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The Average Amount of Time It Takes to Sell a House in 2019

Sellers that want to get their homes on and off the market quickly need to price their homes competitively, work with a top real estate agent, and make impactful renovations. Here, we go over average selling times and how to sell your home as fast as possible.
Sellers that want to get their homes on and off the market quickly need to price their homes competitively, work with a top real estate agent, and make impactful renovations. Here, we go over average selling times and how to sell your home as fast as possible.

Updated August 13th, 2019

In 2019, the average amount of time it takes to sell a home — from listing through closing — is approximately 68 days.

Key factors that impact home sale timelines include time of year, local housing market conditions (e.g., buyer demand, job market, etc.), and the type or condition of home being sold.

Your sale timeline will also depend on your agent’s listing strategy (pricing, marketing, networking) and the buyer’s financing situation — that is, the amount of time it takes for them to secure approval for their loan.

If you need to move quickly, read our comprehensive guide on how to sell your home fast.

Alternatively, Clever can connect you with a top-rated, local real estate agent for a free, no-obligation consultation. Find out how long it will take you to sell your house — and how much you can expect to get for it.

> Interview top real estate agents near you.

Read on to learn more about how long it takes to sell a house and why — and for some pro tips on how to speed up your sale, get higher offers, and save thousands in the process.

Average Amount of Time To Sell a House in 2019

A typical American home spends about 65 days on the market from listing to closing. However, it’s important to note that the average time it takes to sell a home varies depending on the state and season.

Homes listed during the summer in Indiana, for example, take just 13 days to sell on average, according to Redfin. Meanwhile, a home listed in the winter in the same state takes a whopping 48 days to sell — that’s over three times as long!

Other states, like Vermont, are also outliers: a home listed in the spring in Vermont takes 149 days on average to sell. Yet, when a home is listed in the summer it sells in 86 days.

Clearly, the average across the country does not show the whole picture. The real estate market is highly regionalized — everything from the average selling time to property taxes to median listing prices changes from one state or city to the next. That’s why working with an experienced local real estate agent is so important: they’ll know your local market like the back of their hand and can help tailor your selling strategy to the regional market.

That said, there are some parts of the real estate process that take about the same amount of time to complete no matter where you are in the country. Let’s look at each step in the home selling process and how long they take:

  • Listing to offer: This will vary greatly depending on your region. However, it usually takes about 30 days from accepting an offer until close, so you can get an estimate by subtracting 30 from the average selling time in your area. That means that the average US listing to offer time is 35 days (65 - 30). In Vermont in the spring, it’s 119 days. This won’t work for every state (Indiana would be -23 days), but it’s a decent way to estimate.
  • Offers and Negotiations: Sellers typically respond to offers within 72 hours at the latest. In most cases, negotiations take 1-2 days.
  • Home Inspection: Generally, a buyer has 5-10 days to complete the inspection. The inspection itself only lasts a few hours, but the inspector needs a few days to write up the report. If you schedule this quickly, this phase can be over in just a few days.
  • Counteroffer and Negotiations: After the inspection takes place, the buyer and seller will renegotiate. This usually takes 1-2 days.
  • Closing: On average, it takes about 30 days from acceptance of the offer to closing. This gives all the relevant parties time to start processing the paperwork and getting everything ready on a legal level.

How to Find Average Days on Market In Your Area

Contacting a local real estate agent is the best way to find out the average number of days a home will spend on the market in your area. Real estate agents can look up this data in the MLS (multiple listing service) and report back to you. They can also use their personal experience in your local market to give you an up-to-date (albeit less scientific and objective) estimate based on changing market conditions they’ve noticed over the past months or weeks.

Alternatively, you can use sites like Redfin or Zillow that provide this data. Both sites have information on average listing times.

Key Factors That Influence How Long It Takes to Sell a House

There are four key factors that influence how long it takes to sell a house:

Price

If your house isn’t priced competitively, you will have a hard time selling it. Price is perhaps the most important determining factor in the success of a home sale. Price it too high, and people will say it’s too expensive. Price it too low and people will think there’s something wrong with it.

When you sell your home with a real estate agent, they will perform a comparative market analysis (CMA). This means they’ll look at recently sold, pending, and open listings for similar properties in your area to determine a competitive price for your home. Their pricing experience can prove invaluable to the success of your sale.

