How Long Does a House Sale Take?
Selling a property can be a stressful time, especially if you’re looking to buy a new home at the same time. Due to a number of different factors, it’s difficult to gage how long it will take to sell and buy a house.
Selling your house to a reliable cash buyer like Good Move is often the fastest method.
You can find out more about quick house sale services, and how they compare to traditional house buying methods, such as an estate agent or auction house, below.
How quickly can you sell a house?: expected timeframes
On average, it takes six months to sell a house: that’s two months for a homeowner to find their ideal property, two to three months from contract to close, and a month to finalise the move.
Leasehold vs. Freehold sales
With an ideal sales process, freehold properties can be sold in as little as six weeks, while leasehold properties generally take longer at eight to ten weeks. The length of time it takes to sell a house can vary because of a fluctuating property market, the condition of your property and its location, as well as a long conveyancing process or lengthy house chain.
When there is a property chain
How quickly you can sell your house largely depends on the property chain. A property chain is created when there are multiple house purchases linked together, each of which become reliant on the preceding and succeeding transactions. If you already own a property, it’s likely you will need to sell your current home before you can purchase a new one. There is no limit to how long a property chain could grow and if it breaks, selling a house could take months.
Process of selling your home
You can sell your home via a house buyer, estate agent or through auction. We’ll guide you through each process below, but there are a few important things to remember before you sell.
Inform your mortgage provider
First, you’ll need to let your mortgage provider know that you’re looking to sell your home and if there are any penalties for leaving early, you’ll need to pay them.
Sell first, before buying
We’d also recommend that you list your property before you start house hunting, or else you’ll risk finding your ideal home and losing it while waiting for your current property to sell.
Selling your home with a house buyer
Looking to use a quick cash property buyer to sell your home? Using a house buyer is an easy and fuss-free way of selling your home, and can take as little as seven days to complete.
The basic timeline for selling your home with a house buyer, is:
1. Get in touch
Your first action would be to get in touch with a regulated house buyer, like Good Move. If you choose Good Move, an RICS-certified chartered surveyor will be able to provide you with a fair cash offer in principle for your home within 24 hours.
2. Property appraisal
If you accept the offer in principle, then an appraisal of your property will be conducted.
3. Formal offer
Once surveyors have received the appraisal report, you’ll receive a formal offer for your property.
4. Contracts issued
If you accept this formal offer, solicitors are instructed, and contracts issued. At Good Move we’ll even contribute £500 towards all clients’ legal fees if you choose to use your own solicitor. Otherwise, we’ll cover any associated fees during the sale.
5. Home Buyers Report
Chartered surveyors will then carry out a comprehensive Home Buyers Report to accurately valuate the property.
After a satisfactory Home Buyers Report and Report on Title, the sale will be completed, and your house will be sold. At Good Move, we’ll transfer the funds to you within seven days. You can expect up to 85% of the full market value and your property to be sold within just 21 days too.
Selling your home via auction
Selling your home via auction also has its benefits, as it does tend to increase the chances of your home selling and you can always make sure you’re getting a fair amount by setting a reserve price on your property. It’s relatively quick too, and you can expect the whole process to take between 6-10 weeks.
If you’d like to sell your home via auction, the standard process is:
1. Auction appraisal
An appraisal of your property is the first step, and this includes an auction house coming to assess your property. You’ll usually be able to set your reserve price at this stage.
After your auction appraisal, you’ll need to pay auctioneer and commission fees which are up to 2.5%. Even if your property does not sell at auction, you may still be expected to pay these.
3. Legal pack
Surveyors will then be sent to examine your home and take photos and measurements to use as promotional materials. Solicitors will also need to prepare a legal pack which costs around £350-£500. The pack will include things such as the title plan and lease information.
Auctioneers will then begin to promote your property before auction to garner interest. If your property has garnered any attention, your auctioneer will tell you beforehand.
5. Auction day
If a buyer is interested and the hammer has fallen, your house is sold. The successful bidder will have to pay 10% of the asking price on auction day and then has a month to pay the remaining 90%, so your money is guaranteed within a month.
If your property is sold, you’ll also be required to pay an additional fee to your solicitor for the conveyancing to get the property sale completed with the buyer.
Conveyancing fees differ throughout the country, but usually range between £450-£750 plus VAT, depending on the sale price of the property.
