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How Long Will it Take to Sell My House

Thursday, November 14, 2019   /   by Dixie Simon

How Long Will it Take to Sell My House

Most ‘time to sell’ statistics (reported by the press &/or found online) are for the time it takes to find a buyer/accept an offer. Finding a buyer/accepting an offer is not the whole story.

Beware of misleading information.

Below is a list of factors most impact the time it takes to sell

·        Price asked

·        Market heat

·        Quality of Title and Escrow

·        Quality of Realtor

·        Buyer’s position

·        Title, search or survey problems

·        Condition of neighboring property

·        Time of year

·        Condition of property

·        Uniqueness of property

·        Other legal conditions such as leasehold vs freehold, local authority, etc.

All of these factors provide insight into what really impacts the time it takes to sell a house.


Let’s take a look at the Top 3 factors

#1. Listing Price

The price you ask in relation to similar properties currently on the market has the biggest impact on how long it takes to sell. Thankfully this is one factor you have total control over.

The simple truth is you can’t ask more than the comp’s or the competition and expect to sell.

However, overpriced properties often get viewings, but they rarely find a buyer willing to complete the sale or even make an offer.

If however, you ask less than the competition you are almost assured to generate immediate interest (potentially even a bidding war).

#2. Market Heat

How ‘hot’ (or not) your market is has major impact on how long it could take you to sell.

You have no control over this factor other than to postpone your sale and hope market conditions improve (they may not).

In a cold market (a buyers’ market) buyers have the upper hand and sellers need to price their homes ultra-competitively to avoid sitting on the market indefinitely.

In a hot market (a sellers’ market) sellers have the upper hand, homes sell quickly (if priced sensibly) and bidding wars are more common.


#3. Quality of Realtor

An overworked or untrained agent that takes ages to respond to even the simplest inquiry can reduce the progress of your sale to a snails pace.

This is another factor you have total control over.

Don’t choose your Realtor purely on price or because it is an old school buddy – Ultra cheap realtors and sometimes old “buddies” are cheap all the way around, often including the work ethic.


So, if for instance you need to sell in 8-16 weeks?

In hot markets this timeframe should be achievable with intelligent pricing and your Real Estate Agency/ Agent choices.

In a cold markets, you’re unlikely to find a buyer and complete the transaction within this timeframe. The majority (70%) of properties took +90 days (3-6 months) to secure an acceptable offer.


Bottom Line

As you can see, there are big variations between hot and cold markets.

As I stated in the beginning, you need to beware if someone gives you absolute answers to questions that have no absolute outcome. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a crystal ball? There are markets within markets and there is a good chance your property doesn’t follow the overarching regional / national trends.

Long story short, there is no one answer. Trust your agent and go with your gut.

This is a very personal transaction and you need to decide to be reasonable and listen to reason. Hear what your Realtor is saying. If you do not understand, ask. It doesn’t do a Realtor any good to sell you a pipe-dream. Just know, it will be stressful and your Realtor is there to help navigate the process.


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Haven Real Estate Group
Cambria Henry
304 W Pacific Ave; Suite 360
Spokane, WA 99201

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