How long does it take to sell a house?
Based on data from 2019, the average US home stays on the market for about 65 days, and another 30 to 45 days on closing. Including the months preparing for a listing, you could expect a home to take at least six months to sell from decision to handover.
Of course, this information varies widely – all will hinge on factors related to your market, neighborhood, and even block. To get a better estimate on how long it will take to prepare, list, then close your home, here’s an overview of what to expect in the process of selling a house.
Once you’ve decided to sell
Already set on selling? The next step is to think about your ideal timeline. It doesn’t have to depend on the season. While summer and spring are the usual favorites for listing a home, it’s better to base your decision on your own schedule and what’s happening in the local market.
2 to 3 months from listing
Selling a home is a smoother process with an expert at your side.
Look for a real estate agent with experience in your local area. Ask your social circle if they have recommendations and don’t hesitate to interview several candidates. This only increases your odds of landing the right agent.
With your agent, draw up a profile of your local market. Research homes similar to yours and take detailed notes. How long did it take for a listing to close? How much did it sell for? What features or amenities justified that price?
Determine a competitive price for your home based on local market data.
Physically prep your house to live up to market expectations. Cast a critical eye on your surroundings. Clean thoroughly and move clutter into a storage unit early. Patch up minor blemishes. Wash exterior siding and spruce up your front lawn. You want a house that looks good as new.
3 weeks leading up to listing
As listing nears, maintain all the work you did to make your home look spick and span and get staging tips from your agent.
Your goal is to have buyers imagine the space as their own while you still own it. Stow away overly personal items, rearrange furniture to complement the space, and take many photos (and a video) to make your online presentation shine. Or, you could consider hiring a professional real estate photographer to make your home look as desirable as it can be.
While this is happening, contact your lender for more up-to-date information about your mortgage. This will enable you to figure out how much you’ll be left with on your home sale once you pay off the balance on your mortgage, along with closing costs and any home equity loans you may have taken out.
Listing period (~65 days)
Your listing is now up and at this point, your real estate agent is already actively marketing the property through as many venues as possible – Multiple Listing Services (MLS) including the agent’s own real estate website, social media, and a “for sale” sign planted on your front yard. Get the word out to your family, friends, and neighbors, as well.
When offers come in:
- Evaluate each one carefully and pay special attention to the buyer’s financing and contingencies.
- Counter lower offers with the full listing price if you know you’re selling a good home at a competitive price.
- Negotiate with buyers and entertain reasonable contingencies if your home has less alluring qualities.
Found your buyer?
- Accept the offer and sign a sales contract.
- Volunteer all legal documents the buyer’s agent and lawyer need.
- Make it easy for the buyer to order a home inspection and appraisal to prevent any delays in the sale.
As the sale gradually moves to its closing phase, now is the time to plan the specifics of moving out of the house
Closing (30-45 days)
You’re nearly at the finish line, successfully transferring your old home to the buyer and moving on to your new one.
During this stage, continue working with your agent and the buyer’s agent to prepare the necessary paperwork and open an escrow account for the purchase price transfer.
Arrange for the title search to confirm that there aren’t any existing defects and inconsistencies with the property’s title. Get a title insurance to protect yourself from possible surprises, including the remote possibility of having a previous owner’s long-lost heir claiming their inheritance, for example.
Before payment is released to you, resolve contingencies related to the results of the home inspection and appraisal. Once everything is in order, sign the title and paperwork, and hand over your house keys to the new owner. Escrow closes when you receive the money for the house you sold and the title is transferred to the name of the buyer.
Are you planning to list your home in Warner Robins, GA with real estate listings sites? Let out expert realtors at Warner Robins Home Search help you with insightful tips for selling your home. Our professional and highly knowledgeable agents close over 100 homes a year in Houston County, Georgia.
Call us, Warner Robins Home Search, at 478.832.0388 or send an email to jasonleerealestate1(at)gmail(dotted)com.