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The Average Real Estate Timeline For Selling Your Home

A big question for home sellers is how long it will take to sell their home. Without a crystal ball that sees the future, there’s no way to know for sure, but we have this real estate timeline for selling your home to give you an idea. Check it out below.
A big question for home sellers is how long it will take to sell their home. Without a crystal ball that sees the future, there’s no way to know for sure, but we have this real estate timeline for selling your home to give you an idea. Check it out below.

How long will it take to sell your home?

You may be timing the sale so it finishes before you close on the purchase of another home. Perhaps you’re moving out of state for a new job and need to sell your home before you leave. Regardless, it would be nice to know what to expect timewise.

There are so many factors involved in a home sale that any step can delay the process. However, you can look at averages to get an idea. Working with a real estate agent can also help your sale stay on schedule.

Let’s walk through the steps and discuss how long each one may take.

Prepare Your Home

The first step is to prepare your home for sale. The time this will take can vary drastically depending on the condition of your home.


If your home is in excellent shape, all it may require is a thorough cleaning. If you haven’t been as diligent with home maintenance, you may need to make some repairs.

DIY projects may be limited by the amount of free time you have to complete them. If you’re under a time crunch or the projects are too big or complicated for you to tackle, hiring a company may be worth the expense.

Curb Appeal

You have as little as three seconds to make a good impression on buyers. Those three seconds happen long before they walk through the door. That means you can’t forget about the outside of your home.

Take a look at your exterior. Could the landscaping use a little freshening up? Maybe the siding could do with a fresh coat of paint. Extras like colorful flowers in window boxes are inexpensive and make for the perfect icing on the cake.

Moving Out

Start moving out now, particularly if you have a lot of stuff stored in the back room. Clutter doesn’t make a favorable impression. Plus, if you start now, the process will be a lot easier.


Once your home is cleaned up, it’s time to create marketing materials. Listings with professional photos sell approximately 32% faster so photography is a must.

All in all, the amount of time you’ll need to prepare your home can vary quite a bit. On average, expect somewhere between 10 and 45 days. Just know that it may take much longer if your home needs a lot of fixing up first.

Listing Your Home

Some homes receive an offer within hours or days, others take weeks or even months. The best predictor is to look at the current average days on market in your area. A good local real estate agent can give you that number off the top of their head.

Many factors can affect how quickly your home will sell. These include:

  • List price
  • The home’s condition
  • The marketing campaign
  • The home’s availability for showing

Talk to your agent about the best plan for selling your home as quickly as possible. Remember, selling quickly is advantageous not only by saving time but also because homes that linger on the market sell for less.

As of April 2019, the national average days on market on Zillow was 70 days. Hot seller’s markets have a much lower average and buyer’s markets can be longer. Talk to your agent to find out the most accurate average for your area.


If you’re lucky enough to have a cash offer, closing can take as little as one day. Most of the time, however, the buyer will need to secure financing. This requires several steps and third parties leading to a closing process that typically takes 30-45 days.

Most buyers will request an inspection. Most lenders will require an appraisal. If there are any hangups with either of these, the closing date may have to be moved back. Sometimes, the buyer’s financing falls through altogether, sending you straight back to the listing stage.

If you were lucky enough to have an offer waiting in the wings, you can start the closing process with the new buyer immediately. If not, you have to go back to showing your home and wait for a new offer.


As you can see, selling your home can be a lengthy process so you’ll want to start early. In the right conditions, it’s possible that it can sell rather quickly. To get the most accurate picture of current market conditions, meet with a local real estate agent today.

While they can’t tell you 100% how fast your home will sell, they can give you an idea to help you time/plan your sale. Remember, the agent you choose will also affect how quickly your home sells.

At Clever, we only partner with top agents in local markets so you can have confidence in our recommendation. Plus, our Partner Agents can save you thousands of dollars in listing fees. They list homes for Clever clients for a flat fee of only $3,000 or 1% on homes worth more than $350,000.

Save money and get a solid agent? It doesn’t get much better than that. Contact us today!


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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