Ask The Broker, Possession Timing?

What time frame do most buyers want to move in?

I get that question quite often.  We see a whole variety of dates and requests for a possession date for buyers.  Probably the most common phrase you will see on a MLS listing or marketing piece for a home for sale is a 30 day/negotiable possession date offering.

Sometimes buyers will get all worked up on the number.  "They said 30 days so offer them exactly 30 days!"  only to be perturbed later when the seller counters their offer to a different date.  In reality, how fast a selelr can move out and provide vacant possession varies and differs with each seller.  To move out within 30 days is quite reasonable and doable.  However sometimes buyers forget that they are asking for a week or two weeks for conditions to be met by them.  Conditions such as subject to financing and a home inspection most likely.  If this is the case that first week or two weeks the sellers has  a "maybe" and left with 2 or 3 weeks to plan their move after the buyer removes conditions.

The best advice on a possession date is be reasonable and flexible.  All the terms on the offer to purchase can be negotiable and really you should have a conversation with your real estate agent about your schedule and how the request to move out by a certain date works for you.

For marketing purposes the most common is 30 days, and I would recommend that to open your listing up to as many buyers as possible.  However if 60 days or 90 days or a specific date are a must, chances are those requests can all be accommodated.  Sometimes time maybe more important to the buyer or seller than settling on a specific end price.


Patrick Galesloot

The Broker, Century 21 Advantage


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