How Long Does It Take to Sell a Home?

Selling a home is rarely as easy as it sounds. You might think that a “For Sale” sign in your front yard will bring buyers flocking in with offers. But that’s not how it usually happens. Home buyers can be very picky and won’t stop until they find exactly what they are looking for. This is why you should use an experienced and well-connected realtor.

Benefits of using a realtor

Using a realtor has several benefits. They have a large pool of buyers and investors in their database. They are knowledgeable about their local market which helps to market your home to potential buyers and to get you the best price for your home.

Timeline for selling your home

Selling your house, even with the help of a realtor, requires some careful planning and preparation. It’s not something you should do in a rush unless you need to sell in a hurry.

Here is a timeline you can use.

  • Research the local market (1 – 2 weeks)

Start researching the local market. Look on the internet for houses that are up for sale in your area and find out how much a house similar to yours is listed for. If there is a local real estate forum for buyers and sellers, join it to understand the market conditions. Visit a few houses that are for sale to get an idea about staging and other preparations.

  • Pick a date for listing (at least two months in advance)

Do not rush your sale unless you have to. Pick a date for listing that is at least two months into the future. This will give you ample time to find a realtor, do the repairs and renovations, and take other necessary steps to get your house ready for sale.

  • Hire a real estate agent (at least six weeks before listing)

Start approaching and interviewing real estate agents at least six weeks before the date you have chosen for listing. Do some research and read reviews of realtors in your area. Ask your friends, colleagues, and relatives for recommendations. Make a shortlist of candidates and interview each of them. Hire someone you can trust and feel comfortable with.

  • Prepare your house (to be completed before listing)

Clean up your house. Clear all the unnecessary items that are taking up space. Wash or repaint the walls. Repair the cracks and damages, if any. Remove any extra features that may turn off buyers. Consider remodeling or renovating some parts of the house, like the kitchen and bathroom, if you believe that will increase your home’s value. Your house should be ready on the day of listing.

  • Start moving out (to be completed before listing)

Ideally, your home should be unoccupied when potential buyers are looking through it. So start moving out as soon as you can. When you finally vacate your house (before the listing date if you can), there should not be any of your belongings left lying on the floor or elsewhere. If you’re not able to move out before selling your house, it should be spotless at all times while potential buyers are visiting.

  • List your home for sale (on the date picked earlier)

Once everything is ready, give your real estate agent the green light to list your home. By this date, your agent should have prepared the necessary marketing materials, including an accurate and attractive description of your home, along with glamorous pictures of your house taken by a professional real estate photographer.

  • Let your realtor handle the offers and negotiations

After your home has been listed for sale, your realtor will start receiving requests to view your home and offers. Let your realtor handle the viewings, offers, contract negotiations, inspections, and appraisals. If a home investor like makes an attractive offer, grab it! You can get a cash offer and bypass the time-consuming steps of the traditional real estate sales process. The secret to successfully selling a house fast for cash is to get a realtor who knows the local real estate market like the back of his/her hand, is good at marketing and negotiating, and who you can build a good rapport with.