Selling a house is a stressful undertaking, especially if you’re trying to sell your home without help from a professional realtor. Over 5.9 million homes sold in the United States in 2022, and there’s no reason your home can’t be among those sold this year.
Having a realistic idea of the home selling process and the time involved will provide peace of mind as you list your home for sale.
Learning how to speed up the process is worthwhile when you’re learning how to sell a house. You can get out from under the mortgage when planning a move to a new home.
Fortunately, you’ve found this practical guide on how long it takes to sell a home and the tips to speed up the process.
How Long Does the Home Selling Process Take?
Home selling takes significant time, primarily if you sell to a buyer financing the purchase. Cash buyers can skip the closing process, cutting down the time before you start planning a move to your new house. The average home selling process takes 71 days in the United States for buyers using a loan.
Most homes sit on the market for approximately three weeks before an interested buyer makes an acceptable offer. You can only move forward by factoring in the time required to complete the purchase. Closing on a home takes up to 49 days, which is a significant amount of time when selling a house.
It’s also critical to consider the time it takes for the steps when preparing to sell your home. You must find a trustworthy realtor and prepare your home for showings. Most buyers want a move-in-ready home, so your home will sell quicker if you prepare this way.
Of course, if you don’t want to put in this work, you can always request a cash offer from a home buying service. This approach won’t get you top dollar, but it can facilitate quite a quick sale if that’s your priority.
Stages of Selling a Home
Having an idea of how long it will take to sell your home is beneficial, but breaking down each segment of the home selling process makes setting expectations much simpler. Each component plays a significant role in determining how long your home will sit on the market.
Here’s a closer look at how long each stage of the home selling process takes for the typical home buyer.
1 Getting Approved for a Mortgage
The loan approval process is one of the lengthiest portions of purchasing or selling a home in the United States. The typical home buyer will wait between 30 and 45 days to get approved for a mortgage and move forward with purchasing your home.
This process typically involves submitting financial paperwork to a lender to see how much you can qualify to borrow. The documents you will submit typically include pay stubs (usually the past 30 days), W-2s (trailing two years), bank statements (past two statements), brokerage account statements (past two statements), and tax returns (two previous years).
If you own other types of assets, such as rental properties, you’ll often have to submit information about those loans, leases, and rental income as well.
Pre-approval speeds up the home loan process, as does finding the best lender to facilitate the purchase. The pre-approval process takes a deeper look at your financial situation before determining if you qualify for a mortgage. Getting pre-approved takes a few days at the longest and will help you to start the purchasing process sooner.
2. Receiving Offers
The time that it takes to start receiving offers from interested buyers can vary substantially. A stunning home in a nice neighborhood with excellent schools won’t be on the market long, and you can expect offers to come in within a day or two.
It’s also worth considering the market in which the home is selling. Interested buyers could make offers within minutes of listing a home if it is selling in a seller’s market. Timing the sale and planning a move in a seller’s market is an effective way to generate a quick turnaround and a profitable transaction.
Likewise, your pricing relative to other similar properties will matter.
Understandably, the time of year can have a big impact too. Typically, homes sell most quickly during the spring and summer month. In contrast, they tend to sit on the market for longer periods during the winter months.
3. Negotiating Terms
Home sellers also need to account for time that it takes to negotiate the terms of a purchase. Most home negotiations take a few days and sometimes up to week before an agreement is reached. A bidding war is the most common cause of drawn-out negotiations when selling a house.
A willing seller and an excited buyer could be satisfied with the terms within hours. Most home sales require minimal back-and-forth between the buyer and seller. Expect to spend a few days negotiating before reaching a deal satisfying both parties.
Typically, this back-and-forth is facilitated by the realtors representing the buyer and the seller, which is why it can take some time. Aspects of an home purchase that need to be negotiated include the purchase price, down payment, time to close, items that will convey with the house, and the contingencies (if any).
3. Home Inspection
Typically, the longest part of the home inspection is getting on the home inspector’s calendar (which can take anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks) and then waiting on the completion of their written report after they finish their visual inspection of your property.
For the home inspection itself, this is usually a pretty quick part of the home selling process. Factors like the state of the home and inaccessible areas will add time to the inspection, but most home inspections conclude after a few hours.
A standard home in the US with three bedrooms and two baths will be relatively quick and easy, although homes with a well, pool, or other amenities could take longer.
4. Secure Home Insurance
It is important to know that home insurance is required if the buyer plans to finance the purchase through a lender using a mortgage.
Getting a quote for home insurance will typically take 20-30 minutes per insurance company that you call. This is because each insurance company will need to collect detailed information about your home, including information about its size, age, building materials, and layout. It will also want to know about your history of making home insurance claims (if any).
After the buyer finds an insurance provider that they like, the application typically gets processed over the next 2 to 3 days.
5. Title Paperwork
To close on a house, you will also need a lawyer to oversee transfer of the title paperwork to you. This process includes doing a title search and exam.
The reason for this search is to determine if the buyer has the legal right to transfer the property to you and if they can do so free of claims or liens that other people or parties may have to it. A lien is simply a technical term for the legal right to use a property to satisfy a debt or payment owed.
Once you sign your title paperwork at closing, you will typically receive the official deed or title for your new home a few weeks later.
Speed Up the Home Selling Process Today
Listing a home for sale can involve a mix of anxiety and excitement, and it’s natural to hope you know how to sell a house in a reasonable amount of time. The average home takes 71 days to sell, but offering an enticing asking price and selling in a seller’s market will speed things up.
When planning to sell, you can can hire a realtor as well as perform upgrades to add value to your home prior to listing it.
Are you ready to learn more about selling your home? Explore the real estate section of this site for valuable insights.