 250 buildings all across the city, in more than 30 neighborhoods. You’ll tour repurposed mansions, stunning skyscrapers, beautiful theatres, exclusive private clubs, modern offices, and gorgeous sacred spaces. No tickets are required! Simply go to to plan your itinerary and sign up for email updates.

River North: Fall is here- and so is homecoming season! Join your fellow college alumni from the Chicago area, the Midwest, and the nation to celebrate homecoming! Meet People Chicago presents the Young Alumni Network Mixer on Friday, October 12 at 8 pm. Get your school spirit on and wear your favorite hat, tank top, shorts, sweatshirt, or other logo-apparel. At this exciting event, you can network, chat, mingle, and sing your school fight song- all while meeting new people and forming friendships. Tickets include a free drink and drink specials. Early bird tickets are just $10 and regular tickets are $15. Register now!

Logan Square: Are you a movie buff? Then you’ve got to check out Movie Trivia Night at The Logan Theatre! Every Tuesday night at 8 pm, gather a team of up to five people and show off your cinematic smarts. The categories change weekly, so you’ll be kept on your toes! Each member of the winning team will receive a Logan Theatre gift card! Space is limited, so make sure to arrive early. For more information, visit the Logan Theatre website.

Evanston: Mark your calendars for the 4th Annual Evanston Oktoberfest! Bring your friends and family for an afternoon of beer tasting, tasty local food, live music, and gorgeous fall weather! This event will be held at the Evanston Farmer’s Market (at the intersection of Oak Avenue and University Place) on Sunday, October 14 from 1 to 6 pm. This festival features 40 different craft beers and hard ciders from your favorite local and regional breweries. This event supports a fantastic non-profit organization: Downtown Evanston, working year-round to keep downtown vibrant, fun, and thriving! Featured breweries include Sketchbook Brewing Company, Right Bee Cider, Hopewell Brewing Company, Revolution Brewing, and more. Food is available for purchase with cash or credit (vendor specific). Children under 12 are free, general admission tickets are $15. Purchase tickets in advance here!


Restaurant Review – Prost

This week transported me to Germany- right in the middle of Chicago! I found myself at Prost, a fantastic bar and restaurant in the heart of Lincoln Park. The space is gigantic, with long rows of beautiful wooden tables and benches. We came in after seeing a show, around 10 o’clock on a Friday evening, and had no problem being seated right away. As we walked past tables, my mouth began to water as we passed giant pretzels, steins of beer, and wursts. After seeing it, we knew we had to order a pretzel for the table. We decided to order the half, as the whole was gigantic. This was absolutely wonderful. The outside of the pretzel was perfectly crisp, lightly buttered and salted, and the inside was soft and squishy. It also came with a fantastic warm Bavarian beer cheese dip. I loved it so much I could have taken a bath in it. I knew I had to try a Wurst- after all, we were in Germany for the night! After much debate, I finally chose the Thuringer Wurst: beef, pork, and garlic- yum! Each wurst is served with your choice of side, Haus kraut, a warm semmel roll, and your choice of mustard. The available sides were Oma’s Secret Potato Slaw, Haus Red Cabbage, Hand Cut Fries, Herbed Spatzle, Radeburger Beer Cheese Soup, or a Pretzel Bun (for a charge of $1). I love potato salad, so I went with the Secret Potato Slaw. I also chose Hot Horseradish Mustard (my other choices were a Sweet Beer Mustard or Plain Yellow Mustard). My meal came out piping hot and the portion size was huge! The thuringer wurst did not disappoint; it was grilled perfectly and tasted delicious with both the spicy mustard and the sauerkraut. The potato salad was very tasty as well! I can’t wait to come back and try more food here; I’m drooling just thinking about it!

Prost is open Sundays from 11 am to close (brunch served till 2), Mondays through Wednesdays from 4 pm to close, Thursdays from 4 pm to 2 am, Fridays from 11 am to 2 am, and Saturdays from 11 am to 3 am (brunch served till 2). You can find more information on their website.


Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Now is the Time to Plant Trees

You may think that springtime is the best time to plant trees, but it’s actually fall. Of course you can plant trees any time of year but fall planting will give the tree more time to establish while temperatures are cooler. Then they’ll really take off after the ground thaws. Fall is also a great time to find bargains as garden centers sell off their inventory before winter sets in.

