Ah, to have a crystal ball. Every homeowner hopes to sell their home quickly so they can move on to the next, but there’s a huge unknown in the picture: how long will it take to sell your house?
One of the most frequently asked questions a real estate agent receives is “how long will it take you to sell my home?” If an agent answers that with a hard number, find another agent. There’s no way an agent can determine how long a home will take to sell. There are simply too many variables to answer that question with confidence.
A few of the more common variables are the following:
If you look at some of the hottest housing markets in the country, in states like Texas, Colorado, and Georgia, you can get a sense of what you may expect, at least if you live in a similar market. The average number of days Austin, Texas homes spent on the market in 2019 was 48 days. In Denver, Colorado, houses can sit up to 65 days on the market, and in Atlanta, Georgia, you can expect to wait about 40 days to sell your home.
Of course, if you live in a slower market, you may be looking at considerably longer lead times. It also depends on where in your city you live and on the condition of your home. Remember, those days on the market are averages. Some houses can take months to sell while others only days.
Interest rates and seasonality also impact how long it will take your home to sell. For example, interest rates are cyclical, they can be up one year and down the next. When they go down, demand typically goes up, and homes sell faster. When they go up, the opposite can happen. Seasonality, also impacts demand, especially in areas where there’s a big temperate change between summer and winter. A hot summer housing market can quickly turn cold in the winter. The local job market, consumer debt, and other economic factors also come into play. Those factors also change regularly throughout the year.
It may be a cliché, but it still rings true: the location of your home makes a difference. Location can mean several things. First, your city. If you live in a city with a thriving job market, you’ll have a better chance to sell your home quickly. As job seekers and new hires move to your town, they’ll be looking for housing.
Looking a bit closer to home, you can consider the area of town your home is in and even the neighborhood. Does your home have easy access to major employers, transportation, good shopping options, and area attractions? Is it in an area with a desirable school district? All of these factors can attract or repel potential buyers.
How you price your home is another consideration of how fast you can sell. Homeowners frequently want to sell their homes for more than it can reasonably go for on the open market. Typically, emotions are to blame. Homeowners attach the effort they’ve put into maintaining their home and the memories they’ve shared there to the asking price. The unfortunate truth, however, is that the market doesn’t care. Nearby recently sold homes in similar condition to yours are the best predictors for how much your home will sell for.
If you want your home to sell quickly, you must price it at or slightly below your competition. You can work with an experienced real estate agent who specializes in your particular area of town or you can sell your home on your own using pricing tools and research. Any house can sell if it is priced right. Take out the emotions and look at your home as an objective buyer would.
The condition of your home plays a major role in how quickly your home will sell, too. There’s plenty you can do to get your home in tip-top shape to attract buyers. Simple updates can go a long way, like replacing dated fixtures and lighting, painting walls, and sprucing up the landscaping. Deep cleaning helps as well. Having your carpets and windows professionally cleaned and clearing out the clutter, for example, makes your home more attractive. Many real estate agents and homeowners also swear by staging. When a home is properly staged, it can help it sell 73% faster.
Does your home need a lot of work beyond cosmetic upgrades? You can either pay for significant repairs before listing or just reduce the price so you can sell now. Some buyers desire fixer-uppers but only if they can purchase the home at a fair price. Your buyer will still want an inspection to ensure there aren’t any other major issues, but if it’s just cosmetic upgrades you’re wanting to avoid, you can account for those by pricing your home accordingly.
Even when all of the above stars are aligned, you still have to deal with the competition. Your home is likely not the only home potential buyers are evaluating. Any home could offer more desirable updates, a better lot, a more convenient location, a better asking price, and a dozen more personal preferences that you can’t control.
Whether you sell your own home or enlist the help of a real estate agent, you’ll want to make sure your home is priced with as much research backing it as possible. That means you need to know as much as you can about the other comparable houses that are for sale. Make your house as competitive as you can with the time you have, including lowering the asking price if needed.
As you can see, there’s quite a lot to consider before you can even begin to guess how long your home will take to sell. If you’re looking to move quickly, you may not have the time to make updates, for instance. But, there is a way where you can eliminate all of the stress and hassle associated with trying to sell a home quickly.
Buyers who work with Homeward can buy their new home first, and then sell their existing home for its full market value after. Homeward lets you use their cash to make an all-cash offer on your new home so you can secure it. Then you list your existing home, sell it, and get a mortgage to buy your new home back from Homeward. The advantage is that you can move into a new home whenever you want and then sell your existing home. There’s no pressure to sell quickly or worry about how long your house will take to sell.
Here’s how it works.
First, you fill out an application to get get approved. Homeward will assess the value of your existing home and approve you based on your financial situation and on how much home equity you have. Then we’ll tell you how much you’re approved for so you can go make an all-cash offer on a property for up to that amount. All-cash offers are twice as likely to be accepted over financed offers and can save you up to 5% off the purchase price.
After you make your cash offer on the new home and it is accepted, you can list your existing home for sale. If you want to move before it sells, you can because you’ve already purchased your new home using Homeward’s cash. You just rent your new home from Homeward until you sell your old one. You have up to six months to sell your existing home and if you can’t, Homeward will buy it from you at a fair price that you both agree to in advance. Once you close on the sale of your existing home, you get a traditional mortgage and buy your new home back from Homeward.
This new way of buying and selling real estate results in a better deal for you, less stress, a guaranteed sale of your existing home, and a cash offer on your new home that’s more likely to beat out other offers. If you haven’t looked into this option yet, you may want to before you decide to list your home or buy a new one. It could very well be the easiest way to move quickly without worrying about all of those other variables.