Listing your house for sale can be a nerve-racking experience.
It’s easy to begin worrying that your home might not attract a lot of interest and that it will sit on the market for months while you put the rest of your life on hold.
Or perhaps your home is already on the market, but not selling.
5 Factors That Affect How Long It Takes to Sell a House
According to Zillow, it took an average of 68 days to sell a house in 2018 but only 25 days to sell in 2021. Certainly 25 is much, much better than 68 days. More than 2 months seems like an eternity!
Here are some of the factors that impact the sale process and might lead to a lengthy number of "days on market."
1. Asking Price
Not surprisingly, how much you’re asking for your home will play a big role in how fast it sells. Ask for too much and you’ll be lucky to sell within 68 days. Price below your home’s market value and you could sell within a week. Overpricing your home (especially in 2023) is easily the biggest and most common mistake that sellers tend to make. To most homeowners, the equity in their home represents the biggest chunk of savings they possess.
This is why a proper valuation of your home is so important. While tools like Zillow Zestimate can often give you a ballpark figure, when you’re serious about selling, you'' want to get a professional home valuation from a real estate agent who can help you make an informed decision about a realistic and competitive price for your home.
Generally speaking, the longer your house stays on the market, the worse it looks to potential buyers and the more you’ll have to drop the price to generate interest. Better to ask for a bit less than what you think it’s worth and let interested buyers bid against each other to bring the price back up and sell your home quickly.
2. The Condition of Your Home
One of the main reasons it’s so difficult to accurately say how long it takes to sell a home is because the condition of a house makes all the difference.
That’s not to say that you can’t sell your house “as is”, it’s just that you have to then price it appropriately. If it needs new plumbing, but you’re pricing it inline with the market value of comparable homes without the same problems, it’s probably going to take a lot more than 68 days to find a buyer.
Still, even if your home is in great condition, there’s a lot you can do to make it look even better when potential buyers come to visit:
- Treat Staging as a Serious Priority – Good staging is essential. It’s how you minimize any of your home’s weak points while drawing attention to what makes it such an alluring property. This is another reason it’s worth hiring an experienced real estate agent who has handled this essential step countless times before.
- Don’t Make It Personal – One of the most common pieces of advice when it comes to staging is to depersonalize your home: remove any photographs, heirlooms, or other items that would remind a potential buyer someone else already lives there. Make it easy for them to envision what the house could look like after they’ve bought it.
- Use a Storage Unit to Clear Clutter – The last thing you want is for your home to look cluttered. If anything, you should err on the side of minimalism. Even if you have plenty of storage space in your home, if it all looks full, your house will appear as though it’s actually lacking this attractive feature. Invest in a storage unit while staging your home, so potential buyers see how much room they’ll have for their things.
- Fix What You Can – While you might not have the budget to replace all of your home’s plumbing, there may be other minor fixes you could cover before listing your house. Take care of as much as you reasonably can, and you should be able to attract more interest in your house.
3. Location, Location, Location
So, while you can’t change where your home is located, again, you can research comparable home prices in the area and list yours for a similar amount.
4. The Current Real Estate Market
Consider the national and local real estate markets, too.
When it’s a seller’s market, you can expect to ask for a bit more and still see your home attract buyers quickly.
That’s not to say a buyer’s market means you need to take a loss, though. You just have to price your house accordingly and put more time into showing off its best qualities through deliberate staging.
Aside from looking at what similar homes have sold for, research how long it took them to sell, as well. That average will be a lot more helpful as a meaningful barometer you can use to manage your expectations and even adjust your price as time goes on.
5. The Season
Finally, when you put your house up for sale can also impact how long it takes to sell.
This is another factor that will be specific to your area, though.
For the most part, people want to move during the summer. It’s easier for parents who might otherwise have to take their kids out of one school and put them in another. It’s also easier for anyone who lives in an area that sees snow during the winter.
Nonetheless, your local market could be different, so take a moment to look into when people are most likely to buy, and you’ll be able to drop the number of days your house spends on the market.
Speed Things Up by Working with an Experienced Real Estate Agent
As you can see, you have options for ensuring your home doesn’t sit around and collect dust. Though how long it takes to sell a house differs by market, you can take certain steps to help yours sell faster than most.
One of the best ways to do this is simply by working with an experienced real estate agent. At SimpleShowing, we’d love to connect you with one and save you thousands of dollars with our 1% listing fee. Especially if your home is overpriced, many homeowners re-list their property with SimpleShowing and reduce their asking price by 2%, which represents the amount saved in commission.
Contact us today to find out how we’ve made it easy and affordable to sell your house quickly.