There are a few things to look for when choosing a tree. Especially with bargain trees, appearance doesn’t always matter. The root ball and trunk are more important features. The trunk should be straight and the leading branches at the top of the trunk should not rub against each other. There should be a good root flare at the base of the tree that spreads out. If you don’t see a flare, it was planted too deep. Look for healthy roots; black or dark brown roots are already dead. The roots should not be too tight either. Make sure there is no obvious insect damage, like black spots on the foliage.

Follow the directions for planting the tree. Make sure to dig the hole deep enough and that the soil around is well tilled for optimum root spread. In stages, fill in the hole with good topsoil, watering in as you go. This will prevent any air pockets. You can mulch but always leave six inches clear around the trunk. Mulching too close encourages insects. Water weekly until the ground freezes. Give the tree some support if needed.


Is Selling With a Lien on Your Home Possible?

Plenty of issues can slow down, delay, or even kill a real estate transaction, and liens are one of them.

Property liens are basically legal notices that are placed on the title because of some sort of unresolved issue or unpaid debt. If you owe a creditor, they can place a lien on your home until you agree to repay them what they’re owed.

Liens are often the result of either unpaid bills, unpaid taxes, or court judgments. Maybe you’re behind on your mortgage payments or you haven’t fully paid the contractor who renovated your home.

If you currently have a lien on your home and want to sell, you could be faced with some obstacles. Usually, liens will have to be dealt with before the title can be transferred to a buyer and a real estate deal can go through.

What Types of Liens Can Be Placed on Your Property?

There are all sorts of different liens that can be placed on a property, and the following are among the more common:

  • Mechanics lien – Any contractor who does work on your home will obviously want to be paid on time. If this doesn’t happen, they can place a lien on your home in the form of a mechanics lien until they are paid.
  • Judgment lien – If you’ve been taken to court and lost the case, you may owe the winning party some form of payment. Until this payment is made, a judgment lien can be placed against your home.
  • Tax lien – If you are in arrears on your taxes, the government can file a tax lien on your property.

Any liens that are on your property will be listed on the title report, which can definitely turn prospective buyers off. Buyers might even wonder whether or not there are other potential issues with the home as well.

How Can a Lien Impact Your Ability to Sell?

A number of common things happen during escrow after a buyer puts in an offer and you accept it. Before closing, the buyer will need to solidify financing, a home inspection will likely be conducted, and a title search will be done to make sure title is free and clear of any issues.

If a lien is discovered during the title search, the transaction will have to be suspended until the issue has been dealt with. No buyer is going to want to take over a property that has a clouded title.

The buyer’s lender may not agree to approve financing for a property with a lien on it. The lender will likely take a back seat to others with a lien on the property, which places them at risk for not being repaid themselves.

If you have a lien on your home, your best course of action would be to deal with it as soon as possible. Whoever is owed payment and is holding a lien against your home should be repaid in full in order to clear title and be free to sell your home without a hitch. If not, any potential real estate transaction will be delayed or put on hold indefinitely until a resolution is met.

That said, it’s important to make sure that the lien that’s on your property is actually yours. There’s always the possibility that someone by the exact same name or someone else in the family is actually attached to the lien as opposed to you. Mistakes can happen, so you’ll certainly want to verify whether or not the lien belongs to you.

But if the lien is legitimately against your name and property, then you’ll definitely want to deal with the situation right away. Any delay in resolving your lien can make selling your home much more difficult. 

Can You Still Sell With a Lien on Your Home?

It’s not recommended to try and sell a home with a lien on it. However, you choose to do so, you’ll want to work with a real estate professional who has experience with this type of situation.

Any liens against your property will have to be carefully evaluated. You’ll then be tasked with finding a buyer who is actually willing to accept a home purchase knowing that there is a lien on the title, which is not an easy feat.

There is also the risk of the buyer not being able to secure financing, as mentioned earlier.

All in all, it’s much easier to deal with the lien and make the payments as necessary in order to ensure a much more streamlined real estate transaction.

But if you do decide to proceed with trying to sell your home with a lien on it, it will have to be settled at closing so that the buyer will be able to get clear title on the property.

As far as paying and settling the lien is concerned, the money can come from the proceeds of the sale of your home if there is enough equity built up. This will just be added to all the other closing costs that are typical of selling real estate.

But if you owe more on your mortgage than what your home is valued at and there isn’t enough money in the pot to settle your liens, you’ll need to come up with the cash some other way.

