Average Time It Typically Takes to Sell a House

Homeowners moving to their newly purchased home.

There’s no beating around the bush: the process of selling a house is stressful, especially when you don’t know how long it will take for your home to close, which can have plenty of negative consequences. For one, if you are looking to move, a sale delay can mess up the timing of buying your new place. 

On top of that, a stagnant home can take a psychological toll. You may worry about why your home isn’t selling, which can pressure you to lower your asking, and you want to avoid having to lower the asking price.

But don’t fear, brave home-buyer! This article will break down everything you need to know about the average time to sell a house and ensure you’re connecting with safe and ethical buyers.

What Is the Average Time It Takes to Sell a House?

Long story short, real estate has become a serious seller’s market. In the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many people are hesitant to leave home. So for those buying a home, there are fewer houses on the market, and selling time has become incredibly short. 

On top of that, supply chain issues and labor shortages have meant that there simply aren’t the materials or workers to construct new homes.

What’s more, the entire situation has created something of a feedback loop. Since the market is so cutthroat, potential sellers might not be as interested in moving because they don’t want to deal with the competition or buy a ludicrously expensive home.

The national average home sale time is relatively low at the current moment, with homes being on the market for an average of 60 days. Remember, though, that this number includes the closing time when buyers and sellers are under contract before the sale finalizes. So, if the entire process takes only 61 days, a seller will have received an offer within a few weeks.

This short sale time is even more pronounced in metro areas, where the time for homes to sell is between 30 and 60 days on market. If you want to sell a house fast in Milwaukee, the average sale time is 28.5 days on market, while hot spots, like Raleigh, North Carolina, are seeing sell times of just ten days!

Conversely, the local market in a low-performing area can be slower. For example, areas such as Virginia Beach, Virginia, and McAllen, Texas are seeing average sell times of over 50 days. 

The average sale time depends radically on your county area and market conditions. For example, if you live in Virginia Beach, you shouldn’t expect Raleigh-level speeds, but if you live in Milwaukee and your home hasn’t sold in 50 days, you might need to go back to the drawing board.

Remember, though, that recent interest rate changes have made mortgages more expensive, which will likely help the housing market cool off, potentially reducing the number of buyers and stabilizing home prices.

Can You Sell a Home Quickly In Today’s Market?

An elderly couple talking to a real estate agent about downsizing.

We’re currently living in a seller’s market, so it is possible to sell a home very quickly.

That said, you should get into the market soon if you want to use the seller’s market since new mortgage rates may slow down the pace of home sales. 

Now, when you’re getting the house ready to sell, check into whether comparable homes have sold in your area–focus on houses that are the same age, are located in similar neighborhoods, or have similar amenities and upgrades. If those comparable homes are selling fast, you’ll have a good chance of selling your home quickly.

When it comes to pricing, comparison is your friend. Check the sale price of comparable homes in the area and match them if you’re able–but don’t go too high since you don’t want to poke the beat of rising mortgage rates. In other words, going too liberal with your prices can scare off potential buyers, especially as the market becomes less competitive. 

In terms of the timeline, remember that even if you get an offer on your home and go under contract in a short period, you’ll still need more closing time. During this period, you get a home inspection, work with lenders for the sales contract to be negotiated, and more. 

All those delays matter because they prolong your estimated sales timeline. So if you need to flip your house on a tight schedule, make sure you build in a few weeks to work out those logistical issues. 

Finally, keep in mind that the timing of a home sale matters. The late autumn and winter are bad times to sell a home since fewer people are going out–or on the market for expensive purchases at all. Instead, try to wait until the late spring or early summer to sell your home. 

During this time of year, more people are interested in making life transitions, and it’s easier for them to visit potential homes. On top of that, the beauty of the season means that your property will look more attractive than in the winter.

Ultimately, it’s important to be flexible. If you want to sell your home fast, you’ll need to be adaptable to hardball negotiations, market fluctuations, and nearby competition. You’re not in a bad position if your home is valuable, but when you need to get a home on the market ASAP, you’ll have to put on your negotiating hat.

Is It True You Can Sell a House in Seven Days

The average time to sell a house is different in most areas. But is it possible to sell a house in seven days? In short, it is possible to sell a house in seven days if you do it right.

Real Estate Agents

The best option for doing so is to get a high-quality real estate agent with plenty of experience, a good reputation, and a rapport that works well for you. Once you’ve found a great agent, they’ll be able to come up with a marketing plan: is your house meant for first-time families, young professionals, flippers, or another demographic?

Next, be sure to select the right listing price. If your goal is to sell as fast as possible, you might need to set your asking price on the lower end of the home’s value.

Finally, set the stage for your home by decluttering it and preparing it for open houses and potential buyers, which is a good step in any home, but it’s especially important when you want to cast a wide net.

Cash Buyers

The other option for an easy, quick home sale is to get a cash buyer. Most, such as the cash home buyers in Elm Groove, are professional entrepreneurs or representatives from larger companies.

That said, you need to be extremely careful when working with a cash buyer. Be sure to research the buyer, and check their credentials and reputation–many are ethical, but others can be dishonest.

Regardless, you’ll likely want to work with a lawyer to review your sale contract with a cash buyer, ensure that you’re selling your home at a fair price, and help you prepare a counteroffer. 

After all, having someone negotiate for you is always a good thing–especially since some cash buyers are looking to get as low a sale price as possible and may cut your profits with processing fees. That said, professional cash buyers should give market-value offers and respect your need for legal consultation.

Both options for home buying are viable for selling a house quickly, although the odds of getting an offer and closing with a traditional open market sale are slim. If selling in a week is necessary, a professional cash buyer will likely be the surefire approach for selling within that timeline.

Things to Consider When Trying to Sell a House Quickly

There are many factors to consider when trying to sell a house quickly–after all, you’re moving fast, and you don’t want to make any errors that will harm your finances. So here are some tips for first-time home sellers.

First, consider both the seasonal timing of your sale and the current state of the market. If you can, try to sell in the warmer time of year to draw the home-buying crowd into a scenic open house. 

If the real estate bubble in your area seems to have burst–which will be evident in stagnating sales and dipping prices–you may want to hold off on selling until you can get a better offer.

It can be pricey to use the traditional home sale method when you want to sell fast since you’ll need an advanced real estate agent with a higher commission rate. On top of that, you’ll probably need to invest in high-end staging, photography, and possibly advertising.

That said, using a credible real estate agent is essential. A realtor will know the market better than you do, and they have better strategies for selling quickly. They know, for example, how to set a fair price–they can be realistic about setting a low price to sell the home quickly, but they will still make sure you’re not selling your home way below market value.

Final Thoughts 

The booming real estate market means that homes are selling faster than they have in quite some time. Luckily for you, we buy houses Wisconsin homeowners are trying to sell quickly! If you need to sell a house fast, though, don’t handle it all by yourself. Instead, work with a reputable professional to get the deal you deserve. 

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