Selling a home can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking endeavor. With this in mind, it’s understandable why homeowners often wonder how long it takes to sell a house. In the US, most homes sit on the market for an average of 25 days.
However, much more goes into preparing to sell a house, selling a home, and closing on the house. Most homeowners spend at least six to nine months selling their houses via traditional methods.
If that sounds like a lot, then know that you have other options (such as a cash offer), which we’ll explore in this comprehensive guide. We have all the answers you need about what to expect along the way so that you feel informed throughout the home-selling process.
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Selling a house: The process in 5 steps
As a homeowner, it is essential to be familiar with the house-selling process to make sure your house is sold at the right price and in the best timeframe possible. Without becoming aware of the house-selling process, you may find that selling your home can take longer than necessary or that you don’t receive a reasonable price based on its condition.
If this is your first time selling a house, here are the five main steps of the process.
1. List the property
Listing puts your home on the market, making it available to potential buyers. It allows you to start getting offers and gives you control over the sale of your house. Many listing options are available for you to choose from, so no matter what type of property or budget you have, the listing is an excellent starting point in looking for buyers interested in buying your house.
After all, putting your listing out there opens up access to many different marketing channels and audiences, maximizing the exposure of your listing and giving it a greater chance of being noticed.
2. Negotiating and accepting an offer
After you’ve done the hard work of preparing your home for sale, negotiating and accepting an offer on the house is the second step in the selling process. This critical stage comes with its challenges, some of which include the following:
- Negotiating a fair final price
- hammering out details like closing costs and repairs
- Ensuring all parties are satisfied with the agreement
This might sound complicated, and that’s because it can be. That’s why ensuring you feel confident in negotiating terms that will leave you satisfied with the transaction is crucial. Negotiating and accepting the right offer can help ensure your home-selling journey ends on a good (and profitable) note.
3. Appraisals and inspections
Assuming you’ve agreed on a great offer, it’s not time for appraisals and inspections. Qualified appraisers use their knowledge of the local housing market to compare similar homes sold recently and assess how much your home is worth.
Meanwhile, qualified home inspectors will look at what’s visible in-depth and verify that features like electric wiring, plumbing, and other systems within the house are all up to code.
Do you think this is necessary? It’s a critical part of the process, yes. Having home appraisals and inspections done on a home helps ensure buyers and sellers are knowledgeable about all aspects of the property before finalizing any paperwork related to the sale. Speaking of finalizing paperwork, that brings us to our next point. Now, it’s time for the…
4. Final negotiations
During final negotiations for the sale of a house, the buyer and seller typically discuss any last changes that need to be made to the contract. Typically, this happens if something occurs during the appraisal process or a home inspection.
These negotiations will also determine whether or not the buyer can finalize the purchase with a loan or other financing option. The final agreement must be mutually beneficial, allowing both parties to leave satisfied with their roles in the transaction. This process is necessary to close the sale and finalize all documents involved in transferring ownership.
Now, it’s time for closing day. This might look a little different from one transaction to the next. Typically, though, an escrow officer or closing attorney will oversee the process of signing closing paperwork such as:
- Loan documents
Once the closing process is complete, the buyer will take ownership of the property and make their first mortgage payment, usually within 30 days after closing. Additionally, at closing, closing costs are paid by both parties; typically, buyers pay closing costs to lenders, while sellers usually pay closing costs to title companies.
How long does it take to sell a house?
So, how long does it take for houses to sell? That ultimately depends on the factors mentioned above. As you can see, many factors are involved in preparing a home for sale, selling a house with a mortgage, and negotiating the correct terms.
Typically, you can estimate that selling your home, from start to finish, will take anywhere between two to six months in an average market. This timeframe can be longer in a market where buyers have many options. Active buyers in the market will result in a faster sale, while a slower market might mean the sale takes longer.
Other factors that affect how long it takes to sell a house include property type and location and how competitively priced the property is. Regardless of how long you’re hoping to wait for your home to sell, being aware of these considerations will be beneficial in receiving an offer for your property.
Sell your house faster
You might be thinking, “Six months is too long. I need to sell my house urgently.” If that’s the case, there is a better option than putting your home on the market.
For example, a cash offer presents an attractive solution for those who need to sell their property quickly. A cash offer guarantees you cash upfront and eliminates uncertainties involved in long-term mortgage payments. This expedites the process significantly, allowing you to cover closing costs without delays and even access the cash faster if needed.
