If you are trying to sell your home or are considering putting your home on the market, one of the main questions in your mind is probably how long the process will take. What is the average time to sell a home, what are the relevant factors, and what can you reasonably expect from the selling process?
In the last several years, the average time a home spends on the market has increased rather significantly due to rising unemployment, a stagnant market, foreclosure and short sale rates, and the credit crunch. All these factors limit the amount of buyers on the market and therefore the amount of opportunities for a home to be successfully sold.
The housing market is now heating up, and heating up fast. Rather than sellers struggling to find interested buyers, in many areas it’s the buyers who are seeing a severely decreased inventory of homes up for sale. The average time homes are spending on the market is falling, but there are many factors that can impact each specific home.
Condition: One of the main contributing factors of how long your home will stay on the market is what condition you present your home for viewings, open houses and appraisals. If you want to sell your home quickly, make sure that for every occasion a potential buyer is in your home, your house is spotless, tidy and all visible defects repaired. To facilitate the buyer’s ability to see the home as his or her own, try to “depersonalize” the house as much as possible. Neutral colors are best, remove any evidence of pets, and get rid of clutter.
Listing Price: Probably the number one factor that will influence how long it takes to sell your home is where you set your asking price. Make sure you discuss numbers with your agent, who should be familiar with the local market and help you set a price that is neither too high nor too low. Overpriced homes will remain on the market much longer and may not sell at all. Try looking at comparable homes to help determine a suitable and appropriate price.
Location: The mantra “location, location, location” is more than a real estate cliché; it’s an undeniable fact, and it can be a significant factor in how long your home spends on the market before selling. Whether or not your home is in a desirable location is not something you can change or control, so anticipate its effect on how fast your home will sell.
In a broader sense of location, the region or city in which you live will also have an effect. Whether or not the broader market is healthy will be a significant factor in the average time homes in your region will spend on the market.
Your Flexibility: Whether or not you can manage to be flexible and accommodate random showings and viewings can affect how many buyers see your home. You also must be willing to discuss adjustments in price; compromise is necessary in any transaction as large as selling a home.