How long does it take to sell a house?

how long does it take to sell a house

How long does it take to sell a house?

In short, the average time to sell a house in the UK ranges around 5-6 months.

They say selling a property is one of the most stressful things you’ll do in life.  Much of the stress and hassle comes from a lack of knowledge about the process and how long each stage should take.  We’ve broken down the process of selling a property so you know exactly what you can expect each step of the way. You can also learn more about the house buying process through our ultimate how to guide.

Step one: Research estate agents

The best way to find the right estate agent is to look online and in estate agents’ windows.  Look at which agents are successfully selling properties similar to yours.  Ideally you should ask a minimum of three agents to value your property in order to get a feel for what your property might be worth.  Remember, the agent who values your property highest is not always going to be the best agent.  Assess the agent carefully – do they feel trustworthy? If they are polite to you the chances are they will be polite to potential buyers.  Similarly, if they are pushy with you, they’re likely to be pushy with your buyers, which may well put people off.  Who do you trust to do the best job for you and represent you well to your potential buyers? You should also find out if you can really negotiate with an estate agent when selling your house.

Step two: Instruct your chosen agent

At this point the agent will want to come and take marketing photographs and get the detailed information they need for the property particulars.  With more than 90% of house-hunters starting their property search online, it’s important that your home is looking its best. You’ll want to avoid bad estate agent photos to help sell your house fast.

Step three: Research solicitors

If you don’t already have a solicitor in place, now is the time to find one.  With around 12% of property sales that fall through before completion doing so because of slow progress, it’s important that you pick a solicitor who is going to stay on top of the sale and mange it through to completion well.  Recommendations are key, so ask friends or family members who have recently bought or sold a house about their experiences.

Step four: Accept an offer

With 31% of house sales falling through before completion, it’s important that you choose your buyer well.  Assess any offers you receive carefully.  Your estate agent, and the information they’re able to gather, will be key here.  It’s important to consider not only the price the buyer is willing to pay, but also how proceedable they are as a buyer.  Do they have all their mortgage finance in place already? Do they have a property to sell before they can proceed with the purchase of your property? How keen are they on the property? Is this the only property they are offering on at the moment, or are there several properties they like?

Step five: Contracts and questionnaires

You’ll have agreed a sale price, but now you’ll need to give your solicitor lots of other information, including details of any work done to the property.  You’ll also need to negotiate timescales with your buyer.

Step six: Exchange contracts

This is when the sale becomes legally binding and when a deposit is paid to secure the property.  If the buyer pulls out of the sale after this point they will lose their deposit.  If you pull out after this point you may well be sued!

Step seven: Completion

At this point ownership of the property is officially transferred to your buyer and you are required to vacate.  The remaining money will be transferred by the solicitors.

How long does it take to sell a house?

Average time on market in England and Wales is currently 90 days.  You’ll need to allow another 2-3 months from the point of accepting an offer to completion of the sale.  This means, on average, it takes 5-6 months from putting your property on the market to actually moving house.  Of course there are instances in which the process will be a lot quicker than this, but also occasions when it will be significantly slower.

If you can’t afford to wait 6 months to sell your property, or if you want the added security of a guaranteed sale, Quick Move Now could buy your property in as little as 7 days as part of our sell house fast service.  For more information on the benefits of selling your property to a professional cash home buyer, you can read this recent article: Why sell to a professional home buyer?


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