If you choose to go this route, it’s recommended that you obtain some advice from the title company on how to proceed. Sometimes it might even be necessary to speak with a real estate lawyer if things are more complicated.

Most buyers will expect no liens on a property, and if there are, they’ll expect them to be paid off to make sure they get clear title.

The Bottom Line

Selling a home can be a bit stressful and even overwhelming at times, and throwing in a lien can just exacerbate things. If it is discovered that there is a lien on your home when you try to sell, you’d be well-advised to deal with it as soon as possible. Most buyers will probably bail out on a deal if a lien is discovered.

If you’re in this situation, team up with a professional agent who is well-versed in handling liens on properties to help you deal with these often complex scenarios in the best way possible.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Celebrating Chicago’s Change of Season!

Yep, it’s here! The first day of autumn is this Saturday. Here’s how Chicagoans will be celebrating its change of season!!

The 8th annual BeerHoptacular takes place Saturday (3:00 p.m. VIP/4:00 p.m. General to 8:00 p.m.) at the awe-inspiring Vertiport Chicago (1339 S. Wood St.) on the Near West Side.  As craft beer fans come together to celebrate their love of American beer culture, this year’s festival has more beer, more attitude, and more . . . other stuff!  So, in addition to their 150+ craft beers, fans can enjoy some of Chicago’s favorite food trucks, the annual BeerHoptacular Competition sponsored by Pollyanna Brewing Co., a DJ, a beer bicycle, a live photo booth, and much more!!

Visit Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood on Sunday (1:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.) for a cultural experience at the Chicago World Music Festival Meets World Dumpling Festival.  The Chicago World Music Festival concludes its citywide event here with performances by Jupiter and Okwess playing Congolese rhythms, Delgres from Guadeloupe combining Caribbean rhythms with the delta blues, and the Zhou Family Band from China playing traditional wind and percussion music.  The 2nd annual World Dumpling Fest features dumplings of the world from 10 neighborhood ethnic restaurants, along with cultural artists and family activities!!  These global sounds and flavors will take place at the Polk Bros. Performance Lawns.

You know it’s autumn when huge pretzels are here and big steins of beer are flowing again!  So, put on your lederhosen, lace up your dirndl, and dust off your stein to fill it with the best Oktoberfest Märzen this side of the Atlantic at Burnt City Brewing’s Oktoberfest 2018 on Saturday (12:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood (2747 N. Lincoln Ave.).  They’ll also be serving up plenty of sausage, schnitzel, and sauerkraut to go with your beer stein!!

Bring the kids to the great outdoors of Lincoln Park Zoo (2200 N. Cannon Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Saturday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) for Fiesta Familiar.  This event brings the very best family entertainment with hands-on activities including coloring, crafts, dance lessons, Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling), face painting, and much more!  And, you’ll get to celebrate our change of season with the animals!!

Sunday brings us the annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to Soldier Field (1410 Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop.  This event attracts over 2,500 participants annually and is one of the most visible, recognizable, and longstanding events in the Chicagoland area.  Opening ceremonies begin at 10:25 a.m. and the 5K & 10K runs begin at 10:35 a.m.  The walk begins at 10:50 a.m. and the MillerCoors’ Beer Garden opens at 11:30 a.m.  Finally, the closing ceremonies are at 12:00 p.m. with awards for top runners!  This run is an inspiring demonstration of compassion and action, so come join us!!

As all baseball fans know around here, autumn means we’re nearing the end of another baseball season and heading into the playoffs.  So, come out and support your team this weekend as the Chicago White Sox host the Chicago Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field (333 W. 35th St.) in the Bridgeport neighborhood!!

Yep – Autumn is Here!!

Is Buying Before Selling Too Much of a Risk?

It’s the age-old question that buyers and sellers ask themselves when they’re ready to make a move: should I buy first or sell first?

The best answer depends on the situation. In many cases, homeowners decide to start looking around to see what’s out there before they put their homes on the market. That way, they’ll be able to make sure that they’ve got a place to retreat to if their current property closes quickly.

Buying a home can often take longer than selling depending on the market. Buyers want to make sure they’ve been able to find exactly what they want without being in a rush to settle for any home if their current home closes sooner than they expected.

But either way, there are certain inherent risks to buying first or selling first.

What’s the Risk of Buying First?

If you by a home before your current home sells, the obvious risk would be that you may be stuck with two homes, paying two mortgages. If you end up finding a new home rather quickly and your current home takes forever to find a willing buyer, this is precisely the conundrum you could find yourself in.

