If you have been paying attention to the housing market at all recently, you probably know it is been pretty crazy. The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people working from home, low-interest rates, and historically low inventory have created a wild market in many locations.
All of this might be making you wonder whether or not it is time to sell your home.
How long does it take to sell a house in 2021, though?
The short answer is: it depends. That being said, all signs are pointing to 2021 continuing to be a very favorable market for sellers.
How Long Does It Take to Sell a House in 2021?
How long it takes to sell your house will depend on a number of factors depending on your location, your property, seasonality, and demand.
That being said, 2020 was an unusual year in the real estate market. In 2019, Homes spent an average of 30 days on the market before going under contract. In 2020, this number reduced to 25 days.
Once a seller has accepted an offer, it usually takes between 30 to 45 days to close on the home. This means that from the time you list your house to the closing, the average time to sell a house in 2020 was between 55 and 70 days.
While no one can predict the future with certainty, particularly in such uncertain times, many real estate experts are projecting that 2021 will still be a hot seller's market. This means that they predict that homes will continue to sell faster than usual.
It is important to understand that these numbers do not factor in how much time you spend deciding to list and getting your house ready to list. On average, according to Zillow, it takes sellers roughly six months to decide they are selling and preparing their property.
House Selling Timeline
Selling your house is not just putting it on the market and waiting for someone to show up with cash and take the keys. There are a number of key milestones along the way that you will want to know about.
Listing and Showing
In some hot markets with the right property, you might get a number of offers on the first day you list. It is possible some of these prospective buyers have not even seen the place with their own two eyes. With social distancing measures in place this past year, 3D tours have become extremely popular for people to be able to see the house they are interested in without leaving the comfort of their own couches.
However, in most cases, you will show your home to a number of prospects before receiving an offer you are happy with. As previously stated, the average number of days on the market for US homes in 2020 was 25 days.
Accepting an Offer
In different states, there are different rules for how quickly you are required to respond to an offer; however, it is courteous to respond as quickly as you feasibly can.
Oftentimes, there will be an expiration on housing offers. These might be 24 hours, 48 hours, or 72 hours after it was submitted.
Usually, the buyer will have somewhere between five and ten days to complete their home inspection after the offer is accepted. A home inspection itself only takes a few hours and then a few more days will pass as the inspector writes up the report.
In particularly hot markets, buyers might waive their right to an inspection, which gives them less opportunity to back out of the deal without losing their earnest money deposit.
Counteroffer and Negotiation
Buyers often will present a counteroffer or request that certain repairs are done as a part of the deal. This part of the process usually takes between one and two days. If the buyer finds something in the inspection that wasn't disclosed to them, they can take this opportunity to walk away.
The closing process typically takes between 30 and 45 days. This is the time when the lender, the title company, and the county records department can take care of all of the required documentation.
If you are lucky enough to get an all-cash offer that you are pleased with, this process can happen way faster.
Ten Tips For How to Sell Your House Fast
There are a number of things you can do to encourage the process of home selling to go quickly. Let us take a look at ten tips that can help you sell your home fast.
1. Chose the Right Real Estate Agent
Not all real estate agents are created equal. When you hire a real estate agent, you want to make sure you are working with someone who is just as invested in selling your home as you are.
While real estate agents take a sizable commission from the sale of your property, the right real estate agent will be totally worth it. They will be master negotiators and will help you sell your home faster and for more money.
2. Sell in the Right Season
You want to make sure that you are selling your home when buyers are looking. This means that listing your home in December in a place that is not known for its winter tourism probably will not lead to a quick house sale.
Learn about your local market to find out when the best time of year to sell is. In many places, this means listing in the spring or summer; however, regional differences might make this vary between places.
For example, in a particularly hot skiing town or Florida vacation destination, winter might be the time when everyone is house hunting.
3. Hire a Professional Real Estate Photographer
Do not make the mistake of simply taking a few pictures with your smartphone to post online. Pictures are absolutely essential to whether or not prospective buyers decide to set up a showing. You want to wow people with the photos to get them in the front door.
Professional real estate photographers know how to make even the blandest of properties seem exceptional. A relatively inexpensive service when compared to the cost of the home, this is definitely worth doing and can help your house sell faster and for more money.
Companies like Hommati offer home photography services and will help each and every client make their home stand out from the crowd.
4. Clean and Declutter
Even if you do not have the time or money to invest in expensive upgrades or landscaping, you will definitely want to thoroughly declutter and clean your home.
Make sure that all of the storage spaces are not crammed full of stuff. Rent a storage unit to put a bunch of your extra belongings in during the showing process.
You will also want to deep clean every room. It might be worth it to hire a cleaning company for the job.
5. Get the Price Right
Setting the price of your home can be one of the hardest parts of the process. You do not want to price it too low and leave money on the table. At the same time, you do not want to price it too high and have your home sitting on the market.
A real estate agent can help you comp out your home compared to others in your area. When you price your home right, you are much more likely to find a buyer fast.
6. Depersonalize Your Home
Potential buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in your home. When the property is filled with all of your personal photos and moments, it is harder for them to do so. Get rid of the personal stuff and store it in a storage unit while the showing process is occurring.
7. Stage Your Home
Hiring a professional stager can help to highlight the best assets of your home. They will know how to rearrange your furniture in a way that makes each room look its best. They also can bring in furniture or decor to make the home as appealing to potential buyers as possible.
Another staging option can be to virtually stage your home. When working with a company like Hommati, you have access to a service like this which can add or update furniture and decor in your space.
8. Boost Your Curb Appeal
When it is time to sell a home, you want to make a good first impression. One of the ways you can do this is by boosting your curb appeal so buyers fall in love right when they pull in the driveway.
If you are selling in the spring or summer, planting flowers will add pops of color to the front of your house, drawing in more potential buyers.
9. Be Accommodating
The house showing process can be annoying and can interrupt your daily life. That being said, you want the home to sell fast. For this reason, you will want to make your schedule around showings, rather than trying to make buyers work around your schedule.
10. Write a Great Listing Description
While pictures are worth a thousand words, you also want to make sure your listing description is solid. This is a place to describe some of the best features in the home and also make it stand out using effective keywords.
Housing Market Trends: A Great Time to Sell, a Difficult Time to Buy
One of the reasons that there is such low inventory is that people are concerned about becoming buyers in this seller-friendly market. That being said, if selling your home makes sense for you, you might find that it is a great time to do so.
Selling a house can take over your life. It is no wonder you were wondering "how long does it take to sell a house?"
While no one can say for sure how fast you can sell your house, homes have been selling faster than usual recently. If you are ready to sell your house and be done with it, it is possible that 2021 is a good year for you to sell.
Are you wondering how much your home is really worth? If so, check out our true market value tool!