how long does it take to sell a house

You love your house and you’ve had a good run, but now it’s time to turn the page and start your next chapter. Time to sell your house and get a fresh start.

Maybe you’re moving closer to work. Maybe you’re changing school districts for your kids. Maybe you’re moving across state lines for a job. Maybe you’re downsizing. Whatever the reason, you need to sell.

There’s just one problem. In your eagerness to skip ahead to the next chapter, you forgot to calculate one important factor: how long it takes to sell your old house.

So, how long does it take to sell a house? That depends. Here’s what you need to know to proceed as an informed seller.

How Long Does It Take…

Even in the hottest markets with the highest turnover, selling a house isn’t an overnight affair.

Selling a house can generally be broken into five timeline stages:

  1. Listing your home
  2. Getting an offer
  3. Closing after receiving an offer
  4. Getting paid
  5. Moving out

Getting an offer is the single longest stage of the process, and the exact length of time is widely variable depending on a laundry list of factors.

Factors Affecting Your Timeline

Your selling process can stretch for weeks and months in the time it takes to get an offer and close on an offer. The time required to get an offer depends on four key factors:

  1. Asking price
  2. Home and market conditions
  3. Lot and location
  4. Seasonality

No one factor can necessarily outweigh the others. It’s possible to sell almost any house, provided that you create the right conditions for the sale. Here’s how each factor affects your potential time on the market.

Asking Price

A house’s asking price is by far one of the most important factors in getting a house off the market quickly.

You may be tempted to price your house too high to spin a profit, or to price it too low to get it off the market as quickly as possible. But either choice can get you into trouble.

On one hand, if you price your house too high, you’ll price yourself out of the market of buyers interested in that particular neighborhood. On the other hand, if you price your home too low for the area, buyers will be suspicious that something is wrong with the house.

The trick is to hit the sweet spot and price your home to sell. There are certain steps you can take to negotiate a higher selling price, which is a combination of careful investment and clever strategy.

Conditions

Two conditions can influence your house’s selling timeline: the conditions of the selling market and the condition of your house itself.

The condition of the market is a tricky beast because real estate markets are notoriously cyclical. A hot real estate market is a seller’s market, characterized by:

  • High demand
  • Low supply
  • Rising prices
  • Multiple offers
  • Bidding wars
  • Waived contingencies
  • Fast sales

A cold market, also known as a buyer’s market, is the opposite: high supply and comparatively lower demand, which means sellers have to price down in order to get their homes off the market faster.

As for your home condition, think of it this way. A buyer looks at a house in poor condition and sees money sunk on the future repairs. That said, your home’s condition isn’t necessarily detrimental to your sale, as an old fixer-upper for a bargain price can sometimes sell faster than a high-priced home.

Lot and Location

Location, location, location.

You can’t control your home’s location, but the fact remains that certain location elements will make a home more desirable–a good school district, proximity to a school, a highly desirable neighborhood. If you live in the periphery of a city, proximity to public transportation may also play a role.

Then there are homes that have critical location curses, like sitting next to a freeway. Sellers who are used to these conditions can become oblivious to them, but many a buyer will be turned off by it.

That doesn’t mean your home is unsellable if you’re next to a highway or an airport, but you will have to take other steps to make your home desirable to the right audience.

Seasonality

Did you know that the time of year you sell your house can actually affect how easy it is to sell? Remember, real estate markets are notoriously cyclical, and that applies to seasonal changes as well as buyer/seller market cycles.

Generally, most people prefer to move during the summer months when the kids are out of school, though they may also move in spring while it’s still relatively warm. As a rule, winter is a much slower-moving season since it’s the middle of the school year.

Keep in mind, however, that seasonal influences on your home’s market time will change based on what state you live in. Our beautiful Sunshine State with a June-November hurricane season will have different seasonal priorities than Wisconsin.

The good thing about Florida is that our weather is relatively constant year-round, so you won’t see as much seasonal change as the Midwest, for example, which has four seasons (including brutal winter) which make it hard to move during certain times of the year.

So, How Long Does It Take to Sell a House?

So, to our original question: how long does it take to sell a house?

Keep in mind that any of the above factors will change your time on the market, but the median selling time for a house in 2018 was around 65 days.

Ready to Sell Your Home Fast?

If you’re wondering, “How long does it take to sell a house?” and thinking that a 65-day average is too long for how fast you want to get off the market, we’re here to offer a better solution.

We help local South Florida homeowners sell their homes fast and for a fair price. With a simple, hassle-free process and a caring team, we’ve closed over 600 transactions since 2011.

Why? It’s simple. We know that life can’t stand still while you wait for the real estate market. So we’re here to make home selling a little bit easier.

Ready to start your next chapter? Click here to get an offer today.