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How long does it take to sell a house?

If you’re focused on selling your home, it’s likely you have a timeline in mind. Whether you’re selling to buy elsewhere, eager to up sticks and start anew, or you’re moving internationally, knowing how long it might take is important.

How long does it take to sell a house?

What is the average time to sell a home in the UK?

This does change depending on the market. Property portals reported that in February 2019, the time it took to sell a house increased from 72 days to 77 days. However, that is measured from when the property is listed to when it is marked under offer by the estate agent.

The actual process of transferring the deeds, exchanging and completing can take between 8-12 weeks. However, this depends on whether you’re stuck in a chain, if you’re a cash buyer or First Time Buyer, and multiple other factors.

What affects the length of time it takes to sell a house?

If the market is down, you may struggle to sell your home quickly. Perhaps there’s a lot more choice, with similar properties to yours. Perhaps there isn’t as much need for your type of property compared to others in the area.
Looking at who is likely to be your target buyer is important – what situation prompted you to buy this property? Is it good for a single person, couple or family? Is it well situated? Has it got a lot of potential for extension?

It may not be your sale that is taking a long time at all, but your buyer’s sale. If you’re stuck in a chain, it can take add weeks or months to your move. Similarly, if you are buying a property as well, you may find your seller stuck in a chain.

One of the main things that impacts how long a property sits on a portal is how highly it is priced. Properties priced too high won’t get as much interest immediately and won’t get as many visits. Potential buyers might not consider your home if it seems so far out of their budget.

How can I speed up the process?

As we’ve mentioned above, taking the time to really consider your asking price and how low you’re willing to go will speed up the process. More viewers means more offers, which means a quicker sale.

Getting your conveyancing solicitor sorted early on the process will mean fewer hold ups along the way, and you can let them know that you’re eager to move quickly. Remember to ask if your conveyancing solicitor is likely to be on holiday in the coming months, and who would be in charge if they were away.

Preparing your home before you put it on the market can make a big difference to the selling time. Having a clear out and making it look spacious and clean will make those photos much more impressive.

Along the same lines, taking the time to create a great first impression will leave less room for doubt in your potential buyer’s mind. This could be fixing anything that’s broken, clearing away clutter or giving a room a fresh coat of paint.

You can see more ideas in our guide to selling your home quickly.
Updated March 2020

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