How Long Does it Take to Sell A House?

How Long Does it Really Take To Sell A House?

The clock begins to tick once you have decided to sell your house. As you go through your pre-sale checklist, the overarching question likely is, “How long does it take to sell a house?”

According to the National Association of Realtors statistics, the average U.S. home is listed for 24 days and Ellie May estimated that it would take 46 days to close a loan. 

This is a difference of just over two months from listing to closing.

Your Home Selling Process Could Be Different

Each house, market, and sale will have a different number of days on the marketplace and closing times. Historical data shows that the average time from listing to offer is 24 days. Which is super fast considering what the average time was in the early 2010s. 

NAR reported that the average days on the market for July 2011 was 98, while it was 68 in 2012. This was actually pretty fast considering the housing crash that we had just suffered.

It may seem that the timeline is the most challenging aspect of a home sale because there are plenty of variables that can influence the days on the market  (DOM) or the total closing time. 

External influences can also cause closing delays.

We have compiled this guide with the help of a top agent and experienced real estate investors. It will help you understand the process and identify the most time-consuming areas. You’ll also learn to move from listing to closing as fast as possible.

Preparing Your House For Sale (3 Months)

Once you have decided that your house is for sale, the countdown starts long before the actual listing. Before the sign can be put up in the yard, there is almost always some work to get done.

The average prep time is about a month and this will depend on the homeowner’s past work and maintenance.

The process begins with an agent visiting the house to provide guidance and information on what should be done and what shouldn’t. Sometimes sellers waste their time with things that don’t help or aren’t necessary to sell the house faster.

Here are some pre-listing preparations you might want to consider:

  • To reduce clutter, consider using Junk King or 1-800-JUNK USA to get rid of unwanted and recyclable items. Renting a storage unit is a good option if you don’t want to part with many things.
  • You can make minor and inexpensive repairs.
  • Try to complete as many easy, affordable repairs and improvements in the weeks before you list. This includes replacing mismatched or outdated cabinet pulls, repairing scuffed paint, or fixing leaky faucets. Hire a handyperson to complete your long list if you have many items in one day.
  • Increase curb appeal
  • It is important to have a welcoming and well-maintained entranceway. This will make an excellent first impression. Make sure to take the time to mow, add mulch, and tidy up the landscape. To add some brightness to your entryway, you might consider adding flowerpots.

The Best Month to Sell Your House

In the past, May was the best time to sell a home. However, this trend has changed to March in recent decades. Homes listed in the weeks of March 11-18 and 18 were the most popular.

The week of April 22nd is a good time to list if you want to sell your property for more than the asking prices. You should also list before September because families settle down and start the school year. 

Sellers face the most difficult weeks in the year to maximize their gains in October. Homes listed between October 14-21 were the least likely to sell at asking price.

The Best Day to List Your House

To increase your chances of selling your house quickly and for more money, list your house on Thursday.

A Thursday listing of a home is more likely to go pending than any other day in the week. This is especially noticeable in a market where homes typically sell in seven days.

Listing homes on Sundays tend to stay on the market for eight days more than listings on Thursdays. The Saturday and Monday market are marginally better than Sunday. A home that is put up for sale on one of these days will typically take seven days to sell than a property listed on Thursday.

Zillow’s research also showed that homes on Thursday are 1.5% more likely than those listed on Saturday or Sunday to sell for above their asking prices.

Selling Your Home in the Spring

The trends show that people are more likely to buy homes when the weather is warmer. Preparing your home for spring sale in spring makes sense. 

Spring is a popular time to sell and buy. With the possibility of tax refunds, better weather forecasts, and the summer break for the kids’ schools, it’s not hard to see why spring is so popular.

Selling Your Home in the Summer

The same reasons spring buyers shop for homes can be applied to summer home buying: warm weather, school holidays, and having more time to visit open houses and take home tours. 

Summer is when most people go on vacations so there might be a slight slowdown. Real estate in some areas of the country is slower during summer because it’s too hot to shop.

Selling Your Home in the Fall

Buyers shopping in the fall might be looking to move before school starts or the weather turns bad. 

This urgency can be a plus for sellers. Many off-season buyers are likely to be more sensitive about price because they are moving due to a job transfer, short sale, or family issues.

Selling Your Home in the Winter 

Winter is the slowest season for home sales

However, if you live in a warm climate (think Florida or the Southwest), then your window of opportunity to sell may be even greater during winter as snowbirds flock there.

