How Long Does It Take To Sell A Home?

Kyle Hiscock
Published on May 24, 2016

How Long Does It Take To Sell A Home?

What Amount Of Time Does It Take To Sell Your Home?

How Long Does It Take To Sell A Home

How Long Does It Take To Sell A Home

Whether you’re a first time home seller or you’re selling your fifth home, one of the most common curiosities that you’ll have is wondering how long does it take to sell a home.  It’s first important to understand that there is no concrete timeline when you sell a home.

It could take 60 days from listing your home to the closing or it could take 180 days.  There are many factors that influence the amount of time it takes to sell a home and also many steps through the home selling process.

As one of the top selling real estate agents in Rochester NY, I’m consistently educating my sellers about the factors that influence the amount of time it takes to sell a home and also explaining in detail the timeline of the process.

Below you will find out what factors influence the amount of time it takes to sell a home and also what steps need to be taken throughout the process.  A homeowner who understands how long it takes to sell a home will have a much more enjoyable home selling experience because they have realistic expectations.

What Factors Influence The Amount Of Time It Takes To Sell A Home?

To successfully sell a home, there are way more steps than simply putting a for sale sign in front of the home and watch the buyers lineup.  If selling a home were as easy as that, homeowners would all be successful at selling their own home but the reality is there are many reasons why FSBOs fail in real estate.

Since selling a home is not as simple as many think, there are many factors that come into play that impact the amount of time it takes to sell a home that many homeowners don’t realize.  Below are some of the most important factors that influence the amount of time it takes to sell a home.

Current Status Of The Local Real Estate Market

Real estate markets vary from state to state, city to city, and even neighborhood to neighborhood.  Some neighborhoods maybe experiencing a very competitive sellers market with a low number of homes available for sale and many buyers while others maybe experiencing the opposite.

One of the most important factors that influences the amount of time it takes to sell a home is the current status of the local real estate market in your area.  There are three statuses that a real estate market can be in, which are a sellers market, a buyers market, and a balanced market.  Below are easy to understand definitions of each.

  • Sellers Market – A sellers market occurs when there are few homes for sale and a large number of ready, willing, and able buyers in the marketplace.  Buying a home in a sellers market often leads to multiple offers on a home and sale prices being at or above market values.
  • Buyers Market – A buyers market occurs when there are many homes for sale in an area and fewer ready, willing, and able buyers in the marketplace.  This allows buyers the ability to take their time looking and be more selective in terms of what homes they are viewing.  A buyers market generally will yield lower sale prices.
  • Balanced Market – A balanced market occurs when there are a similar number of homes for sale in an area and number of ready, willing, and able buyers in the marketplace.

 

One real estate statistic that is frequently used to help determine the status of a real estate market is called a market absorption rate.  A market absorption rate in real estate is a statistic that tells the remaining amount of inventory (homes) that is available in terms of months if no other homes were listed for sale.

For example, if a market absorption rate in a given area is 3.5, this means that it would take 3.5 months to sell the remaining number of homes that are for sale if no others were listed for sale.  Each real estate market is different but a general rule is a market with absorption rates under 4.0 are currently sellers markets, markets over 6.0 are buyers markets, and in between are balanced markets.

It’s critical you understand the status of your real estate market so you can determine how long it will take to sell your home.  If the status of your local real estate market is a buyers market, you need to realize that it potentially could take longer to sell your home.

Another real estate statistic that can dictate the amount of time it takes to sell a home is average days on the market, commonly referred to as DOM.  The average days on the market in real estate is an indicator that shows the amount of days it takes on average in a specific area and/or price range it takes to accept a purchase offer.  If the average DOM in your area is 60, understanding that on average it’s taking 60 days to accept a purchase offer can help set expectations and help reduce panic if an offer isn’t received the first month on the market.

What Price You List Your Home For Sale At

Pricing A Home Impacts The Amount Of Time It Takes To Sell A Home

Pricing A Home Impacts The Amount Of Time It Takes To Sell A Home

The biggest factor that influences the amount of time it takes to sell a home or if a home sells at all, is the price a home is listed for sale at.  Correctly pricing a home for sale is paramount to the success of a home sale and also has a huge impact on the time it takes for a home to sell.

A homeowner who is selling their home and falls for one of the common real estate pricing mistakes should expect it will take a significant amount of time to sell their home.  Home buyers are well educated nowadays because they have a ton of information at their fingertips thanks to the internet.  This allows a buyer to sense that a property overpriced from a mile away and if a buyer senses that a home is overpriced it’s very possible they will elect to not look at the home but look at homes they feel are priced correctly.

Remember when selling your home and asking yourself how long it’ll take to sell that you keep in mind the price you list your home for sale at will impact the amount of time it takes to sell.  Pricing your home aggressively is one of the best tips for generating multiple offers, which can lead to an over asking price offer, and also a great way to expedite a home sale.

Real Estate Market Strategies Your Realtor® Uses

Hiring a top local real estate agent is extremely important when selling a home.  It can make a huge difference in the amount of time it takes to sell a home.  Hiring the wrong real estate agent can be the kiss of death and can prolong the time it takes to sell a home.  If you’re selling your home or thinking about it, make sure you look out for the tell-tale signs that you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent.

Since all real estate agents are not the same, one of the biggest factors that influence the amount of time it takes to sell a home are the real estate marketing strategies a real estate agent uses.  There are certain real estate marketing strategies that top real estate agents use to sell homes.

