The Seller's Guide: How Long Does it Take To Sell My Home?

How long does it take to sell a home? It’s one of the most common questions in real estate, but there’s no common answer. With so many variables affecting each listing, the best person to ask is a real estate professional (aka me 😉) who specializes in the neighborhood. That agent will have a good idea of the history of home sales for the past month, year, or even previous decades for comparison.

However, it is not impossible to come up with a high level estimate by following some of the considerations rounded up below, which could leave you sailing through listing, escrow, and closing in a time-frame that suits your needs. 

Photo by  on  Unsplash

1. Is my home priced correctly?

An overpriced home usually takes longer to sell, and it might eventually sell for far less than market value. In a high-demand seller’s market, a well-priced home could sell within three to 10 days. In a buyer’s market, it could take a month or more to sell. 

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

2. What are the average days a home spends on the market?

Average days on market is a number almost every real estate agent knows by heart. To determine that number yourself, determine the day each home in any given month goes on the market, and count the days to its pending sale. Add those days together and divide by the number of homes. That will give you the average days on market. 

Alternatively, you can also use’s interactive map to find out the median days on the market in your area, the number of homes, and other local data that can help you determine how long it will take to sell your home so you can plan accordingly. 

As of May 2018, San Diego County average days on the market is 27 days, down -7% from this time last year. 

3. What can make a home sell more quickly?

Sometimes, there’s no logical reason for the length of time it takes to sell a house. It could be dumb luck, as in “right place, right time.” Or, your home could come on the market on the same day a specific buyer is looking to buy one like yours.

More likely, how long it takes to sell a house depends on three factors:

  • Price: A good strategy some agents use to attract multiple offers, which tend to push the price higher, is to price the house a little bit under market value. Price range can make a difference as well. Lower price ranges often sell faster than higher ranges, just because there are more buyers who can afford lower-priced homes. In a seller’s market, a common strategy is to price a home slightly under the comparable sales, again to draw in multiple offers. More than one offer tends to drive up the price. In addition, competition generally breeds desire, and passionate, determined buyers will often pay a lot more than the asking price.
  • Location: If the home is in a highly desirable neighborhood near great schools and shopping, it will be in high demand. If it’s in a less-desirable community, maybe near a landfill, it might never sell. It’s worth asking your agent for recent comparable sale prices, to give you an idea for your specific property. 
  • Condition: Homes that show pride of ownership will sell much faster than homes that need repairs or are cluttered-up. Buyers like to imagine how they’ll live in a house, which they can’t do if the home looks like it belongs to you or is a real mess. Sometimes just moving out some of the furniture makes a big difference. Large pieces can overwhelm a space and make the area seem smaller. Alternatively, empty rooms tend to look smaller, which is why staged homes tend to show better.
Photo by  Joseph Greve  on  Unsplash

Photo by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

4. It can be a wild ride

The median time a home is on the market has varied wildly the past few years. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the median home in the U.S. spent 65 days on the market, from the time it’s listed until the owner hands over the keys. In May 2018, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for just 27 days. Why?

“The inventory shortage, the growing economy, and job creation have increased the interest in homebuying,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR. “There is just not enough inventory; people need to fight over the few homes available on the market.”

To ensure you have a successful sale of your home, meaning it sells when you want it for the price you're wanting it for, it is crucial to work with a real estate agent (more reasons on that here). Contact me to further discuss how I can best support you on your real estate journey.

Source: BHHS Blog