When you initially put your house up for sale, one of the things that will cross your mind is “how long does it take to sell a house?”. The fact is there are a lot of circumstances that will determine how long your house stays on the market for, from the condition of the house itself to its list price, location and much more. So, to help you determine how long it might take you to sell your house, we’ve taken a closer look at some of those circumstances.
Just how long does it take to sell a house?
Perhaps the biggest influence on how long it takes to sell a house is the location. Unfortunately, this is the only aspect of your home over which you have no control. It has always been the case that different geographical areas each have different levels of demand for home buyers. So, if your property happens to be in a desirable neighbourhood with good transport links and is near a good school, it stands to reason that it will sell at a quicker rate than one which is located in an area with a high crime rate.
The national average when it comes to selling a home is somewhere in the region of six weeks. This varies from area to area, however. Surveys looking into each region found that the locations where you can expect to sell your house quickest are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the South East and Greater London. The demand for housing in London has always been strong, and although the market has slowed a little recently, those selling a property in London can expect their house to sell quicker than any other region in the UK. That said, the average time taken to sell a house in London is four weeks, so if you’re looking to sell your house fast, you may have to look into different methods of selling.
Outside of London, the quickest performing markets are East Anglia and Wales, where the average is five weeks. The South West has an average of six weeks, followed by the East Midlands on seven, before the West Midlands and the North West, which have an average of eight weeks. The region in which it takes the longest to sell a house is the North East, where property sellers can expect to wait an average of ten weeks before they can exchange a contract for the sale.
Although there’s no set answer to how long does it take to sell a house, the price has a huge part to play in the length of time any house spends on the market. It may seem obvious that houses that are valued fairly have a better chance of selling than those which aren’t, and simple logic will tell you that overpriced houses will spend a lot longer on the market thanks to the price tag putting off potential buyers. You can get a good idea of how much a property may be worth if you look at recently sold prices on your street, and take the condition of your property into consideration. It’s always best to get your house valued by a property market expert.
An expert will be able to take fluctuations in the market into consideration and will perhaps notice unique selling points of your home that you’ve overlooked. They will also ensure the valuation of your property is a fair reflection of how much it’s actually worth, meaning it will help you avoid having your property on the market for an extended period of time.
One aspect you do have control over when it comes to wanting to sell your home is the condition. Whilst it’s true that there are a small number of buyers who are after a project, most prospective buyers lead busy lives and want a house they can feel at home in right away. A home that is well decorated and uncluttered, as well as clean, will be a lot more appealing to buyers, so it should come as no surprise that a house in good condition generally takes fewer days to sell. Property buyers like to imagine themselves living in the house when they come to view it, and lots of clutter and poor decorating can stop them from being able to do that, making it hard for them to notice the selling points of your house.
When choosing a house, a homebuyer is highly likely to examine the integrity and structure of a property. If they notice any major damage or see any elements that are deteriorating such as the walls, doors, carpets and ceilings, they’re going to start doing sums in their head as to how much extra getting those issues is going to cost.
If a house has dramatic, personalised decorating, is a complete mess or the property buyer cannot see the actual house rooms due to clutter, they are less likely to buy. When choosing to buy a house, a homebuyer will examine the property’s structural and internal condition. If there is major damage or deterioration to any elements of a house such as walls, ceilings, doors and carpets then the house will be less likely to sell than one in good condition.
Whilst the location, price and condition of the house are the main factors that decide how long a house takes to sell, the process of selling a house is complex, meaning there are plenty of other factors which can cause a delay. The biggest one of these factors is probably buyer issues. You could be forgiven for thinking the sale of a house is almost complete when a seller accepts an offer. All this means, however, is the property is ‘under contract’. It doesn’t mean the sale is complete. The final sale is subject to everything from the buyer being able to sell their home to getting final mortgage approval from their lender, all of which can cause significant delays.
Poor estate agents can also cause delays in the sale of a house. If you’re thinking about selling a house through an estate agent, it’s worth doing your research beforehand to ensure they have a good reputation. Poor estate agents are one of the reasons “How long does it take to sell a house?” is such a difficult question to answer. Those which are deemed to be untrustworthy or simply incompetent are bound to put off buyers. A contract falling through can lengthen the amount of time it takes to sell a house. Being caught in a property chain means you’re dependent on the success of other house sales which you have no influence over. Just one link can cause the entire chain to collapse, leaving house sellers back at square one.
One way you can cut down the amount of time it takes to sell a house is through a cash buyer. At UK PCB, we can find trusted cash buyers for your property, and with our fair valuation service, you could be receiving a cash offer for your property before you know it. How long does it take to sell a house? Contact UK PCB and you could sell yours in as little as 7 days!