How Long Does It Take to Sell a House?
How long it takes to sell a house depends on several factors within and outside your control. Here’s what you need to know to sell your house as quickly as possible.
In 2019, a typical home went under contract after being on the market for three weeks, according to the National Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, it took between 43 and 51 days for a purchase to close in the same year. Put those data together and it means you’re looking at an average selling time of more than two months.
However, the actual timeline varies greatly from one home to the next. Selling a renovated home in Denver during the month of June will happen a lot faster than selling in Albany during December.
If you’re selling your home, you might feel like you have no control over how long it takes. But there are options that can help you speed up the process, along with mistakes that can slow it to a halt. Here’s everything you need to know.
How to sell a house quickly
Ask for an attractive price
To get the most money for your home, you might have to wait a while to find the right buyer. If you price your home just below market value, you’re more likely to get multiple offers right away. This can create competition between buyers and ultimately drive up their offers. You might get more than your asking price, and you’ll likely be able to move faster than if you priced your home high.
On the other hand, overpricing can have in the opposite effect. It can lead to fewer offers and your house taking longer to sell. The stigma attached to dropping the price further creates doubt in the minds of buyers. It’s important to think carefully before setting your price.
Sell in the right location at the right time
Location is everything when it comes to real estate. Most people are looking for homes in safe neighborhoods with good schools. They’d rather look out the window at a lake than a waste facility. Zillow found that homes in rural areas stay on the market longer than suburban and urban properties.
At the moment, many cities in the west are where houses sell fastest. If you live in one of these cities, you can expect a speedy sale:
|City||Average Time from List to Close|
|Olympia, Washington||47 days|
|Boise, Idaho||48 days|
|Ogden, Utah||48 days|
|San Francisco, California||49 days|
|Salt Lake City, Utah||49 days|
|Colorado Springs, Colorado||49 days|
What happens in the nearby location of your home is outside of your control. But if you have a choice of when to move, consider listing your home for sale in May or June.
According to ATTOM Data Solutions, homes sold during these months sell for 7.4% and 9.2% above estimated market value, respectively. Out of the 20 hottest selling days of the year, 19 occurred during May or June.
Seasonality varies from place to place. Get to know the most popular months for selling in your area. Also, keep an eye on market conditions. If you can wait to sell your home during a seller’s market, you’ll typically sell much faster.
Improve the condition of your home or sell off market
If you’re working with a traditional real estate agent and listing your home through the multiple listing service (MLS), your home will typically need to be move-in ready. This means you’ll need to complete any necessary repairs prior to listing. While this likely shortens the time your house stays on the market, it requires a serious time and financial commitment. You may need to clean, declutter, stage, and decorate your home as well.
Another option is to sell your house as is to an off-market buyer. You might:
- Sell to an investor
- Work with a fix-and-flipper
- Sell to an iBuyer
- Get a cash offer from putting your home on Sundae’s Marketplace
All these choices allow you to sell without involving a traditional real estate agent. This saves you up to 6% of your home’s sale price. You also won’t have to spend any time or money getting your house ready to sell. And you’ll save on closing costs.
Watch for hidden costs and fees
While selling off market probably means selling your home for less than market value, it speeds up the process tremendously.
Still, some options come with drawbacks. Fix-and-flippers aim to make the most profit possible, which means they will give you a low offer. And while you might get a higher offer from an iBuyer, research shows that iBuyers charge fees ranging from 13% to 15% of the home’s sale price.
The Consumer Federation of America warns sellers to ensure that money saved on repairs and real estate commissions offset fees. In other words, do the math and make sure no one is ripping you off.
At Sundae, we aim to provide the best price for your home without any fees. The price you receive on our marketplace is the price you’ll get, which makes it easy to evaluate whether or not it’s a fair offer. See how these Sundae customers arrived at the decision to sell off-market with Sundae.
Read More: 8 Reasons Pending Home Sales Fail
Mistakes to avoid
While there are ways to sell your home faster, there are also some common mistakes that can slow down the process. They include:
- Pricing your home too high
- Selling your home in October or December
- Selling your home in a buyer’s market
- Listing a home without making repairs or staging
- Selling to an iBuyer without calculating the fees
Of course, there are also factors outside of your control that can slow down the sale of your home. You could live in an undesirable location where there isn’t a demand for real estate. An economic downturn can impact real estate sales, especially if interest rates move significantly.
For example, the pandemic caused a drop in home sales in May, but the National Association of Realtors reported steady sales gains in the months after the outbreak. Still, no one understands the full effect the pandemic will have on the housing market.
You have options if you need to move fast
There are many reasons why you might need to sell your house quickly. You could be going through a divorce, need to work in a new location, or need to sell a home after the death of a family member. Or, you could simply be strapped for cash and need quick access to the equity you’ve built in your home.