How long does it really take to sell a home?

How long does it really take to sell a home?

There’s a lot of talk about helping buyers to get on the property ladder, but don’t you think there’s a lot to know about the process and uncertainty of selling a home?! That’s certainly a feeling among most sellers, and it’s not uncommon for their first question to be “how long it will it take?”. Let’s try to unravel it now…

Accepting an offer versus selling

The first thing to consider is the fact that ‘selling’ doesn’t mean accepting an offer. An offer is just an offer and can fall through before you complete on a sale. The speed at which an offer is made on your house is going to depend on the demand for property in your area, the quality of your home, the correctness of your asking price and a bit of good luck, too!

On the other hand, selling happens once you’ve drafted and negotiated contacts and completed the deal. This process depends entirely on how much negotiating there is to do between you and the buyer, and the efficiency of your respective solicitors.

So what is the UK average?
According to the government, selling normally takes around three months. Of course, it can be much quicker or slower or depending on where your property is located. For instance, properties in London tend to sell in four weeks, whereas the north east of England sees the process more than double to an average of ten weeks.

What about regionally?

According to this article in the Telegraph, properties in the south west take around six weeks to sell, seven to eight weeks in the midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside sees properties spend nine weeks on the market. So, as you can see there’s no hard and fast rule – it’s probably going to come down to the desirability of your location and the price of your property.

What can I do to make my property sell more quickly?

There’s lot of tips and tricks to try if you want to get your property sold fast, so here are just a few. For one thing, remember that first impressions count: you’ll need to fix up the exterior of your property so that it’s clean and presentable, tidy the lawn and repair your driveway, walls and boundaries.

Second, consider that most buyers don’t want to do lots of work to a property, so do some minor updates to the kitchen and bathroom. You don’t need to do any major work (in fact you could lose money by doing so), but you should certainly freshen up these two rooms and make them look as modern, clean and ‘ready to move into’ as possible.

Third, don’t ignore necessary repairs. For instance, a sagging roof, damp walls, cracks, blown windows or outdated electrical and heating systems are going to make your property harder to sell and could even reduce its value too. So, get it all fixed before putting it on the market so that there’s less for a buyer to be ‘turned off’ by.

Finally, price your property competitively. It’s understandable that you’d want to fetch the highest price possible, but if you’re valuing it above similarly sized properties in your area you’ll have a much harder time convincing a buyer to pay above what they feel is reasonable.

Should I use a Quick Sale provider instead?

Quick house sale companies often buy a house in as little time as just one week. The great thing about them is that they can be advantageous if you have a pressing need to sell in a hurry, and it’s a route you might want to go down if you need to:

  • avoid repossession, clear your debts or sort out your financial difficulties
  • move home for age or health related reasons
  • sell quickly because your relationship has broken down or you’re divorcing

So, expect it to take up to three months to sell your house if you’re marketing it well, or find out more about how quick-sale websites speed up the process, taking some time to weigh up the pros and cons of both options.