If you are thinking of selling your current home, one question undoubtedly going through your mind is “How long does it take to sell a house?”. In this article, we look at the average time line and discuss what can impact how quickly you can sell your house.
The Average Time To Sell Your House
There are two important considerations here, depending on how you are asking this question, so let us look at both of them.
1. How Long Does It Take For Someone To Say They Want To Buy Your House?
This relates to the time it takes for you to go from deciding to sell your house to someone saying they would like to buy your house.
At this point, your house becomes Sold, Subject To Contract, also known as Under Offer.
The average time from deciding to sell your house to someone saying that they would like to buy it is usually around three to six months.
In a fast moving market place, as we saw shortly after the Covid Pandemic when people were desperate to move, it can be as soon as one week.
In a slower moving market place, or with slower moving aspects of the property market, such as retirement complex homes which always take longer to sell, it can be up to a year or even longer.
However, the average time from deciding to sell to accepting an offer to sell your house is around three months.
What this doesn’t mean though is that you will definitely sell your house, as at this point there is still not legal obligation to proceed with the purchase of your house.
That only happens when you exchange contracts and then complete on those contracts.
Let’s look at that process in a little more detail.
2. How Long Does The Entire Process Of Selling A House Take From The Moment You Decide To Sell Your House Until The Day You Move Out?
In our buying a house timeline article we discuss the average time for a house sale to complete from the purchasers perspective.
The time period can range from 20 weeks to 60 weeks (around 4-5 months to 12 months).
There are so many factors that can influence this timeline, and there will always be exceptions to the rules, but these are the average timelines for someone deciding to sell their house right up to the day that they move out of it.
Let’s look at some of the factors that can influence the selling a house timeline.
1. It Takes A Long Time For Someone To Say That They Want To Buy Your House
Sometimes, sadly, some houses just do not find a buyer for a long time.
It may be nothing to do with the house itself, although you should always ensure a house is well decorated and tidy before putting it on the market, but it may be any of these factors:
- A slow housing market due to increasing interest rates
- A recession, with many people losing their jobs so unable to afford to move
- A type of property which is harder to sell, such as retirement homes for over 55’s
- The location of the property (such as next to a busy road or motorway).
As this is the starting point in the selling your house journey, delays in finding a buyer will clearly impact the overall time it will take you to sell your house.
Let’s look at some other factors.
2. Your Buyer Taking A Long Time To Get To Exchange Of Contracts
Your buyer may take longer to be ready to exchange contracts for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Taking a long time to receive their mortgage offer
- Their conveyancing solicitor taking time to obtain searches against the property you are selling, or taking a long time to correspond with your own solicitor and agree the contracts so that you are are ready to exchange contracts.
3. Your Buyer Pulling Out Of The Purchase
In addition to your buyer being slow, they may pull out of their purchase of your property completely, for example, if they lose their job, or find a property they prefer to yours.
If this happens before exchange of contracts, sadly, there is nothing you can do about it.
Both you and the buyer can pull out of a sale or purchase before exchange of contracts without any penalty.
4. External Factors Prevent A Sale
The property could be damaged by a flood or a storm, or a pandemic may prevent you from being able to move into the property, so external factors such as this can impact your selling of your property.
Specialist Conveyancing Solicitors Can Help
Whatever stage of your house selling process you have reached, specialist conveyancing solicitors can help to make it proceed as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
Let us connect you with one, free of charge.