Therefore, having a cash offer is one of the most convenient ways to sell your home swiftly and hassle-free.
Why is your house taking so long to sell? 7 Factors to consider
Are you set on selling your home the traditional way? If so, you might be frustrated and thinking, “Why is my house taking so long to sell?” Don’t panic just yet. Several factors could lead to your house sitting on the market for months. Read through these seven factors to see if one of them is the culprit behind a long home-selling process.
1. Buyer’s or seller’s market
First, you’ll want to assess whether you’re trying to sell a house in a buyer’s or seller’s market.
In buyer’s markets, there are more homes than buyers, so it could sit open until the right buyer comes along at the right price. In seller’s markets, it usually doesn’t take long to find a buyer willing to pay the listing price. Knowing if it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market can help determine how fast your home might sell.
2. Number of days on market
The number of days your home has been on the market indicates why it might have yet to sell. If you’ve had your house available for buyers to view for more than a few weeks, there could be certain factors causing it not to sell. One possible explanation is that buyers aren’t seeing something they need or can’t afford what you’re asking.
Another potential issue could be that the right buyer hasn’t come along yet, and it’s simply a matter of luck. No matter the reason, understanding how long your house has been on the market can help you better understand why it hasn’t sold yet and develop an effective plan for getting it sold quickly.
Pricing a home to sell quickly can be a tricky process. The price should match the market price and factor in any renovations or updates made to the house. You likely want your price to be competitive with other similar homes.
Researching recent sales for comparables and setting a price that will draw potential buyers are essential steps to price a home and sell it quickly. Additionally, getting professional advice from trusted advisors such as local real estate agents and appraisers can guide where to price your house to maximize return and minimize time on the market.
4. Property condition
If you’re questioning why your house is taking so long to sell, the property’s condition could be your answer. Potential buyers have many options out there, and they’re likely to choose a property that is already in good condition and requires minimal repairs and renovations.
Even small details like cleanliness and furniture arrangements can go a long way in making it easier to decide. If you feel that the condition of your property might be holding it back from selling quickly, invest some time into cleaning up, decluttering, and polishing up various aspects of the property. This could be just the push it needs to get off the market fast.
5. Home location
As you might know, property location is a huge factor that could determine how long your property will take to sell. Various factors can influence the demand for your property. These include:
- Proximity to public transport
- Nearby amenities
- Employment opportunities
- Cost of living
If the property is more desirable in terms of its location, chances are there will be higher interest from homebuyers, which could result in the property selling faster. On the other hand, if the property has less favorable location features, it could take longer to find an interested homebuyer.
6. When you sell your home
Likewise, you’ll want to understand the best time to sell a house in your location. For example, in warmer climates such as Atlanta and Las Vegas, the best time to sell a home is in May. In colder climates such as Chicago or Boston, the best time to sell is in March.
While it’s not all about the weather, consider seasonality when selling your home. Generally, this depends on the market conditions and individual circumstances. If you’re looking to make the most profit from the sale, spring and early summer is usually best due to increasing demand from home buyers.
On the other hand, it is best to sell in the fall or winter months when markets tend to be slower as there may be less competition amongst sellers then. Whatever season or time of year you choose, preparation is vital as it will help ensure you receive the best offer on their property.
7. Your realtor or real estate agency
Finally, working with a real estate agency or realtor can hugely affect how long your property stays on the market. A realtor can help you price your home properly, attracting more potential buyers.
They can also provide expert advice on making the most of your listing and enhancing its appeal. They know what works in today’s market and what doesn’t. All in all, this helps put you in the best possible position to sell your house quickly.
If your house isn’t selling as quickly as you’d like, it might be time to consult a realtor, who can give you information about why it hasn’t been sold and suggest a different approach. However, as mentioned above, that’s not your only option. If you want (or need) to sell your house as quickly as possible, we suggest getting a cash offer.
Sell your home quickly with iBuyer.com
So, how long does it take to sell a house? Selling a home can be lengthy and difficult, often months or even years. If you’re worried about the length of time it takes to get your house sold and want an easier solution, then working with an iBuyer is a great option.
An iBuyer is an investor who can quickly get your home off the market in as little as days with a fair market value assessment. If you decide to pursue this route of selling, you’ll get a cash offer based on the values provided by the assessment. Ready to get started?
Click here to get your free home value estimate.