How to Get An Idea Without A Crystal Ball: How Long Will it Take For Your House To Sell?

The most commonly asked question when a seller lists their home is: “How long will it take to sell?” This is a tricky one, because many different factors are at play. It is impossible to come up with an exact date of when a home will sell. There are, however, methods to determine a fair estimate of the timeframe. See: Zillow Zestimate – How Much is My Home Worth?

So, How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?

Average Days on Market
Your agent should be able to give you a number of the average days your house will be on the market. If he or she can’t, it may be time to find an agent who can. A good way to estimate how long your home will be on the market is to figure out the day each home in any given home goes on the market and count the days pending; then, add those days together and divide by the number of homes. This should give a decent prediction of how long it will take your home to sell.

What Makes a House Sell Quickly?
Sometimes, there is no reason that one house sells faster than another. For example, sometimes it could just be a standard case of the “right time, right place.” However, that sort of luck is usually the exception, not the rule. More than likely, how long it will take for your home to sell will depend on these key factors:

a) Price: a great tactic that many agents use in order to get a few offers is to price the house under market value. This usually generates multiple offers, which will eventually drive up the price. A lower price also may sell faster, because there are more buyers that can afford lower priced homes than more expensive ones. Read: Trulia Home Values – How Much is My Home Worth?

b) Location: The more desirable the area, the faster a home will sell. If it is in a poor location, it will likely take a long time to sell, if at all. Either way, there are no promises that your house will sell in a certain amount of time.

c) Condition: Homes that don’t need a lot of work tend to sell faster than homes that are in need a lot of work. When a house has a lot that would potentially need to be done to it, it can drive away buyers because they have an idea of what it will cost them to fix it, on top of the price to actually purchase it. Many buyers don’t want to purchase a home that is more hassle than its worth. See: Ten Tips to Sell Your Home Fast.

Buyers Market vs Sellers Market
Homes generally sell faster in sellers markets, as there are fewer sellers and more buyers. When a “bid
ding war,” or, a home with more than one potential buyer comes along it is not abnormal for a home to sell in less than a week. Read: Home Value Estimator – Chase Mortgage.

However, in buyer’s markets, the buyer has many options and are not in a rush to purchase. If you are a seller in a buyer’s market, you should be prepared for your home to take a little longer to sell rather than if it were in a seller’s market.

Again, there is no way to tell exactly when a home will sell. Estimated predictions are still just that; an estimation. Many factors go into how fast or slow a home sells. The key is to choose a good realtor, and have patience.


2 thoughts on “How to Get An Idea Without A Crystal Ball: How Long Will it Take For Your House To Sell?

  • January 7, 2016 at 10:37 am

    my home has been on the market for a while and still isn’t selling. Is there a point in time where you should just give up and list it again later?

  • January 7, 2016 at 10:37 am

    It’s time to take a deep breath and accept the possibility that your market is in a slowdown. Ask agents about the typical time on the market. And, Malin notes, the choice doesn’t have to be between renting and selling the house. You can hedge your bets and try both options until you find a buyer.

    You could put the house up for rent and for sale at the same time so that potential clientele have a trial rental period. Maybe it’s just a slow time in your market, and the rental market is really strong. Maybe wait for now until the market gets better. Although, hopefully you have a great realtor that is helping you with these questions. If your home isn’t selling, it may also be that you have a not-so-great realtor.


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