How Long Does It Take to Sell a House on Average

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One of the top questions that people ask when they decide to list a property is, “how long does it take to sell a house?” Sellers want to know how long they will have to wait to unload a property and when they should consider listing their home. There are a lot of moving factors involved in home sales. Here are a few things to consider when deciding how long it takes to sell a house and how you can increase the chances that you sell your home fast.

The Average Number of Days Fluctuates With the Market

There are no set number of days nationally for how long homes take to sell. Home styles and sizes are so diverse, and the markets in American cities and states are so different that a national average wouldn’t help most sellers. However, there are a few insights that you can turn to. In 2020, the average number of days that a home was on the market was 25. This timeline was down from 30 days in 2019, according to Zillo. Then, it typically takes another 30- to 45- days to close on a house after an offer has been accepted. Making the average for a house the U.S. to sell 55-70 days, in 2020. Also, according to Zillo, it has been taking less and less time to sell a house over the past 10 years, in 2010, the average number of days a house stayed on the market, including its closing timeframe, was 140 days. This has to do with many factors such as mortgage rates, availability of inventory (how many houses are put up for sale in your area at a given time), and several other variables.

Your Realtor® Should Have an Idea for Average Sales Time

Instead of looking at national numbers for how long it takes to sell a house on average, consider asking your Realtor® for their insight. They can tell you what the average length of time to sell is for your area and even your neighborhood. Depending on where you live, the market could be different for your home type or even your street. While your state and city may have increasing home values (speeding up sale times), your street could be more stagnant. Your neighborhood could also be more in-demand than others depending on the location and style. Asking your Realtor® for a personalized estimate can prepare you to sell your house and give you an idea for how long to expect.  

Motivated Sellers Can Sell Their House More Quickly

As a seller, there are many aspects that are out of your control. You can’t control the market or your location. Even if you advertise your home to various audiences, you can’t guarantee that anyone will be interested in your space. However, you can make it clear how motivated you are to sell your house with your pricing and your willingness to negotiate. When you list your home, you may receive a handful of offers for different prices. If these offers are all too low and you think you can get more for your home, then you can turn them down. However, if you want to sell your house quickly, you can accept these offers and set up the closing process. If you want to sell your house fast, then you may need to lower the price and accept lower bids. This is often the case with people who need to move to a different state quickly or who are listing during a bad market.

Your Home’s Condition Also Affects the Sale Time

Even during a hot market, your home might not sell if it isn’t in the same condition as others in the area. For example, if your home needs a new roof, doesn’t have an updated interior, or lacks curb appeal, then fewer buyers may be interested in seeing it and touring the home. Your Realtor® will likely make suggestions to increase the odds that your home sells without asking you to lower your price. They may recommend staging your home, making a few small upgrades, or improving your curb appeal. These steps will bring in more potential buyers, increasing the chances that someone is interested in making an offer.

Build Closing and Contingency Clauses Into Your Timeline

You could put your house on the market and have an offer within a week, but that doesn’t mean you can start packing up and moving out. Your buyer may request a closing date a few weeks into the future (based on when they move) or ask for a contingency clause in your contract that slows down the home sale process. This clause may require you to make certain upgrades or could be based on when their home sells. As a result, you may be waiting for several weeks after your home sells to actually close and exchange your deed. Understanding this timeline will help you set realistic expectations for moving out of your old house and into the next one.

Find a Realtor® to Answer: How Long Does It Take to Sell a House

There are several moving factors that contribute to how long it takes to sell a house. If you want to sell your home quickly, find a Realtor® who can help you review all of the factors and know your area well enough to understand how long it will take. At, we work to pair sellers with the right real estate agents for their needs. Answer a few short questions and see how our data-backed algorithm makes suggestions for you. Our search results will match you with the Realtors® best suited to help you sell your home in your area as quickly as possible if that’s your goal. Try your search for free today. Photo by Fran Hogan on Unsplash

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