The time it takes to sell a house can vary greatly depending on how you sell it and who you sell it to. A quick cash closing can take as little as 10 days, but when a loan is involved, the selling process can take 45 days or longer. That is just the time it takes to sell the house after a contract has been accepted. A home owner must also get the home ready to market, list the home for sale, and find a buyer willing to pay the right price. The time it takes to sell a house can also vary depending on what the real estate market is like in your area and how expensive the home is. Houses will sell faster in a seller’s marker (a seller’s market is when there are few homes for sale and sellers have an advantage) than they will in a buyer’s market (a buyer’s market is when there are many homes for sale and buyers have the advantage). Depending on the market, the home, the type of sale, and the asking price it can take from 10 days to 6 months or longer to sell a house. There are many things homeowners can do to decrease the time it takes to sell and increase how much they sell their house for.
What should a seller do before they put their house up for sale?
The better condition a home is in, the fast it will sell, and the more it will sell for. If a homeowner wants to make the most money they can on the sale of their home, they need to make sure it is in great condition. A lot of sellers think they can lower the price or offer an allowance for repairs that are needed. However, this strategy costs the seller money because buyers want a discount if they have to make repairs. If $10,000 in repairs are needed on a home, the buyers don’t want to pay $10,000 less than what the home is worth fixed up. The buyers will want to pay $20,000 less than what the home is worth fixed up because it takes time to make those repairs, and it is not easy to finance those repairs. It is almost always smart to make any repairs needed on a house before you sell it, if you want to make the most money. It can take a couple of days to make minor repairs or a couple of months to make major repairs. The home should also be professionally cleaned.
How long does it take to get a home under contract once it is listed for sale?
Once your home is ready to sell (repairs made, clean, and possibly staged), you should list it with a real estate agent. A real estate agent will put the home in the MLS (multiple listing service) where other real estate agents will see the home for sale. Many sellers try to list a house themselves to save money, but it usually backfires on them. Here is another article that explains why real estate agents will make you more money than listing a home yourself.
How long it takes to get an offer on your house will depend greatly on the market you are in. In some markets, homes will get offers in less than a week, or even on the same day they are listed. In other markets it may take weeks or months to get an offer on a house. I have found that if you price your home right, it takes about three weeks to get a a house under contract. Under contract means the buyer and seller have signed a contract to sell the house. In a seller’s market it can take much less time and more time in a buyer’s market. It is very important that the home is priced right or it will cost the seller money as well. Price a home too low and you leave money on the table. Price a home too high, and you scare off buyers and stigmatize the home. Here is more information on why price is so important.
How long does it take to sell a house once it is under contract?
Once the contract is signed by both the buyer and seller, the closing (when the actual sale happens) can take much more time. In almost all transactions the buyer will want title insurance, which can take a week for the title company or attorney to prepare. The shortest closings are usually around 7 to 10 days. The buyer may also want an inspection where they can check out the condition of the home, which can take 7 to 14 days. The buyer may want to get a loan, which can take from 30 to 60 days. Most loans will require an appraisal, which can take from a 7 to 45 days depending on your market. Luckily most of these things can be done at the same time and you do not have to wait for one to be completed before the other can start. The time it takes to close with a loan usually depends on how fast the lender is, and how fast the appraisal can be done. It usually takes about 45 days to close on a loan.
What can delay the time it takes to sell a house?
If things go smoothly, it normally takes 2 to 3 months to sell a house once it is listed for sale. You cannot count on your house selling that fast, there are a number of things that can delay the process:
- Pricing your home too high. We talked about this already, but when you price too high it can add months to the time it takes to sell.
- Not making repairs to the home: A home that needs work, will take much longer to sell unless it is priced very low to attract cash buyers.
- Having a contract fall apart: It is not rare to see the first contract on a home fall apart. The inspection could scare the buyers or show major problems with the home. The buyer’s loan may not be approved, or there could be problems with the appraisal. It could add a month or two to the timeline if you have a contract fall apart.
- Contractor delays when you make repairs to a home. It is smart to fix up your house before you sell it, but contractors can be tough to deal with. Many times they take much longer than they say they will.
How can you sell a house fast?
I have been a real estate agent and real estate investor for over 15 years. I have a lot of experience with helping others sell homes as well as selling my own homes. There are ways to sell your house fast, but it will not get you the most money. There are investors like myself who will be happy to buy a house in 10 days if it is a good enough deal. Investors do not want to pay 10 percent or even 15 percent less than what a home is worth. They often want to pay 30 percent less than what it is worth to make it a good deal for them. Most people would rather take their time selling their home and get the most money they can, but if you need to sell right away there are investors who would be happy to help you.
You can sell a house in 10 days, but you will be losing a lot of money. If you want to make the most money you can, count on the sale of a home taking a few months. If you have time to spare and want to try to make even more money by pricing your home higher, it probably won’t work. Houses tend to sell for the most money when they are priced right, not high or low. If you want to buy another house after selling your house, you need to make sure you price it right to sell quick.