How Long will it Take to Sell my Home?

The burning question for anyone who wants to see their home… unfortunately, one without a specific answer. ‘How long is a piece of string?’ comes to mind!

However, don’t despair. In this blog we look at this common question in detail and give an insight into the components that make up the answer. We look at:

🔹 Expected time frames for the 4 stages of a sale

🔹 The factors that most impact the time it takes to sell (Impact Factors)

🔹 How to help speed up a property sale


Expected Time Frames To Sell Your Home

The first thing to point out here is that this question needs to be specific. The majority of statistics quote the time taken to a vendor accepting an offer. However, this is only stage 2 of the 4 stage process.

This is best shown in a diagram:


Stage 1 – Preparing to market your property.

This stage is extremely important as it will lay the foundations of a smooth sale.

This is where you select your estate agent who is going to sell your home. Your choice of agent will directly affect the price you achieve, the stress that you experience and the time it takes to complete your sale.

At this point you can also start researching the legal representative that you will appoint to oversee the transfer of the property to the new buyers. (Read our blog ‘A Legal Eagle not a Quirky Turkey‘)

If you are financing your next property purchase, you will also need to appoint a mortgage adviser to find you the best deal to suit your circumstances.

You can also really influence how much you achieve and how quickly you receive an offer on your home by preparing your property for a sale. (Read our blog ‘Preparing Your Home for a Quick Sale‘)


Stage 2 – Accepting an Offer

This is where your agent should earn their fee.

Offers received on a property and not just a quick ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. there are a number of factors to consider aside from which buyer is willing to pay the most. (Read our blog ‘How to Handle Offers on your Home’ which goes into much more detail).


Stage 3 – Exchange of Contracts

This is the point at which the searches have been done, the contracts drawn up and the deposit monies paid by the buyer.

In theory, this is the point of no return for the buyer – if they pull out after exchange of contracts, they will undoubtedly lose their deposit.


Stage 4 – Completion of the sale

It’s all over! The legal paperwork has been completed and you have received the balance of your sale monies.

So that’s it – 18 weeks, on average… and we stress the words ‘on average’ to complete the sale of a property.

So now lets look at the things that can either reduce or increase the timescale to sell a property.


The ‘Impact Factors’

This data is taken from ‘TheAdvisory’ and presents survey data from a panel of house sellers, selling related professionals, market analysts etc.

Listed below are 12 ‘impact factors’. The list itself should not come as a great surprise, however, the order of importance does throw up a few surprises…

The data details the various factors that are most commonly cited as having an impact on transaction times and are rated based on the relative levels of influence exerted by each factor on a scale of 1 (not influential) to 10 (highly influential) on transaction timescales.

Lets take a look at the top 3:

1 – Asking Price

Not surprisingly, the asking price in relation to similar properties in the area is the biggest influencer on actually getting an offer on your home.

🔹 This is the one factor you, as the vendor, can control

🔹 Beware of estate agents who will overprice the property just to get the listing and quickly ask you to reduce it citing lack of interest

🔹 Overpriced properties often get viewings, but rarely get offers

🔹 Underpriced properties can convey the idea that there is something wrong with them but often will sell… but for less than the optimum price.


2 – Market Conditions

Your local property market conditions has a major impact on how long your property could take to sell. Lots of factors have n effect on how ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ the property market is. You only have to look at recent events; the General Election, Brexit and the Covid-19 situation to see this for yourself.

🔹 You have little control over this and must decide on whether to stick it out or postpone your sale should your local market be ‘cold’ for whatever reason.

🔹 A ‘cold’ market is a buyers market and properties must be priced very competitively to prevent them being on the market indefinitely.

🔹 A ‘hot’ market is a sellers market. Homes will sell quickly if priced sensibly and bidding wars are commonplace.


3 – Quality of Solicitor

The first surprising one? There is no doubt a good solicitor will help move the transaction along once an offer has been accepted but being third on the list could be deemed surprising.

🔹 You have control on who you choose

🔹 An overworked solicitor can take an age to respond to the simplest of queries

🔹 Don’t choose purely on cost – a cheap solicitor is usually an overworked solicitor!

🔹 Don’t automatically go with the solicitor suggested by your estate agent

Read more in detail in our blog ‘A Legal Eagle not a Quirky Turkey


How to Speed Up Your Sale

You can’t control the market but you can control yourself and the professionals that you appoint to achieve a sale on your home.

The following tips will all significantly decrease the time it takes you to sell your home:

1 – Be Proactive

🔹 Try not to be on holiday during the sale process

🔹 Deal with all paperwork immediately

🔹 Check in with your solicitor and agent weekly

🔹 Consider gifting legal searches to your buyer


2 – Use a Quality Estate Agent

The majority of struggling house sellers make the classic mistake of choosing the agent who gave them the highest valuation, or the cheapest fee. Base your choice on value, not cost. Overpriced properties look good on the agents property listings but will struggle to sell.

Choose an agent who will:

🔹 Price your home to generate immediate interest

🔹 Use proactive marketing techniques and not just list on property portals

🔹 Qualifies potential buyers in detail t identify the best ones

🔹 Checks the entire chain (if applicable) to see any possible problems

🔹 Chases everyone and keeps the transaction moving


3 – Prepare your Home to Sell

Again, our blog ‘Preparing your Home for a Quick Sale’ goes into much more detail. However the important tips are:

🔹 Sweet smell of success

🔹 Kill the clutter

🔹 A simple recipe

🔹 Tone down the décor


🔹 Accessorise

The time and effort that you put into getting your home ready to accept viewers will be very well spent and will help both maximise your sale price AND lead to a quicker sale.

If you need any help or advice on selling your home, please contact us on 01332 300130.