This risk is more prevalent when the market starts to cool. Many sellers who may have been seeing other sellers sell very quickly as a result of a hot seller’s market may want to capitalize themselves. But they may often get into the market just a little too late as the market starts to cool.

What could end up happening is having a listing that lingers for weeks, despite already committing to a new home. The deal on the new home closes, while the current home still has yet to receive a solid offer. You would then have two homes – and mortgages – to juggle at the same time, which can end up being quite stressful, both emotionally and financially.

That said, you don’t necessarily have to pay two full mortgage payments every month, as this could certainly prove to be a huge financial burden that many people wouldn’t be able to handle. Instead, you may be eligible to take out a “bridge loan” to help ease the financial burden of carrying two homes.

A bridge loan is a temporary loan that covers both the buying and selling transactions. It can help you secure your new mortgage until you’re finally able to be rid of your mortgage obligation on your current home. If you don’t have the funds to carry both mortgages and your current home still hasn’t sold, a bridge loan would allow you to fund the down payment for your new home. 

It should be noted, however, that you would still have to get approved for a bridge loan, much like any other type of loan. As such, there is always the risk that your lender may not approve you for a bridge loan, which means there’s always the chance that you could be stuck with more expensive financial obligations until your current home sells.

Should You Buy or Sell First?

As mentioned earlier, the answer to this question will vary depending on a number of factors.

For starters, what is your financial position like? Would you be comfortable paying two mortgages for a temporary amount of time in the event that your current home takes longer to sell, even though you’ve already committed to another property? While bridge loans exist, you’ll also have to make sure you qualify for one.

Also, consider the market. Are you in the middle of a buyer’s or seller’s market? A buyer’s market means there is plenty of inventory to go around. Demand isn’t very high, though supply is abundant. In these markets, it’s usually easier to find a home to purchase than it is to sell. Buyers may have their pick of the litter, while sellers may have to fight harder to make a sale.

A seller’s market, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. There is limited inventory available, and buyers are competing with one another for whatever is listed. In these markets, homes tend to sell rather quickly.

Keep in mind that you’re both a buyer and a seller. No matter what market you happen to be in, you could find one transaction very easy, while the other may be a lot more challenging.

If it’s a buyer’s market out there, consider listing your home first, as it could probably take longer to sell than to buy. But if you’re in the middle of a seller’s market, consider looking for a home first.

This is especially true if the market is on the rise. In this case, buying before selling can be a great way to get ahead when the market is on its way up, especially in expensive centers. Just be sure to time your move right, or else you could find yourself getting caught out of these rising markets. In this case, you may have sold your home already but can’t find a new house to purchase because of the rise in competition.

There is also the option of inserting a clause on the offer you submit on the new home that makes it conditional upon the sale of your current home. While most sellers don’t like these clauses, some may be open to them if they themselves are having a tough time selling.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of which avenue you take, be sure to make your decision upon the guidance and advice of a seasoned real estate agent. Have an in-depth conversation with your realtor so that you completely understand all of your options and potential risks to help you make a sound decision.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Square, Edgewater, Portage Park

Lakeview: Applications are now open for The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival! Now in its 18th year, this festival runs from January 10-20, 2019. It celebrates the best in local, national, and international sketch comedy! Applications may be submitted through October 15, 2018 here.

Lincoln Park: It’s that time of year again- Bloody Mary Fest! This fantastic fest returns on Sunday, October 14 to the gorgeous lakefront venue Theatre on the Lake. From 12 to 3:30 pm, you can enjoy some of the city’s best Bloody Mary’s, specialty brunch- themed cocktails, craft beer, brunch bites, live music, lawn games, an Artisan Market, and more. There are general admission and VIP tickets available. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit K94Keeps, a non-profit organization that strives to place dogs with families in forever homes. Purchase your tickets here.

Bucktown and Wicker Park: With fall comes all kinds of fabulous fall festivals; like Boo-Palooza! On Saturday, October 27 from 10 am to 2 pm, you’ll have fall fun and support a great cause, as the festival is a fundraiser for the 2019 Create Series. There is a suggested donation of $10 per family. The day will include two costume parades- one for children, families, and adults; one for dogs and their owners- Mr. Dave Music and other exciting performances, a dog activity area, a pumpkin patch, pumpkin decorating, a maze, bobbing for apples, face painting, ghost bingo, and more. For more information about this exciting event, click here!

