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Q: We may sell our property this year but are not sure when.

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We don’t want it to sit on the market and we want our full asking price. How do we know when it is the best time to list it?

A: The average listing time is a useful measure of whether the market generally is moving in favour of buyers or of sellers.

When the national average listing time gets longer, it is an indication that a buyers’ market is developing and that sellers may need to become increasingly accommodating with regard to both price and terms in order get their properties sold.

On the other hand, when the national average listing time becomes shorter, it indicates an overall market shift in favour of sellers – and also the likelihood of property prices becoming less negotiable and possibly even starting to rise if the supply of homes for sale continues to shrink in the face of high buyer demand.

However, it is important to remember that national averages can mask very big differences between various segments of the market. There are also always variations between different suburbs.

As an owner who wants to sell a property within the current average listing time in your specific area, you will need your agent’s help to fine-tune your asking price and get it as close as possible to what buyers in that area are currently paying for similar homes. Then you need to market the property as soon as possible to the biggest possible audience of potential buyers. – Gerhard Kotzé, managing director of RealNet

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