37 days. 5.8% more.

That’s how long it’s taking right now to sell a house and how much more you’re likely to get for a house than you would have a year go.

The National Association of Realtors just released its latest trend report, and that’s the verdict. While local markets vary, of course, it takes just about a month to seal a deal once you put your house on the market.

How can you take advantage of this market momentum?

  • First, review your options. How does selling now help you achieve your long-term financial and lifestyle goals? If you are thinking of downsizing, and especially if you have flexibility in terms of where you live – for instance, if you are happy to rent while looking for your next house – this might be your moment.
  • Second, make sure your house is ready to show and sell. Yes, fixer-uppers are selling – but you’ll still get more if you can show that major systems are in good working order. Even in this market, you’ll get less if you’re offloading problems onto the next homeowner.
  • Start a folder of photos of your house, taking advantage of midsummer light and freshly planted gardens. Spend a few hours gathering research about comparable recent sales – rely on public records and completed sales through your local area’s multiple listing service (often published by local news media).
  • Review your selling options. The secret weapon for selling quickly and cost-effectively is to get your house into your area’s multiple listing service (MLS). That’s the primary tool that a local real estate agent will use to sell your house…and that agent will charge 3% of the sale price. Selling strictly ‘by owner’ bypasses the MLS and means you lose the chance to reach buyers where they look constantly for new listings.
  • Explore online platforms (yes, we’re biased – our own, USRealty.com, offers terrific service and sells houses as quickly as local listing agents) and compare prices and service. Be sure to pick a platform that provides customer service via phone. Every situation is different and every house sale is unique, so be sure that you pick an online listing service that is there when you need expert guidance. (No surprise: USRealty.com’s Pennsylvania-based customer service center enables us to give our customers help while still offering the best deal in the country for listing a house with the MLS.)