Every homeowner’s question when looking to sell is how long to expect their house to sit on the market. If you’re planning a long-distance move this can be particularly important, as you want to time the sale of your current home with the purchase of your new home as close together as possible to avoid paying for two living spaces at once. However, there is no clear cut answer to how long a house will sit on the market before it receives an offer. And, once it does receive an offer, you can face a lengthy period prior to closing due to delays with the paperwork.
So, how long will your house sit on the market? Check out the following tips to get an idea of what you might be looking at once you list your home for sale.
The Current Housing Market
The current housing market is the largest determining factor when considering how long you can expect to wait for an offer to come in on your home. Are there currently lots of buyers looking to purchase and, if so, are there enough housing units to meet that demand? If there are lots of individuals looking to buy, yet not many houses on the market, you will face a shorter wait time. However, if there are an abundance of homes for sale you may face a more competitive arena. Similarly, there may be a lack of buyers looking to purchase.
How much you list your home for will also affect how long it sits on the market, particularly if there are a number of houses in your immediate area that are also for sale. A large mistake that people make when selling a house is factoring in sentimental value as they decide the listing price. You want to make sure you get the most amount of money possible for your house, but you also want the house to sell fairly quickly. The best way to ensure that your house is listed at a fair price is to hire an independent inspector before listing to evaluate your property value.
How Well Maintained Your House Is
You may have a large house in a great neighborhood, with not many other homes for sale close by, but has your house been maintained? A house that requires extensive repairs may sit on the market for much longer compared to a house that requires minimal work. The closer your house is to being “move-in ready” the less amount of time it is likely to sit on the market. Before listing your home you may want to make any minor cosmetic repairs you can. Patch up any holes in the walls, put in new carpet if necessary, and hire a company to come in and do a deep clean. Think of your house showings the same way you think of job interviews; you want to put your best face forward.
The better neighborhood your home is in the less amount of time it is likely to sit on the market. This doesn’t just refer to the crime rate in the area, though that is certainly a factor. How close is your home to shopping centers, restaurants, parks, and recreational activities? Is it close to public transportation? And what is the local school district like? These are all things that buyers look for when determining to purchase a home.
If there are many homes for sale in your area, in good neighborhoods, and they’re all well maintained, you’re looking at a pretty competitive market. Buyers have their choice of houses and they’re likely to look at many before making a decision. This is where small home upgrades can make all the difference. Things such as smart appliances, beautiful landscaping, and luxurious bathrooms. If your home has aspects that set it apart from all of the rest, it will likely receive an offer in a shorter amount of time if the price is right.
Remember, receiving and accepting an offer on your home is just the first step in the process. It may take several months to receive an offer you’re comfortable with; now comes the closing process. Title companies, mortgage companies, inspections, and more can hold up the final sale. After you accept an offer on your home you can expect to wait at least another month before closing. You will still be responsible for mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, and the utility bills for this period of time.
When looking to list your house, speak with a local real estate expert to see what the market is like, and ask how long other homes like yours have been waiting to sell. Each home selling process is different, though, and when looking to move always factor in the time it takes to close.