Lincoln Square: Vom Fass loves Oktoberfest and wants to celebrate with you! To kick off this fantastic season, Vom Fass Lincoln Square is hosting “Flavors of Fall: Cocktail & Liqueur Tasting” this Saturday, September 22 from 7-8:30 pm. At this fabulous fall event, you’ll sample their special Apple Pie liqueur and learn how to make Hot Toddies. Tickets are just $15. Hurry and buy yours here– they’re going fast!

Edgewater: Celebrate the last weekend of summer and give back to your community at the 1st Annual PAWS of Summer Benefit! This fabulous event will be hosted by Uncommon Ground in Edgewater on Saturday, September 29 from 2 to 6 pm. You’ll enjoy music, cocktails, food, prizes, Uncommon Ground’s rooftop farm tours, and more! The price of admission will benefit two causes: Care for Real and Edgewater Dog Park. Ticket prices include food, drinks, entertainment, guided rooftop farm tours, doggy swag bags, and entertainment. You can make additional donations for a raffle and silent auction. Tickets are $60 per person, $100 for two people, and $10 per dog (limited quantities). You can purchase your tickets here.

Portage Park: Get yourself over to the Patio Theater for a fabulous night supporting a good cause! This is an all-ages benefit concert for the nonprofit organization PAVE, which works to empower and educate people in an effort to end sexual violence. American Idol star Haley Reinhart (Season 10) will perform! Selah Freedom, an organization that combats human sex trafficking, is another beneficiary of the concert. General admission tickets are just $22 and can be purchased at The show is on Saturday, September 29. Doors open at 7 pm and the concert begins at 8 pm.


Restaurant Review – Publican Quality Meats

This week took me to a fantastic restaurant: Publican Quality Meats. The sister restaurant to The Publican, this charming spot is a butcher shop, cafe, bakery, gourmet market, and private dining room all rolled into one. Their website says “The highly seasonal menu and chef-curated retail offerings include house-made charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, freshly baked breads, specialty coffee drinks, rustic soups, and sandwiches”. Immediately I knew it was right up my alley. The restaurant is very small, with only a few tables inside and a smattering out on the patio. We came in on a Saturday morning and there was a bit of a wait; in total we waited about 20 minutes for a table to be ready. The tables inside are long, picnic-style tables. Because of our smaller group, we shared a table with another group, which was actually kind of fun. After looking at the menu, my mouth was already watering. Of course, my eye was caught by both the Butcher’s Cheese Plate (either 1 or 3 cheeses with accoutrement) and the Butcher’s Cold Charcuterie Plate (either 1, 3, or 5 selections). With great difficulty, I decided to skip on the appetizers and save myself for the main course. My first choice was between breakfast or lunch. My friend decided he was going to order breakfast and promised me a bite, so I was free to choose from the lunch menu. I finally decided on the The BGS: crispy falafel, red curry soubise, urfa yogurt, fennel, pickled cauliflower, and gem lettuce on a potato bun. I don’t normally go for vegetarian entrees, but this sounded so intriguing, I had to try it. First, I had to do a bit of googling. What is soubise? What is urfa yogurt? My search told me soubise is a thick white sauce made with onion puree, so I was sold. Urfa is a deep purple spice with a smoky, fruity, raisin-like quality, often used in Turkish cooking. This sandwich was absolutely delicious. The combination of flavors and textures was fantastic. The yogurt was smoky and creamy, perfectly complimenting the crispy, hot falafel. The pickled cauliflower gave it just the right amount of tang, along with the red curry soubise. I would order this again in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to come back and try more dishes here!

The dining room at PQM is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm. The butcher shop is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm. Find more information on their website.


Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips: Fall Maintenance – Lawn and Garden

Fall is right around the corner! It’s a good time to take advantage of the cooler temperatures to do some maintenance jobs in the garden and lawn.

As vegetable plants in the garden are spent, remove them. It might be tempting to leave them for mulch but this is not a good idea. Even growing, healthy-looking plants can have disease or be infested. It’s better to remove them and cover the area with good compost. No need to till it;  tilling simply brings more weed seeds to the surface to grow in your nice compost. The compost will work its way in over winter. Trim down still-producing tomato plants to only the producing vines.

