For some, selling a house is a “take it as it comes” type of situation. They have the time, the resources and the funds to look for the right buyer, to negotiate and renegotiate offers, make key repairs, updates and upgrades, to engage estate agents and solicitors… They can wait.
For others, selling a house is a “must do it now” type of situation. They need to avoid repossession. They are divorcing and must liquidate this asset or simply want a fresh start. They must relocate for work or to be closer to family. They need to pay for care. Whatever the case, they do not have the luxury of time, nor the financial resources to wait any longer than strictly possible.
For these people, the question, “How long does it take to sell a house?” is very much top of mind. Find out how long it typically takes, what factors most impact your timeline – and how to speed up the process so you can move on with your life.
How Long Does It Take to Sell a House?
There is no hard and fast answer on this one. The truth – the very frustrating truth! – is that it depends. In a hot market, you may get an offer as soon as you list the house. In a cool or cold market, your home could well be on the market for months without a hint of interest. In general, it takes four to six months to complete a sale.
Here are some factors that impact the time it takes to sell a home, according to research from The Advisory:
- Asking Price (10)
- State of the Market (8)
- Quality of Solicitors (8)
- Quality of Estate Agents (7)
- Buyer’s Position (7)
- Length of Chain (7)
- Title, Search or Survey Issues (6)
- Condition of Neighbouring Property (6)
- Lease vs. Freehold (5)
- Local Authority (4)
- Time of Year (4)
- Condition of Property (4)
- Uniqueness of Property (4)
The Advisory, an independent resource for house sellers, gave each factor an “impact rating.” This indicates how much of an influence they can have on the time it takes to sell a house. Asking price has an impact rating of 10; the “heat of the market” scores an 8, as does quality of solicitors. (Note: the numbers in parenthesis indicate the impact rating.)
As you can see, there are some factors that are outside of your control, such as the condition of the neighbouring property and the state of the market. There are, however, many factors over which you can exert some influence, such as the condition of the property, the quality of the solicitors and estate agent and the asking price.
Let’s look at price: this is one area in which you have a lot of control. You cannot ask more than comparable homes in your area and expect to make a sale – much less a quick sale. When a property is overpriced, it may get a lot of viewings, but buyers are unwilling to complete the sale. When you lower your price, you can generate more interest and, if you are fortunate, even get a bidding war started.
Another very important factor that you can control to a great extent is the buyer’s position. When you sell your home with an estate agent and seek traditional buyers (i.e. those who get financing from a mortgage lender), you are subject to many uncertainties. Will the buyer’s funding go through? Will the lender rescind approval (as can happen if the buyer no longer meets loan requirements)? Will the lender refuse to finance a house with problems such as faulty roof, damaged plumbing, frayed or outdated wiring and so on? (The answer here is very likely no because it is not an acceptable risk for them.) Working with a cash home buyer allows you to control who you sell to. They don’t need a lender or their onerous restrictions. They can purchase any home they choose – and there is a reason they are referred to often as “we buy any house” companies. They will buy homes that are in less than optimal condition. You do not have to waste money or time making repairs. You can streamline the entire process by working with a reputable company.
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