Time to sell | Steps to sell | How to sell your house fast | FAQs
Houses spend an average of 50 days on the market nationwide. The period between offer acceptance and closing is about 35 of those days.
But a lot of things affect how long it takes to sell a house, like location, time of year, sales method, and condition of your house.
How long does it take to sell a house?
It takes an average 50 days to sell a home nationwide. But the median amount of time it takes to sell a home depends on the current market conditions and the time of year.
According to data from Realtor.com, the time frame for selling a house increased 15% in September 2021. Over 2022, homes sold the fastest during April (32 days), May (31 days), and June (32 days).
The location of the house also plays a massive role in how fast your home sells. Zillow data shows that it takes over two months from pending sale to closing in upstate New York. But in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, sellers are flying through the process in only six days.
This data doesn’t include the time required to prep your home for sale. You’ll have to invest some time before your home ever hits the market.
Steps to selling a house
When selling your home, the process begins long before you list your house on the market. Let’s look at the preliminary steps, as well as marketing, and closing the deal.
» MORE: 12 Simple Steps to a Fast Sale!
1. Connect with a real estate agent
Finding a quality realtor shouldn’t take more than a week or two. If a candidate is too busy to meet with you within that time frame, they probably won’t be a great match.
Look for a well-connected local realtor who’s familiar with the area. Check your local multiple listing service (MLS) to see the realtor’s sales history. Then set up an interview if you like what you see. Experts recommend meeting with at least three agents before making a decision.
2. Prepare to list
Prepping your home to list and show usually takes at least two weeks. If you’re listing your property “as is,” this process might be faster. Ask your agent what you need to do to get the house ready. At the bare minimum, clean, declutter, remove personal items, and make minor repairs to boost curb appeal.
3. List your home
Listing your home can take a few days to a week. Work with your agent to set a listing price and to highlight the best features of the home in the listing description. Get high-quality professional photos if you can. Also consider getting a video tour, a floorplan, aerial pictures, and 3D photography. Your agent should handle this after you’ve decided what you want.
Then your agent will publish the listing on the MLSs, Zillow, Trulia, and other listing sites. Once the listing goes up, you can share it on social media. Your agent will market the property using the methods you discussed in the hiring interview.
4. Show your home
After listing, your agent should schedule showings and open houses for interested buyers. The timeline for showing your home is arguably the least predictable part of the sales process. How long it takes depends on buyer interest and how soon an acceptable offer comes in.
What can you do to speed it up? Keep your home in show-worthy condition and be flexible with your schedule. Don’t turn down opportunities to show the house or you might miss out on potential buyers.
Once you have offers, it’s time to negotiate the best possible deal. Review the offers with your agent and discuss satisfactory terms. It may take a couple of days to relay offers and counteroffers between your agent and the buyer’s agent before you settle on an acceptable purchase agreement.
6. Contingency period
The contingency period is typically the longest part of the selling process. You’ll need to schedule home inspections and appraisals, and then wait for the reports. You also may have to wait for your buyer to secure financing or sell their home before closing on yours.
Closing (or settlement) is the final step to selling your home. It occurs after all the contingencies have been met. During closing, you’ll sign the final documents, get paid, and hand the keys to the new owners. The actual closing appointment usually takes about an hour.
How to sell your house fast
You have options to speed up the process if you want to sell your home fast.
List with an experienced real estate agent
An experienced, local realtor will know how to sell fast without sacrificing profit. Also, they can use their real estate connections to attract qualified buyers.
Using a realtor isn’t as fast as selling to an iBuyer, but you’ll get more money, especially with a low-commission agent. Our friends at Clever Real Estate can save you thousands of dollars. They match you with experienced realtors who provide comprehensive listing services for only 1.5% instead of the standard 2.5–3% rate.
Sell to an iBuyer or a cash buyer
Cash buyers and iBuyer companies can buy your home fast (sometimes within 48 hours). But the speed comes at a price. iBuyers’ and cash buyers’ offers are much lower than those on the open market. These buyers typically offer 70–80% of the home’s market value because they plan to flip the property for a profit.
The upside is that you can skip most of the steps in the selling process. Instead, you’ll go from offer and acceptance straight to closing. So you’ll need to weigh the benefits of a speedy, uncomplicated sale against a much lower sales price.
» LEARN: Should I Sell My House Now or Wait? How to Decide
How long do most homes take to sell?
Homes spend an average of 50 days on the market, according to the Realtor.com Real Estate Data Library. This estimate doesn't include the time it takes to prepare for a sale, which can take at least two weeks. The time it takes to sell a house also depends on your location.
How long does it take to close on a house?
After an offer is accepted on a house, it takes an average of 35 days to close according to Zillow Research. Contingencies such as repairs or buyer financing can delay closing further.
How to Sell Your House: 12 Simple Steps to a Fast Sale! Wondering how to sell your house fast and for top dollar? We’ve got you covered. Read our 12-step guide.
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