How Long Does It Take to Sell a House? A Complete Guide

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If you’re like most Americans, you probably hate the process of moving to a new home. In fact, studies have shown that 45% of Americans hate it so much, they end up waiting until the last minute to pack, leading to additional feelings of stress.

Most people that are trying to sell a house want to know how long the process will take, what factors affect the process, and what they can do to speed it up.

So how long does it take to sell a house? Keep reading for a guide that will give you a breakdown of what you can expect.

Getting Your House Ready to Sell

The moment you decide that you’re ready to sell your house, it’s time to get to work. By taking advantage of the period of time before your home appears on the market, you ensure that it will sell as fast as possible.

Here are three things you can’t forget to do.

Eliminate Clutter

Potential buyers don’t want to see clothes thrown around closets, knick knacks on every surface, and unwanted items taking up space. Make a point to go through your home and eliminate as much clutter as possible.

Try to separate the items you want to get rid of into three piles: a pile for donations, a pile to sell, and a pile that you will trash.

Make Any Needed Repairs

If your home requires any major upgrades, it might not be worth it to spend the time and money to complete them. However, small and minor repairs can often make a big difference.

Look for walls to repaint, faucets that need tightening, broken or outdated cabinet handles, and anything else you’ve been putting off for as long as you can remember.

Work on Your Curb Appeal

If you were a potential buyer who showed up at your home, would you be interested in buying it? If not, you’ll need to work on its curb appeal.

Mow the lawn, touch up the landscaping, and look for any other way to add freshness and life to the exterior of your home.

List and Show It

Depending on how much work your home needs, you can expect the preparation process to take anywhere from one to three months. After that, it’s time to list it and show it off to the world.

During this time, you’ll wait for offers from interested buyers. Assuming that you have a talented real estate agent, this could take less than a month.

Keep in mind that the region you live in also affects how long your home stays on the market.

Accept the Offer

After an interested party submits an offer, it’s common courtesy to respond as soon as possible. The legal stipulations surrounding how long you can delay answering vary between states, but many offers are time-sensitive.

Some offers will last for 72 hours, while others will only give you a window of 24 hours to respond.

Home Inspection

After you have a buyer, they then have around five to ten days to hire a home inspector to come and check everything out.

The actual home inspection will only last a few hours. You’ll then have to wait a couple of days as the inspector finishes writing their report.

Depending on the market, certain buyers might offer to waive the home inspection in order to expedite the selling process.

Adjust the Previous Offer

If the home inspection dug up anything of interest, the buyer might then present you with an adjusted offer that takes what the found into account. In other cases, they might request that you complete the necessary repairs.

This period of re-negotiation should last no more than 48 hours. Ideally, the two of you will come to an agreement without a problem.

Close on the House

After both parties agree on a price and any necessary repairs, the closing process begins. In most cases, this will take around 30-45 days. After the house closes, you finish the selling process by giving them the keys.

The buyer uses this period of time to finish all of the necessary paperwork. The county’s records department, the title company, and the buyer’s lender also have work that they need to complete.

How Long Does It Take to Sell a House?

If you do some quick math, you’ll find that the average time to sell a vacation home, condo, or traditional house takes somewhere between 55-70 days.

As mentioned, remember that the region you live in affects how quickly your home sells. Certain markets and regions are easier to sell in, whereas you might struggle to find a buyer in others.

The time when you put your home on the market can also affect how long you have to wait. Summer is often the “high season” of home selling, where it’s easier to find a buyer. September signals the “low season”, and after that point, it might become more difficult.

You’ll also have to take the present market conditions into consideration. Selling a home in 2020 might be difficult due to the recession caused by COVID-19, but experts have high hopes for 2021.

Sell Your Home and Begin the Next Stage of Your Life

Moving is never fun, but understanding the selling process is important. How long does it take to sell a house? That depends, but by following this guide, you should have a general idea, as well as an idea of how to expedite the process.

Do you now have a better idea of how long you can expect it to take to sell your home? If you do, take a moment to browse through some of our other articles for more helpful guides and tips.

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