Chris's Blog

18 May 2018
How Long Does It Take to Sell a House?
  • BY: Chris Molenaar

One of the most asked questions when selling a house is “How long does it take?”  The biggest factor that influences how long it takes to sell your home is its price compared to others in the market.  The better you know the market, the better you can position yourself to achieve the outcome you want. 

The biggest risk to a quick sale is overpricing.  In a seller’s market - lots of buyers with low inventory - you could miss out on a bidding war, which could mean a lower selling price for your property.  Overpricing in a buyer’s market - lots of inventory with low buyer count - means you could miss out on a hot buyer who pays close to listing price.

Currently we are in a slow market – properties either sell quickly or sit on the market for a long time.  The cost of overpricing your property could be higher in a down market because the difference between listing and selling prices could be significantly different.

Several factors go into pricing a property – price range, buyer pool, desirable style, upgrades, condition, salability, and current competition.  Some properties are harder to price than others.  You have to ask yourself what you get for your money these days. Give yourself a 30 to 50 thousand dollar window, look at other properties in your price range, find out where your property fits, and determine your goals.  Try not to pigeon hole yourself when it comes to pricing your property high.  Yes, finding the perfect buyer who wants your specific home and will pay for it is great, but it does come with certain risks. 

One thing you want to avoid is having a market-worn property.  This is a property that has been on the market long enough for buyers to start thinking “what’s wrong with it?”  This can happen in as little as two weeks in an up market or as long as three to six months in a down market.  The longer a property sits on the market, the more afraid buyers become of what could be wrong rather than asking if it’s overpriced. 

Underselling is always a worry as well, but it’s rare as everyone is afraid of it.  There is a large range in what you might consider as market value or a good deal for your property.  Always remember where you position your home on the market will affect where it ends up and how much money ends up in your pocket. 

Buying Tip – Look out for signs of motivation from the seller.  Is the property vacant, does it have deferred maintenance, is it scattered, messy, or is it organized, well maintained, and clean? 

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