How long will it take to sell my house?
Among the many questions that we get asked when a vendor comes to us with a property for sale is: “How long does it take to sell a house?” It is understandable that one of the biggest decisions you are about to make in your life is a very big step. Unfortunately, there is no single easy, straight answer, as each property sale is different for a number of reasons. Myths used to abound about how long deposits would sit in a solicitor’s bank account that would accrue interest for them while there. This is not the case any more, as new rules exist to diminish this and help speed up the sale process.
However, with a careful strategy and some patience from all sides, our article below can help inform you about an estimate on closing the deal.
First Step – Getting your property prepared
There is actually a lot you can do to prepare your property and get it ready to come to the market. Tips include cleaning, repairs, improve spaces, and refreshing it. How much work this takes and how long will really depend on what you know and will discover as items pop up that will need attention. You can read more from our article on preparing your property for selling on the market.
Once your property is listed, the time it takes to attract and accept an offer will vary. In a seller’s market where demand exceeds supply, you could find a potential buyer in days or weeks. In a buyer’s market, it could take several months. Economic and social factors during this phase will affect the strategic pricing of properties, thus changing the effective marketing of the properties in the market. Sometimes, you just have to be patient!
Receive an offer, start the journey
When a property is first listed and promoted, it will take, on average, two to three months from listing a property onto the market to accepting an offer you are comfortable with. However, bear in mind other factors such as location, guide price, current property market conditions and even your property’s physical condition. All of this is just the beginning of your journey, but keep in mind that once you accept a buyer’s offer, the remaining processes tend to add a further two to three months to reach a completion date.
Now you’re ‘Sale Agreed’ – what’s next?
The first part was easy – now the stakes are higher! When you have accepted an offer, the next phase is the legal and paperwork. This involves your solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor, conveyances by legal property specialists, and financial institutions. They manage the process, from the exchange of contracts to the final settlement.
You will also need to allow for the buyer to bring in their own surveyor or building engineer who will want to find potential kinks and issues with the physical structure on behalf of their client (the buyer). Hopefully, as already referenced above, the preparations you made before listing your property on the market have this covered!
Next there will be various searches made to local authorities on boundary lines (G-plan), with some digitised property lines needing updating for the first time if your property was never sold in the previous 15-or-so years. There might be negotiation on the final terms of the contract, such as what is included in the sale (any furniture, for example) and how to arrange the transfer of funds. Generally, this stage takes around eight to twelve weeks. However, if any issues crop up such as the buyer’s mortgage falling through, or maybe the building surveyor has presented a poor report, or a break somewhere along the chain, then delays can occur.
After all this, to answer the question “How long will it take to sell my house?” you can see it’s important to keep in mind that this is unpredictable and largely out of your control. However, it’s not always negative, and at Leahy Midland Auctioneers & BER Assessors we have sold properties that did well in a short amount of time. Here are some of our tips:
- Getting your house ready: A well-presented home will attract potential buyers quicker. Consider carrying out and investing in minor repairs and cosmetic improvements. Read some helpful tips from our article here: Preparing your property for selling on the market.
- Estate Agent: A knowledgeable, experienced estate agent can significantly speed up the process by offering the best pricing advice, gauging how to market your property effectively, and negotiate skillfully with potential buyers. Local knowledge of your area or community is also an advantage e.g. local schools, job opportunities, amenities and attractions, and so on.
- Paperwork: If you have all necessary paperwork available to you ready in advance, this can help speed up the legal processes. Look for the property deeds, BER certificate, histories of building permits or permissions, plus local property tax compliance.
- Consider cash buyers or ‘Quick Sale’ companies: If your sale is an urgent one and speed is crucial to closing a deal, then you might consider a cash buyer or a quick sale company. Yes, it will likely shorten the sale process, but typically means you will have to accept a lower offer.
So, how long DOES it really take?
As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question as every sale is as unique as the property itself. However, with a clear understanding of the process, strategic preparation, and a bit of patience, you can navigate this journey with confidence. Remember, selling a house is not a race, but a journey to a successful transaction.
The above is a small guide about what to expect on how long it could take to sell your property. At Leahy Midland Auctioneers& BER Assessors, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge to offer in order to help you. If you would like more information, please email John Leahy at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.