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No matter how much you love your home, sooner or later there may come a time when you want to sell and move on. But how long does it take to sell a house?
Our site statistics show that the median home spends 65 days on the market, from the time it’s listed until the owner hands over the keys. That said, this number can vary widely based on a variety of factors.
Read on to learn more about how long it might take to sell your home—and how to speed up your sale.
What affects a home sale timeline
There are a number of factors that can speed up or slow down a sale:
- Location: In hot markets such as San Francisco, homes may spend just a few weeks on the market before they sell. In slower markets, things can drag on for more than twice as long.
- Price: Expensive homes generally sell more slowly, because fewer buyers can afford them. “The pool of possible buyers for $1,000,000-plus homes is dramatically smaller,” says Susan Naftulin, president at Rehab Financial Group.
- Season: In general, sales happen faster in summer, when the weather is nice and families are eager to settle in before school starts. During the winter, sales can be more sluggish.
- Inventory: Homes in an area with a shortage of homes on the market in relation to the demand will see an offer more quickly than homes in neighborhoods with an inventory glut and few buyers.
- School districts: Homes in neighborhoods with desirable public schools sell faster than houses in less-than-stellar school districts—and for more money, too.
- Walkability: Urban houses within strolling distance to public transportation are snapped up over homes with limited access to buses and trains.
How to sell a home fast
While many factors that affect how long it takes to sell a home are beyond your control, there are some things you can do to speed up a sale.
- Competitive pricing: Your home will sell faster if you price it on the lower end of the averages in your area, according to Monica Webster, real estate salesperson at William Raveis in New York City and Greenwich, CT. “When a home is priced properly, it will almost always sell quickly—and may even spark a bidding war that will drive up the price,” she says. “Sometimes houses even have an offer at the first open house.”
- Completed repairs: Sprucing up your home leading up to the sale is equally if not more important than when you actually list it, says Jennifer Sandlin, a real estate professional from Cornerstone Real Estate. “Finish those little home projects that have been put aside over the years,” she says. “Things you might not notice every day will stick out to a prospective buyer.”
- Staging and decluttering: On average, a staged home sells 88% faster (and for 20% more) than a nonstaged one.