Ask Phyllis!

Questions About Today’s Real Estate?


Ask Phyllis!

Timing your home sale

Phyllis Harb is a Realtor® with Prudential California Realty.
She may be contacted at (818) 790-7325 or by email
Please visit

Dear Phyllis,
I want to sell my house and move out of state. I live in La Crescenta in a very nice area. I need to stay living in my house until the end of June or the first week in July. When would be the best time to put my house on the market and could I stipulate that I will not vacate the house until July 1st?

Thank you for your help.  

Trying to time it right

Dear Trying,
The good news for home sellers is that as there are so few homes listed for sale, sellers can name their terms – rent backs, long escrows, extended possession after closing escrow, etc.

You can certainly specify when you wish to move.

Rent Back: If you are purchasing your next home, a rent back of your existing home will allow you to be a stronger (non-contingent) buyer. The drawback to the seller is that the buyer often expects that the seller cover their PITI (principal, interest, taxes and insurance). This sum may be substantially higher than your current payment.

Long Escrow: Disadvantages of a long escrow are: A) The buyer could lose their job, get divorced, etc.;
B) Most lenders will guarantee (lock) a buyer’s interest rate for no more than 60 days, a longer rate lock will require the buyer to pay an additional fee.

Extended Possession: Depending on your timing, you may request a 45 day escrow and to remain in the home (at no cost to you for a specified period of time, perhaps 15 days). Of course, if you are not paying rent, the buyer will calculate this in the price they are willing to pay for your home.

As there are so few choices for home buyers, I don’t believe you will have difficulty in finding a buyer who will accept any of the above options.

Although you don’t wish to move until July, you should meet with a real estate agent now, you can then decide which avenue will work best for you. There are many advantages of hiring a Realtor® early in the process.

1) Are you willing to declutter and do a little sprucing up in order to sell fast at the best price? If so, your real estate agent and/or home stager should meet with you to discuss any recommended repairs. If you choose to maximize your sales dollars, there may be certain improvements you might wish to make, such as a fresh coat of paint. Your Realtor® can help you gather estimates and advise you on color selection. I work with many home sellers months prior to putting their home on the market. This allows for a leisurely stress free process. If you have lived in your home for years, decluttering, sorting, etc. can be time consuming.

2) What price range would your home sell for? If under $650,000, it will likely be purchased by a first time buyer. If higher, it may be someone who needs to sell their existing residence. If you list now, you have ample time if you accept an offer contingent upon that buyer’s sale of their home (a contingent buyer wouldn’t have much negotiating power – which is better for you). It may be in your best interest to get your home on the market sooner, rather than later.

3) The real estate commission you pay is based on the sale of your home, not an hourly rate. Many savvy sellers hire a Realtor® early in the process in order to gain the most assistance, with no additional increase in commission paid.

One Response to "Ask Phyllis!"

  1. Carol Van Dyke   February 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Very interesting information especially after going through a divorce. Thank You!

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