If a real estate agent is able to give their clients homes maximum exposure, the amount of time it takes to sell will be reduced when comparing to a real estate agent who only puts a sign in the front lawn of their clients homes.  Real estate marketing techniques such as use of social media, having a high ranking website, and running an active real estate blog will reduce the length it takes to sell a home.

Due to the fact that real estate marketing influences the amount of time it takes to sell a home, it’s very important that you understand what prospective real estate agents plan on doing to market your home for sale.  One of the most important real estate interview questions relates to the type of marketing and the frequency, so don’t forget to ask while interviewing agents!

What Happens Once An Offer Is Received And Accepted?

If you’ve priced your home correctly and you hired a top real estate agent who knows how to market your home, you’ve likely received and accepted a purchase offer, congratulations!  One of the biggest hurdles to selling a home is actually receiving an acceptable purchase offer, however, it’s not the only step to selling a home.

Below are some of the steps that will occur once an offer is accepted and the amount of time that it generally takes to complete these steps.  Please keep in mind that every state and local real estate area has different procedures, however, the steps listed below will apply for many areas.

Attorneys Review Purchase Offers

If you’re selling a home in an area that uses attorneys to close real estate transactions, it’s very likely that an offer will be subject to both the buyers attorney as well as your own attorney’s review of the accepted offer.  Each parties attorney reviews the offer to ensure there is nothing that needs further clarification and that each party understands the terms of the accepted offer.

The attorney review period will typically take between 3-5 calendar days after the offer is accepted by both the buyer and the seller.

Various Inspections Completed

The majority of buyers are going to elect to have various inspections completed when buying a home.  There are many justifiable reasons why having a home inspection is a good idea.  Depending on the number of inspections that a buyer elects to have completed will influence the amount of time it takes to sell a home.

If a buyer decides to only have a home inspection completed, in most cases, this will be completed within 10 days after an offer is accepted.  If a buyer decides to include additional inspections, the amount of time it takes to sell a home can potentially be longer.  Other inspections that a buyer may elect to have include;

  • Radon Test
  • Chimney Inspection
  • Well Water Test
  • Septic Inspection
  • Mold Inspection
  • Pest Inspection

 

Mortgage Approval Process

The Mortgage Approval Process Influences The Time It Takes To Sell A Home

The Mortgage Approval Process Influences The Time It Takes To Sell A Home

If you’re selling a home, happen to get lucky, and find a cash buyer, this step in the home sale process can be eliminated.  Most buyers need assistance when buying a home and will be applying to get a mortgage.  The mortgage approval process can drastically impact the amount of time it takes to sell a home.

It’s first important to know when reviewing an offer whether a buyer has been pre-approved or only pre-qualified.  There is a difference between a mortgage pre-approval and mortgage pre-qualification.  If a buyer has been pre-approved, a bank has already done a good amount of investigating into a buyers background and potentially already had the buyer formally apply for the mortgage, which can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes for the buyer to get approved for their mortgage.

In order for a mortgage to be approved, the bank is going to require that an appraisal is completed on your home.  After a contract is accepted, you should expect the appraisal to be completed within 2-3 weeks after acceptance.  It’s important that it is no longer as this can mean a longer amount of time to sell a home.  If there happens to be bank appraisal problems, it can also lead to a transaction falling apart, which is another reason it’s important that the appraisal is completed shortly after acceptance.

The length of mortgage approval should take between 3-5 weeks from acceptance of a purchase contract, depending on a buyers scenario and type of mortgage they are applying for.

Closing Documents Are Prepared

Before a real estate closing can take place there are several documents that must be prepared and ordered.  Closing documents, such as a title and/or abstract, an instrument survey, mortgage payoff statements, and other closing statements take time to prepare which can add to the length of time it takes to sell a home.

It should only take a couple weeks once a buyer receives their mortgage commitment for closing documents to be completed.  One of the most common reasons why a real estate closing is delayed is because closing documents are not ordered and completed on time.  It’s extremely important that when selling a home that your real estate agent is staying on top of those responsible for these closing documents, otherwise the time it takes to sell a home will be longer than it should be.

Final Thoughts

If you’re asking yourself how long does it take to sell a home, the answer is that it depends on many factors.  If you choose the correct price to list your home, hire a top real estate agent, and the steps after an offer is accepted go as planned, it should take between 60-75 days to sell a home.

It’s always critical to keep in mind that there are challenges to selling a home and things can happen such as a buyer getting denied for a mortgage after pre-approval, appraisal issues, or that a home is overpriced and takes a long time to receive an acceptable offer.  If you have realistic expectations about the amount of time it takes to sell a home you will greatly reduce your stress level and increase the chances of an enjoyable home selling experience.

Other Top Home Selling Resources


If you’re selling a home in Rochester NY or thinking about it, the above information discussing the length it takes to sell a home will be very important.  If you don’t understand the timeline of a home sale the process can be extremely confusing and stressful.  If you don’t have a top Rochester NY real estate agent yet, contact me, and I’d love to explain the time it takes to sell a home in Rochester.

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About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: The above article “How Long Does It Take To Sell A Home?” is hosted by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock), the owners of Rochester’s Real Estate Blog. With over 30 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

© 2016, Kyle Hiscock. All rights reserved.

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