When sellers list their homes on the market, they’re usually concerned with two main things: how much they can sell for, and how long it will take to sell.
Sellers will usually want to know the answers to these questions right off the bat, and for obvious reasons. But when it comes to how long it will take to get an offer and seal the deal, the answer isn’t always clear-cut.
Frankly, the amount of time it takes to sell depends on a few factors, including the following.
The Listing Price
Buyers are always looking for a good deal on a home. The same is true in any type of consumer market, whether it’s real estate, clothing, electronics, and any other consumer product. The lower the price, the more attractive the product will appear and the more willing buyers will be to open up their wallets.
In terms of real estate, the same concept applies. If your home is priced at a point that makes buyers think they’re potentially getting a good deal, your home could sell faster. On the other hand, if your listing price is quite high, that could be a deterrent for buyers.
While you don’t want to price your home so high that you leave many buyers out of the race, you also don’t want to price so low that you end up leaving money on the table. Unless you’re in an incredible rush to sell, it would be in your best interests to find that sweet spot so that you still make a profit while selling within a reasonable amount of time.
Either way, your listing price will influence how quickly your home will sell.
The Current Market
Is the housing market in your area currently favoring buyers or sellers? This is an important factor that influences how long it can take for homes to sell. Generally speaking, homes sell faster in seller’s markets, while they may take longer to sell in buyer’s markets.
In a seller’s market, there are many buyers on the prowl for a home who are competing with one another for the few properties that are available for sale. With high demand and low supply comes higher prices and faster sales.
On the other hand, a buyer’s market usually means that homes take longer to sell, simply because there are few buyers compared to the wealth of inventory available. In this case, prices are expected to be lower as well.
The climate of the market in your area can play a role in how long you can expect it to take to sell your home. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. But generally speaking, the climate of the current market will be an important factor to consider.
The Average in the Area
Every area has its own characteristics in terms of the local real estate market. While some areas might take longer for sellers to find a buyer, other areas tend to see homes getting snatched up rather quickly. Every area is different and will have its own average number of “days on the market” (DOM) before homes are sold.
Sellers will want to know what the average DOM is in their particular community in order to gauge how long they can expect it to take to sell. For instance, the average DOM in an area may be 30 days, which means it should take somewhere in the ballpark of 30 days to sell a home, assuming that all other factors remain the same. If your home has been sitting on the market for longer than 30 days, there could be a problem with your listing that may warrant closer investigation.
Looking at the average DOM in your area can give you a general idea of how long you can expect your home to sit on the market before finding a willing buyer and completing the transaction.
The Condition of Your Home
Most buyers want to see homes that are move-in ready. They typically don’t want to have to spend any time sprucing up the place after moving in. Unless the buyer is specifically looking for a place to fix and flip, you’re probably going to find that most buyers are looking for a turn-key home.
If your home is in need of some TLC, you can expect it to take longer to sell. On the other hand, if your home is up-to-date, clean, clear of clutter, and decorated appropriately, it shouldn’t take as long to sell compared to a home that’s in dire need of an update.
Desirable locations tend to favor quicker sales compared to areas that are not as attractive. Sometimes even homes that are in great condition can be tough to sell if they’re located in sketchy neighborhoods, while homes that need some improvement but are located in attractive areas may not take as long to sell.
The Bottom Line
Several factors come into play when it comes to gauging how long it will take to sell your home. It’s important to take them all into consideration when anticipating the length of time you can expect your home to sit on the market before finding a willing buyer. Having an idea of the time it will take to sell can be very helpful, especially if you’ve got a new home purchase lined up after selling your current one.