How Long Should it Take to Sell a House?

As a seller, you’ve got clear goals: sell your home for a pretty penny, and find a buyer within a reasonable amount of time. After all, nobody wants to sit around waiting for a willing buyer any longer than they have to. The longer a home sits on the market, the more expensive the process gets, not to mention more frustrating.

But exactly how long should it take for you to sell your home? Knowing the answer to this question can make things a lot easier and more streamlined for you, especially if you’re buying another home and want the closing dates to jive.

The thing is, there are several factors that influence how long a house will take to sell, including the following.

Current Market Conditions

Different market conditions will make it easier or harder to sell, depending on the current climate. You’ve most likely heard of “buyer’s markets” and seller’s markets,” and the one that you happen to be in right now will have a strong influence on how long you can expect your home to sit on the market.

In a buyer’s market, there are usually many homes available and few buyers, making the competition fierce among sellers but favorable for buyers. In this case, it could take a bit longer to sell. On the other hand, a seller’s market means the demand for homes is high thanks to the heavy pool of buyers out there and the limited inventory for them to choose from. This scenario makes selling much easier and usually results in a faster sale.

Listing Price

One of the most important factors that goes into selling a home is the listing price. If priced right, your home should have no problem selling within a reasonable amount of time, as long as it’s in decent condition. But if you overprice your home compared to similar listings in the area, you can expect your home to linger on the market longer than it should.

Buyers go into the real estate game armed with all the information they need, including what homes in the area are worth. They’ll be less likely to spend more than they have to on a home if they know it’s not worth as much as what the current market dictates. If you want to sell quickly, make sure your home is priced appropriately.


The more desirable the area, the easier it should be to sell a home. Even homes that are in rough shape can sell rather quickly if they’re located in neighborhoods that buyers are eager to get into. But areas that are not so hot can make it tougher for sellers to sell quickly.

Many factors influence the desirability of a location, including proximity to the downtown, public transit, schools, crime rates, walkability, nearby amenities, parks, and so forth.

Condition of the Home

There’s a reason why real estate agents recommend that their seller clients have their homes staged. Presentation matters, and it can have a strong influence on the impression buyers have. Buyers typically want a turn-key home so they have little to do when they move in. The better the home looks, the better the odds of finding a willing buyer more quickly.

Average Days on the Market

Every area has its associated “average days on the market,” which changes frequently. If the average number of days it takes to sell a home in your area is 30 days, for instance, then you can expect it to take that long for you too. That said, you could experience a longer or shorter sale, depending on how all other factors line up for you, such as the condition of your home and the listing price.

Luxury Home Versus Average Home

Generally speaking, luxury homes over the $1 million mark tend to take a lot longer to sell than the average home. That’s because buyers in this market tend to be much pickier with their purchase, given the high price tag. If buyers are going to spend the big bucks, everything has to be just right.

The Bottom Line

Several factors play a role in the amount of time it takes to sell a home. It’s important to weigh them all before gauging how long it will take you to seal a deal. As always, consult with your real estate agent to help you get the exact information you’re looking for.