How Long Does It Take To Sell a House?

How Long Does It Take To Sell a House?

Deciding to sell your home is a big moment that heralds coming change.  Maybe your family is growing, and you need room to expand.  Maybe the kids have moved out and you need something a little easier to take care of.  Either way, the process can be nerve-wracking, leaving you wondering just when you will be able to start the next chapter of your life. 

Luckily, if you understand the factors that dictate how long it takes to sell a house, you can take steps to expedite the process dramatically.

How Much Time Does It Take to Sell Your Home?

On average, it takes between 50-70 days to sell your house and close the deal.

You can divide the process of selling your home, from the moment you list it to closing, into 2 phases. 

The first phase is the amount of time your home remains on the market, which is hugely variable from one home to another.  However, according to the Redfin Data Center, the average house in the U.S. only sat on the market for 24 days in December of 2021. 

The second phase, which has a pretty consistent average of 30-50 days, is the closing phase, during which the buyer needs to secure their mortgage loan.

The Process of Selling Your House

The factors that determine how long your house remains on the market come in 2 basic types: factors you have little or no control over and factors within your control. 

It bears remembering that every factor contributes to the perceived value of your home for each buyer – this is a sale, after all! 

Understanding these factors will make it easier to prepare your home and temper your expectations when you finally put it on the market.

Factors Out of Your Control

Average Time Spent on Market

Most of our activities contend with the weather, and real estate deals are no exception.  The time of year you list your home can have an impact on how long it takes to entice a buyer, and these times differ from place to place. People do not want to move homes in miserable weather, so the local climate can have a huge impact on your selling timeline.

Buyer’s vs Seller’s Market

You cannot control the market.  A buyer’s market, when the supply of houses outstrips the demand, often keeps houses on the market longer as buyers force sellers to compete for their attention. 

On the other hand, a seller’s market, when buyers are eager to snap up everything the moment they see it, often moves houses quickly, with buyers competing to see who can come up with the best offer for every single home. 

When selling or buying a house in Sun City MacDonald Ranch – or anywhere for that matter – like the weather, you have no control over the market, but it can have a massive impact on how long you need to wait before someone makes you an acceptable offer.

Factors You Can Control

House Condition

The condition of your house is very important.  Most buyers are not looking for a fixer-upper, and a house in need of repair won’t do anything to improve the perceived value of your home.  

When a buyer thinks the house has not been kept in good condition, they will wonder what other problems are lurking beneath the surface.  When these come to light in a home inspection, they can slow down the process and force you back to the negotiating table.

Price

The price of your home is the most obvious factor within your control.  Whatever you say goes; however, a price that is too high or too low can keep your house on the market indefinitely. 

The reason why a high price is no good for moving property quickly is self-evident, but a price that is too low can also be counterproductive.  Any product whose price seems too low affects its perceived value; the buyers may think, “If it’s priced that low, there must be something wrong with it.” 

To move quickly, a house should be priced similarly to other houses of similar specifications that have recently sold. 

Pre-Listing Steps to Sell Your House Faster

While all the factors mentioned above can conspire to leave your house on the market for a long time (which is also a factor that discourages buyers!), you can take the initiative and prepare to mitigate these factors well before you decide to list your property.

You may not have full control over everything, but optimizing the things you can control will ensure that the house sells as quickly as circumstances permit.

Hire a Good Real Estate Agent

Make sure to hire a competent, experienced real estate agent, one who works primarily in your area.  Although you need to make all the major decisions, a good agent can give excellent advice and has a great deal of knowledge about how to market your home properly.  The amount of time a good agent can save through their strategy and advice is well worth the effort.

Get the Timing Right

Although it may be impossible, try to list your home during the best time of year, preferably in a seller’s market.  Your agent will know the average amount of time the houses in your area stay on the market throughout the year, and they will have their finger on the pulse of the market.  Even if the market is unfavorable, at least heed the agent’s advice on when the best time is to sell.

Make Improvements

Before you even consider when to list your home, do what you can to improve the condition.  Crucial repairs and upgrades go a long way towards improving a home’s perceived value.  Just make sure to avoid cosmetic projects, they are low bang-for-your-buck – but replacing that old furnace that is about to go or patching the roof may be good ideas. 

A new coat of paint inside and outside can do wonders, even for older houses, and a few weeks of deep cleaning and decluttering can make it look much newer and more spacious.  Finally, spruce up the exterior with some nice plants and make sure to keep the lawn looking nice.

List at the Right Price

When it’s finally time to list your home, consult with your agent to determine a suitable price.  Everyone tends to overvalue their property, it’s just natural.  Your agent will be able to compare your home with other, similar homes that have sold in the area to get a good read on the fair market value.  Even if you are a little disappointed with the number, listening to your agent here could make a huge difference in how long you need to sit around and wait for a buyer.

Negotiations and Waiting

Once a prospective buyer makes an offer on your home, expect successful negotiations to take a few days to a week.  The more preparation you did, especially with the condition and curb appeal of your property, the fewer things to negotiate. 

Once you sign the contract, the buyer needs to secure their mortgage loan, leaving you to wait for several weeks while they have an appraisal, inspection, title inspection, and find insurance.  If the buyer finds any previously unknown problems with the house, you may have to reenter negotiations to figure out who pays to fix them. 

Finally, once the lender is satisfied that their investment is safe and the buyer has their down payment in hand, you can attend the closing.

What is the Average Time to Sell a House?

The average time it takes to sell a house is about 50-70 days; 20-30 days of the house sitting on the market, and 30-50 days to close. 

But sellers need to understand that the choices they make leading up to listing their home can have a huge effect on how long their house sits, waiting for the right buyer to come along.  Once you know the factors that contribute to a home’s perceived value, you can optimize your listing, greatly reducing the wait. 

When you’ve landed a contract, with a little luck, you will be able to start the next phase of your life as soon as the buyer secures their loan – the 50-day clock is ticking!

If you’re thinking about selling your house, learn how we can help you sell your house in Las Vegas.

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