Ask an expert: How long does it take to sell a home?

A: The length of time it takes to sell a home depends on many factors. First, there is the current market in your area. If there are a lot of people trying to buy houses in your neighborhood, it may create a seller’s market, which will help you sell faster. If more people are moving out of the neighborhood, you may be looking at a buyer’s market, making your home harder to sell. The market is not only affected by how many houses are for sale. The local business climate and changes in interest rates can have an effect as well. Your listing agent can provide you with a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) to help you understand the market conditions in your area.

It may sound obvious, but setting the right price is one of the keys to selling quickly. Your CMA from your listing agent will pin point the optimal price to sell your home. If the price you set is unrealistically high, you may drive away potential buyers before they set foot on your lawn. If your house has been on the market for a long time, re-evaluate the price and consider reducing it.

Finally, they say beauty is only skin deep, but your home’s appearance can go a long way toward attracting an offer. Before you put your home on the market, make it as attractive as possible. With a few quick fixes to your home’s exterior, and a splash of paint inside, you could get the right buyer looking twice.

Some homes may take days to sell, while some may take months. A study done by the National Association of REALTORS® in 2002 found that most people sold their home within four weeks. Don’t get discouraged if a sale takes longer than that, but try to analyze the reasons and ask your agent if there’s anything you can do to help.

Bill Yeager
Vice President, Realty Services

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