The lawn should be looking a little better now that the extremely hot weather has passed. This is a great time to augment the grass and soil. Purchase a few bags of high quality topsoil; just one level up from the $1 bags, there’s no need to buy the pricey name brand. When looking for topsoil, driest is best. If it’s been raining, stay away from soil stored outside; find the nice dry bags inside. Get yourself a couple pounds of grass seed while you’re there. Look for higher percentages of Blue Grass. Spread the soil evenly over the lawn and smooth in with the back of a regular lawn rake. Let the soil water in. If there’s no regular rain, water in yourself. Spread out the grass seed. Water again and do so lightly every day till the seed sprouts, usually 7-10 days. Grass grows best in cool temperatures, so you will have a great lawn that will flourish next year.

Now is your last chance to trim to all your bushes. You don’t want to trim bushes too late in the year, as the new growth will not be strong enough to survive the winter. So trim down a little more than you normally would, so they’ll get through the winter with all their late growth attached.


How Long Does it Take to Sell Your Home?

When sellers list their homes on the market, they’re usually concerned with two main things: how much they can sell for, and how long it will take to sell.

Sellers will usually want to know the answers to these questions right off the bat, and for obvious reasons. But when it comes to how long it will take to get an offer and seal the deal, the answer isn’t always clear-cut.

Frankly, the amount of time it takes to sell depends on a few factors, including the following.

The Listing Price

Buyers are always looking for a good deal on a home. The same is true in any type of consumer market, whether it’s real estate, clothing, electronics, and any other consumer product. The lower the price, the more attractive the product will appear and the more willing buyers will be to open up their wallets.

In terms of real estate, the same concept applies. If your home is priced at a point that makes buyers think they’re potentially getting a good deal, your home could sell faster. On the other hand, if your listing price is quite high, that could be a deterrent for buyers.

While you don’t want to price your home so high that you leave many buyers out of the race, you also don’t want to price so low that you end up leaving money on the table. Unless you’re in an incredible rush to sell, it would be in your best interests to find that sweet spot so that you still make a profit while selling within a reasonable amount of time.

Either way, your listing price will influence how quickly your home will sell.

The Current Market

Is the housing market in your area currently favoring buyers or sellers? This is an important factor that influences how long it can take for homes to sell. Generally speaking, homes sell faster in seller’s markets, while they may take longer to sell in buyer’s markets.

In a seller’s market, there are many buyers on the prowl for a home who are competing with one another for the few properties that are available for sale. With high demand and low supply comes higher prices and faster sales.

On the other hand, a buyer’s market usually means that homes take longer to sell, simply because there are few buyers compared to the wealth of inventory available. In this case, prices are expected to be lower as well.

The climate of the market in your area can play a role in how long you can expect it to take to sell your home. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. But generally speaking, the climate of the current market will be an important factor to consider.

The Average in the Area

Every area has its own characteristics in terms of the local real estate market. While some areas might take longer for sellers to find a buyer, other areas tend to see homes getting snatched up rather quickly. Every area is different and will have its own average number of “days on the market” (DOM) before homes are sold.

Sellers will want to know what the average DOM is in their particular community in order to gauge how long they can expect it to take to sell. For instance, the average DOM in an area may be 30 days, which means it should take somewhere in the ballpark of 30 days to sell a home, assuming that all other factors remain the same. If your home has been sitting on the market for longer than 30 days, there could be a problem with your listing that may warrant closer investigation.

Looking at the average DOM in your area can give you a general idea of how long you can expect your home to sit on the market before finding a willing buyer and completing the transaction.

The Condition of Your Home

Most buyers want to see homes that are move-in ready. They typically don’t want to have to spend any time sprucing up the place after moving in. Unless the buyer is specifically looking for a place to fix and flip, you’re probably going to find that most buyers are looking for a turn-key home.

If your home is in need of some TLC, you can expect it to take longer to sell. On the other hand, if your home is up-to-date, clean, clear of clutter, and decorated appropriately, it shouldn’t take as long to sell compared to a home that’s in dire need of an update.

The Location

Desirable locations tend to favor quicker sales compared to areas that are not as attractive. Sometimes even homes that are in great condition can be tough to sell if they’re located in sketchy neighborhoods, while homes that need some improvement but are located in attractive areas may not take as long to sell.

The Bottom Line

Several factors come into play when it comes to gauging how long it will take to sell your home. It’s important to take them all into consideration when anticipating the length of time you can expect your home to sit on the market before finding a willing buyer. Having an idea of the time it will take to sell can be very helpful, especially if you’ve got a new home purchase lined up after selling your current one.