How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?

Selling

This is a question I get asked by almost every homeowner, "how long will it take to sell my house?" It's a valid question, for sure. But the answer is not so cut and dry. There are so many factors involved and many are simply out of the homeowner's hands. I recently spoke with an agent in another city where there are only 17 houses between $280K - $400K. That's it! And it's a big city too! You can imagine that those homes probably won't last long. So, in that market, listing it correctly should get the home sold in a matter of days or hours. Another agent said that within 30 minutes of listing a property they had two offers on the table. 

Is 30 minutes the norm? Absolutely not. This is very unusual. I've also talked to agents that have had homes sit on the market for months even though it's priced correctly but if there are just too many other homes in the competitive market, it may be very hard to sell.

The ebb and flow of the real estate market is not predictable no matter what economists say. Big real estate websites cannot possibly know the micro-markets that emerge from various pockets in a city or community. One street might be hopping while another dies on the vine. 

Here are some serious factors to help predict how fast your home will sell. 

The micro-markets of your particular neighborhood. The only way to really get a good idea of what your neighborhood is doing in the real estate market is to talk to your real estate agent or other homeowners that have either recently sold or bought in the area. If it's a hot market, you might consider pricing just a few thousand dollars over market value, however, if the home cannot appraise for this inflated price, you may find yourself lowering the sales price anyway. If the market is not doing so well, that could mean you have more competition, or you simply don't have a lot of buyers.

There are two distinct markets; the buyers market and the seller's market. If it's a seller's market, there are very few properties on the market and a lot of sellers. Homes typically sell faster and for more money. If it's a buyers market, there are plenty of homes on the market, fewer buyers in the home prices tend to drop.
A condition and presentation. This is another factor when it comes to how fast your home will sell. If your home is in good condition, is presented well, staged properly, and all repairs or updates have been made, you can typically price it on the higher end of the market value, especially if it's a seller's market.

If it's a buyers market, you'll definitely want to do all of the upgrades and make the home as attractive to potential buyers as possible. You will also want to price the home lower than your closest competition. It doesn't have to be that much lower. If your closest competition is listed at $300,000, you could list it at $299,000 and sound much less expensive and much more attractive.

Flexibility and reasonability when it comes to negotiations. If it's impossible for buyers to see your home, they may pass it by. I seen a lot of buyers simply cancel showing appointments because either the seller has a very small timeframe in which to show the property, they keep putting off appointments, canceling or rescheduling. If you make it difficult for a buyer to even see your property, you're not going to have much chance of selling quickly.

Attractive incentives. There are incentives that sellers can do to make the home more appealing, which in turn should sell it quicker. Higher commission for the buyer's agent, a home warranty, a pre-inspection, etc. these are items that may make your home more attractive than your closest competition.

There are many factors involved in selling your house and how fast it will sell really depends on all of these items. Once an offer has been accepted, it's typically 30 to 45 days until closing. But homes can sit on the market anywhere from two minutes to over a year. You don't want to be on the latter end of that so understanding your market and pricing it correctly from the beginning is the best way to get your home sold fast.

For more details on your specific neighborhood or micro-market contact my office today. We specialize in the Columbus real estate area.