How Long Does It Take to Sell a Home on Average?

Another Home Sold

We are very fortunate here in the Tri-Valley not to be dealing with homes sitting on the market for long periods of time. In other parts of the country the average time to sell a home has increased dramatically, largely due to the unemployment rate and credit crunch which are limiting the number of first time home buyers entering the market. The national average time to sell a home at present is around 10 months compared with approximately 2 months.

Many Factors Can Impact How Quickly A Home Will Sell

Home listing price – An asking price that is either too low or too high can dramatically reduce the chances of selling your home on a timely schedule. By being familiar with the local market and analyzing comparable homes that have recently sold, along with market absorption rates, you can determine what your asking price should be. Whether you use or ignore this information is a contributing factor to the length of time the house will remain on the market.

Condition of home – The condition of your home during viewings is also a contributing factor. When anticipating a showing or other appointment, your home should be clean and tidy with no visible flaws. Nail holes, carpet stains and other defects should be patched, cleaned or corrected. We also suggest that you depersonalize your home by removing personal items such as photos, memorabilia, etc. It is desirable that home buyers are able to envision themselves living in the home – the less clutter or distraction, the more likely it will sell.

Location of home – Location is always a top factor in the desirability of a home, especially in a soft or surplus market. A home that is adjacent to a busy road, a messy neighbor, or a busy shopping center will be more difficult to sell than a home with unobstructed views, or better school districts. If your home is not in a desirable location, price will need to reflect this as well as potentially additional time to sell.

Home Seller Flexibility – A flexible seller who is willing to accept spur-of-the-moment or random viewings may be more likely to receive an offer than those who limit the schedule or frequency of potential buyers to view the property. Likewise, a seller who is flexible on the price of the property will be more likely to accept a reasonable offer. The seller needs to be realistic and understanding that, in order to sell a home, compromises are needed.

Type of Home Sale – The type of home sale is also a contributing factor in how quickly a house will sell. If the property is a short-sale, the process can take six months to a year (or more). However, if it's a traditional home sale with a quick close, it can take as few as two to four weeks. Unfortunately, in these scenarios, the seller has little control over how long the process will take, as the majority of acceptance and paperwork lies with the lender and title companies.

There are a variety of factors that affect the average time to sell a home. Being aware of these factors, making the necessary adjustments, and having flexibility and patience will help smooth the process and bring your home to a close within a desirable time frame. If you want to get a better estimate of how long it will take to sell your particular home, let us know.

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