How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?
Factors that Affect Days on Market
Written By: Mariko Baerg, REALTOR of Bridgewell Real Estate Group
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Selling a house isn’t as easy as it may seem, and a common question that comes up is “how long does it take to sell a house?”
How long it takes to sell depends on a number of factors, and a lot of guidance from your realtor with regards to the average days on market, listing price strategy, your competition, and market conditions.
There are also things that you can control as well, such as the home’s condition, competitive pricing, and showing flexibility that will help to sell your home faster.
This blog goes through the details and science of how long it takes to sell a house, so read for details if you’re looking for a timeline or information on how to sell quick!
What to Consider When Determining How Long it Takes to Sell a House
When determining how to price your home you’ll need to assess the market conditions for your type of property in your area.
If you are in a seller’s market, then that means that demand is high and there are more buyers than sellers. This increases competition among buyers and may result in a multiple offer scenario (aka bidding war) that can lead to an increase in market value. In this type of market, you can commonly see homes sell within one week of being listed.
Alternatively, if you are in a buyer’s market then this means that buyer’s have plenty of options and supply outweighs demand. It is common for buyer’s to take their time to patiently find “the right one,” rather than being rushed in to making a decision. In this type of market, you’re likely to see a downward trend with prices falling. Therefore, it is often beneficial for you to price with this in mind and avoid overpricing.
What was the recommended market value for your home? How did you price according to that?
When you first decide that you’re interested in selling, you should ask a realtor to prepare you a comparative market analysis (CMA) that goes through all of the recent comparable sales. Factoring in differences like interior condition, major repairs (i.e. roof, windows), age of building, contingency fund/maintenance fee (if strata), or size will help to assess the pros and cons comparatively and come to a fair market price.
Determining how long it takes to sell a house largely depends on how you price your home given the comparable sales, current competition & market conditions.
If you are in a buyer’s market and you price above market value, then it’s likely that a buyer will pass on your property and explore other options. Buyer’s are usually looking for a home that offers the most VALUE – whether that is by a competitive price to offset any need for things like renovated, or mix of being turn-key ready & strategic pricing.
When determining market value your realtor should be providing you with information on what other homes are currently listed for and how you compare. At the end of the day, many buyers will be touring open houses or going on a large showing tour with their realtor. If two homes are the mostly the same (i.e. in condition, size, and location) and one is listed for $700,000 and the other is for $725,000, then the buyer will prefer the $700,000.
It’s important for both you and your realtor to be aware of the competition and take that in to consideration when pricing; as well as keep an eye on it for new listings and activity moving forward to you can adjust accordingly.
Calculating average days on market
At the same time as you receive the CMA, your realtor should be telling you what the average days on market is for current active homes and recently sold homes that are similar to you in terms of condition, location, and size.
The calculation is done by compiling a list of homes together that are comparable for a period of time (recent is usually 60-90 days), figuring out the days on market either currently or until time of sale and adding those numbers all together, and then dividing the total by the number of homes you’re factoring in.
The Home’s Condition
Condition of the home and how it shows plays a HUGE factor in to selling your home quickly. Homes that are well maintained, and that are cleaned to sparkle and shine at showing typically sell much faster.
If a buyer feels that your home is well taken care of, they’re likely to put a higher idea of value on your home. Doing minor repairs and touch-ups that you’ve been putting off for a long time BEFORE you put your home on the market will make a big difference.
As a homeowner, you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure the homebuyer falls in love with your home – it’s hard for people to envision themselves in a home if they can’t see past the junk or repairs.
Location, location, location
You can have the best looking home on the block but if you’re located right next to gas station, are on a busy road, or aren’t in a “good” neighbourhood then you’ll have to adjust your price accordingly.
Noise or other issues that don’t seem like a big deal to you because you’ve grown accustomed to it may not appeal to many other buyers. For someone that is particularly noise sensitive or families with young babies, a busy road may be a deterrent for purchasing. Typically, there will be more demand for a well kept home that’s in a desirable neighbourhood than a completely renovated home on the wrong side of the tracks nears a junk yard.
Location plays a huge factor when it comes to determining the value of a home, so hiring a realtor that is familiar with the location of the home you are selling will help you to determine an accurate market value of your home.
Are you (or your tenants) flexible with showings?
The more flexible that you can be with showings, the better off you’ll be. Why? When most buyers are viewing you’re property they’ll likely be going to view other properties on a tour as well. If your showing request doesn’t line up properly with your tour, they may just decide to skip your home entirely or “see it next time.”
The reality is that almost 50% of buyer’s don’t book a second showing after they’ve been rejected for a showing request. Other homes come up, or they settle for something else that they saw on their tour. If you can try to be as flexible as you can for the showings, then you’ll likely increase the amount of people viewing your home; which in turn will also increase your likelihood of receiving an offer.
Days on market can also be affected by when you choose to list your house for sale.
Most people are busy during middle to end of December with the holidays, work parties, events and more, so they’re less likely to be actively looking. However, many of the buyers that are looking are very serious – so I wouldn’t necessarily let this deter you from having your home listed during the holiday month!
Summer is an ideal time to move in for parents that are looking to line up their move with the school year; however, many people aren’t actively looking in the middle to end of August as many buyers and realtors take vacation at that time.
While seasonal factors do play in to things, there’s no “be all, end all” rule for when to list your home. For example, if your home is less desirable (i.e. original condition) then it may be beneficial for you to list in the “off season” due to less competition! Therefore, keep seasons in mind but with a grain of salt, and try to time your sale strategically.
How to sell a home quickly
Ultimately, the time it takes to sell a house is always changing; as market conditions change, and new listings and sales are always occurring. Furthermore, the neighbourhood and property characteristics will play in to the average days on market for your home.
While the above factors are not likely in your control, you do have the ability to determine how you price, renovations, overall condition, and remain flexible with showings. Another factor that is within your control is WHO you hire to market your home – essentially choosing the RIGHT realtor. Marketing matters to get people in the door, and the right realtor will also be able to effectively communicate and sell the benefits of your home to increase the likelihood of an offer.
Contributing positively to those factors or pricing with them in mind will ensure that your home sells as quickly as possible.
Are you thinking about selling a property and looking for a comparative market analysis to determine price and days on market? Call us today at 604-765-0376. Prefer text? 604-319-0200. Or email us at [email protected] to start a conversation!
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