Peak market conditions

Seasonality is not the only thing to consider when you decide if it’s time to sell your home. You should also consider the housing market.

Selling During a Buyers’ Market

A buyers market is when there are more properties available than potential buyers. 

Sellers can expect that their property will remain on the market for longer than the number of buyers. You may need to make concessions or sell your home below the list price.

Selling in a Sellers’ Market

A sellers market means that there are more buyers for homes than available properties. The ideal time to sell is a sellers market. You can expect your house to sell faster and to get multiple offers.

Selling a House When Mortgage Rates Drop

The mortgage rates have been historically low for the past four years. Higher rates mean that buyers have to spend more to buy the home they desire. First-time buyers who have low rates of interest are more likely to purchase.

What Factors Influence The House Selling Timeline?

Many factors will impact the time it takes to secure that contract once a house has been listed.

Market State

Market forces, supply, and demand, play a significant role in the speed at which your home sells. This dynamic is something you cannot control.

A professional real estate agent will help you set realistic expectations based on how long it takes for inventory to be available in your area and the estimated days they take to list.

The Condition Of The House

Buyers who are interested in a move-in-ready home may be discouraged if your home needs repairs or renovations you didn’t do. Previously undiscovered defects in the home can also lead to price negotiations and concessions.

Market State

Market forces, supply, and demand, play a significant role in the speed at which your home sells. This dynamic is something you cannot control.

A professional real estate agent will help you set realistic expectations based on how long it takes for inventory to be available in your area and the estimated days they take to list.

The Condition Of The House

Buyers who are interested in a move-in-ready home may be discouraged if your home needs repairs or renovations you didn’t do. Previously undiscovered defects in the home can also lead to price negotiations and concessions.

What Is The Best Time For A House To Be Sold?

Real estate is an all-year business. However, certain months of the year see more activity, especially in areas that experience extreme or inclement weather.

It is unlikely that listing a Michigan home in January or December will yield desired results. Spring, summer, or early fall are better options.

There is strong evidence to support the idea that selling your home at the end of June will get you the highest price. Most families prefer their children to stay in the house until the end of the school year, so they time the sale after their summer vacation.

To reach your target date, it takes planning. 

Subtract your house’s  median days on the market to your days to close to get an estimate of the time it will take to finish any remodeling or repairs.

March and May have traditionally seen the newest listings on the market.

Some Tips To Speed Up The Sale of Your Home

Although you cannot control the market or weather conditions, you can help speed up the sale by taking some steps.

Look For A Reliable Agent Who Has A Track Record Of Fast Sales

The best tool for selling: an agent who understands the local market and can help overcome common obstacles that could slow down the process. To gauge the track record of successful sales, make sure you check the average DOM of any prospective agent and compare it with local averages.

Refrain From Major Renovations

It has been proven that spending money and time on significant upgrades does not result in a higher sale price. 

It could even wipe out any equity that you might be able to gain. Major projects that are not functional or cosmetic should be avoided.

Find Contractors As Soon As Possible

If repairs or upgrades are required, please line up any contractors as soon as possible.

Check That The Baseboards Are Visible

Remove clutter and that homes don’t have too much furniture. Buyers love spacious, open rooms that are easy to use.

Have A Pre-listing Inspection

This allows you to spot potential problems early so that you can make any necessary repairs before the buyer inspects.

Although you will need to pay this out-of-pocket, an early inspection allows for resolving any problems rather than waiting until closing. You can declare that there have been no material defects on the listing and request that all offers waive the usual inspection condition.

Make Sure You Get The Right Price

The number one mistake sellers make  is overpricing their homes.

This can lead to a longer time on the market and force you down the price. It will also delay your timeline.

Consider Finding A Cash Buyer

A sale to investors can be completed in a matter of weeks. It also eliminates many of the hiccups that are associated with traditional sales.

Be Flexible

If you are looking to sell quickly, it is best to be open to showings, inspections, and appraisals. 

This will keep up the momentum and prevent potential buyers from moving on.

It can feel like selling a house is a race against the clock. However, knowing what to expect and working with an experienced agent will help you avoid waiting days, if not weeks.

Do You Need Help Selling Your House?

If  you want the real estate agent Kentucky homebuyers and sellers trust, Amy is your agent! With over 20 years of experience, she will work hard to get you into the house you deserve.

 

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