How Long It Takes to Sell a House

How Long It Takes to Sell a House: Everything You Need to Know

May 17, 2021 | Selling Your Home | By: The Goodhart Group

National Association of Realtors (NAR), as of June 2020, the typical U.S. home was on the market for an average of 24 days. Mortgage processing company Ellie Mae estimates an average of 46 days to close on a purchase loan. That’s 71 days from listing to closing.

Locally, in the first quarter of 2021, Alexandria homes were on the market just 27 days. To compare, ten years ago, NAR’s reported average days on market was 98 days!

The average time it takes to sell a house in your area may differ, depending on your local market and geographic location. Historically, rural homes tend to stay on the market longer than urban or suburban homes. More expensive homes generally take longer to sell. Entry-level homes typically sell faster than move-up homes.

Factors Influencing How Long It Takes to Sell a House

Many factors determine how long it takes to sell a house. These factors include:

Location. While buyers aren’t all looking for the same things, certain factors tend to make a home’s location more or less valuable (think the busyness of the street, proximity to shopping, dining, and public transportation, and walkability).

Time of Year. The best time of year to sell a home varies depending on the home’s location. For example, winter is not the best time to sell in cold, snowy climates. In our area, we are fortunate that the real estate market is fairly strong throughout the year thanks to temperate weather and the constant movement of federal workers and members of the military. Click here to learn what’s the best time to sell a house in your area.

Condition. While a home’s condition is less of a factor than its asking price, fixer-uppers can often sit longer than “move-in ready” homes. Not everyone is ready for a project!

Staging. Research has shown that staged homes sell faster than un-staged ones. Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) data shows that un-staged homes spent an average of 184 DOM (Days on Market). Once staged, these homes sold on average in 41 days. Homes staged prior to going on the market sold on average in just 23 days.

Agents. It (almost) goes without saying that experienced agents almost always make the processes faster and smoother!

Shortening How Long It Takes to Sell a House

If you’re looking to speed up your sale, there are a few things you can do:

  • Price the home right!
  • Ensure your home is in top condition and shows well, especially online.
  • Confirm that your agent makes it known you’d like as quick of a settlement as possible.
  • Consider selling to a developer or flipper.
  • Establish a timeline for price reductions (if needed)
  • Select an all-cash offer if available to limit possible financing slowdowns.

The Bottom Line

No one can predict how long it will take to sell a house. But with the right pricing, preparation, staging, and an experienced Realtor on your side, the process will likely be faster than average.

Are you thinking of selling? Want to talk through your timeline? Reach out today. We’d be happy to help!

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