Condition

Whether it’s purely curb appeal or something more foundational, buyers form the first impression of your home with their eyes. That means that the condition your home is in plays a big part in whether a buyer decides to make an offer or not.

If your hedges are overgrown, the home is dirty, and the roof is falling apart, you’ll struggle to get any buyers. That’s why it’s so important to discuss pre-sale repairs with your realtor to get a better idea of what needs to be fixed before your home hits the market.

Location

Location can change everything — just think back to the 136 day difference between Vermont and Indiana. Some locations are hot right now, and others are cooling off. Unfortunately, unlike your home’s condition and pricing, you can’t do anything to change this factor.

Time of Year

The time of the year during which you sell your house can have a massive impact on how long it stays on the market. As noted before, selling in winter instead of summer in Indiana makes a home take three times as long to sell. Be sure to speak with your local real estate agent to learn more about timing your regional market.

3 Tips on How to Sell a House Fast

Here are three tips to help you get your home off the market quickly:

1. Work with a top-rated real estate agent

Hiring an experienced real estate agent is the best investment you can make in the success of your home sale. A real estate agent will use their years of professional experience to price your home competitively, market it aggressively, and negotiate a great deal for you.

There’s a reason that 91% of home sellers work with a real estate agent: partnering with a skilled professional gets you the best selling results. Period.

2. Price your home competitively

An improperly priced item won’t sell. While everyone loves freebies, real estate is different: pricing your house too low can sometimes make it just as hard to sell as if you price it too high because buyers will think there’s something wrong with it.

Working with a real estate agent is the best way to competitively price your house. They can use their market knowledge and experience to perform a CMA that will put your home in the sweet spot and have it off the market ASAP.

3. Make impactful improvements and repairs

Keyword: impactful. Sometimes, the smallest repairs have the biggest returns. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, you just need to strategically decide what you need to fix and improve around your house before putting it on the market.

Adding smart home tech to your house can be a low-cost way to boost your home’s value and make it sell quickly. In fact, for just a few hundred dollars, you may be able to increase your home’s market value by 5% with these tech upgrades.

Before investing any money in repairs and renovations, speak with your real estate agent. They can tell you what the local trends are and what buyers want to see the most. This can help you decide where to focus your time and money.

Selling a house isn’t easy — let alone selling one fast! However, with the help of an experienced real estate agent who can help you time the market, competitively price your home, and market it aggressively, you can make your home sale go off without a hitch.

If you want to sell your home fast, Clever can help. Our Partner Agents are all top-rated local real estate agents from top brands like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX who offer their years of selling experience for a low flat fee of just $3,000 if your home sells for under $350,000. If it sells for more, you just pay 1% — that’s 2% less than a traditional real estate agent, or $6,000 savings on a $300,000 home!

Want to learn more? Fill out our form to get connected with a top real estate agent who can help you save thousands on your home sale.

Top FAQs About How Long It Takes to Sell a House

1. What’s the best month to sell a house?

The best month to sell a house depends on your region, but the best month to sell a house in the US as a whole is May. Houses that were listed in the first two weeks of May sold for $1,600 more and six days faster than any other time throughout the year in 2019, according to Zillow. However, this is regional, and it’s best to speak with your real estate agent to find out when they think you should list your home based on your local market conditions.

2. Should I sell my house in 2019?

If it fits in with your financial and life plans, then yes. If not, then don’t. Some believe a recession may be looming, which is prompting many people to sell their assets, but there’s no way to know if it will happen until it does. That said, the market is good right now, so if you’re interested in selling, there’s no reason to wait.

3. How long should you own a house before selling?

It’s best to own a house for a minimum of two years before selling. If you’ve owned the home for two out of the past five years, you can pocket $250,000 ($500,000 for couples) of your profits from the sale tax free. If you haven’t been living there for two years at least, you won’t get any tax breaks.

4. Does Zillow buy homes?

Zillow now provides a service called Zillow Offers. This service offers sellers a fast cash payment for their homes. After you’ve uploaded your house photos to their site, Zillow will decide whether they want to purchase your home within two days. You will have five days to accept. Unfortunately, as convenient as this is, it comes with fees as high as 9%.

5. How long does it take to receive money after selling a home?

It generally takes just a few days to receive money after selling your home. At the time of closing, your money should be in escrow. Once the deal goes through, the escrow agent will release the funds, and they will reach you within a day or so by wire. If you prefer to get a check, your money will take a few days to reach you by post.

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Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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