All in all, selling a house at auction can cost up to £1200 plus VAT for a solicitor, with 2.5% of the house value on top of that for the auctioneer fee. It is a costlier process, and remember – a sale isn’t always guaranteed either. When you sell via an auction there is a real possibility that you will pay out a lot of money without generating a sale.
Selling your home with an estate agent
Using an estate agent to sell your home is perhaps the most popular route for many people looking to sell their property. Its main benefit is that someone else is doing the job for you, taking away some stress from the process. If you are using an estate agent, then your house sale can take longer, at around 3-6 months for completion.
The standard process of selling with an estate agent is:
1. Get in touch
The first job is to contact an estate agent who you’d like to sell your home through, and they will assess and valuate your property.
2. Appoint solicitor
Once you’ve decided which estate agent to use, you’ll have to appoint a solicitor to arrange and sort out the legal aspects involved with selling a home.
Then, you need to advertise your home to the open market. As an estate agent will need your home to be presentable to appeal to potential buyers and achieve a sale, you may need to renovate or redecorate your home for this.
4. House viewings
Your estate agent will then organise open house viewings or scheduled accompanied viewings with potential buyers to show them around the property and help it sell.
Then, you’ll speak through any offers that have been made on the property. It’s up to you whether to accept or reject the offer, as it can sometimes be a lot lower than asking price.
If you’re happy with an offer, then your estate agent will prepare a memorandum of sale, confirm the agreed price and reach out to you for your solicitor’s details. Your solicitor at this point will send out a contract to the buyer’s solicitor for completion.
If it all goes through, the money for your property will be transferred into your solicitor’s account, who will then transfer it into your account when the money has been cleared. Keys will then be arranged to be released and your property is sold!
Although an estate agent is a popular way of selling your home, it can be off-putting to some people due to having to arrange house viewings that happen mostly on evenings and weekends. Plus, it can be a lengthy process with a considerable possibility that you will sell your house far lower than what you expected – especially once you’ve taken estate agents’ fees into account.
How long does a house sale take?: Impacting factors
Of course, selling your home isn’t always as easy as the steps outlined above and there are many factors that can impact how long a house sale takes. Understanding these factors can impact how attractive your property will be to buyers and help you sell your home faster.
The property market
The state of the property market is perhaps the biggest factor that impacts how long it will take to sell your home, whether you’re selling with a house buyer, estate agent or auction house. There are many external factors that influence the property market, including political events and the economy in general.
Demand also affects the property market. For instance, if lots of people are selling similar homes in the same area as you, your home will struggle to stand out amongst the crowd and will take longer to sell. The property market has its ups and downs, and if you try sell your home when the market is in a particularly low state, then your home will struggle to sell – but try not to be disheartened by this.
The ideal selling market
The ideal market to sell in is a sellers’ market, which occurs when there are lots of willing buyers looking for a new home. In a buyers’ market, sellers need to competitively price their homes to avoid it sitting on the market indefinitely or postpone the sale until the market improves.
Location, location, location
The location of a property has a huge impact on its value and how quickly it will sell, whether you’re using a home buyer, estate agent or auction. Homes will sell quicker if they’re located in a popular area with low crime rates, and are close to local amenities, good schools and have free parking too. Of course, you don’t need all of these things for your home to sell, but do bear in mind that it may take longer for your home stand out among the crowded property market if it doesn’t match most of the above criteria.
If your house isn’t selling, there’s sadly nothing you can do to improve the location of your home, but your asking price should always reflect the location of your property. If your home isn’t in the most desirable location, it’s unlikely that it will sell at the same price as one that is, so it’s important to adjust the asking price accordingly.
If you are selling your home with an estate agent or home buyer, then it’s vitally important that your home is in a good condition in order to garner interest and sell it quickly. If selling with an auction, the condition of your property is generally less important as many people buy homes from auction and completely renovate them to make a profit.
In general, most buyers don’t want to purchase properties that will require extensive repairs or maintenance once they move in, as it will take a lot of time and resources to rectify them. Therefore, it’s advisable to sort out any repairs to your home or garden before you put your property on sale to help speed up the selling process and increase the price.
It’s a good idea to have multiple valuations carried out on your home before you decide on an asking price to avoid disappointment. If the buyer’s surveyor finds any problems during the conveyancing process, you may be asked to lower the property price.
Selling your home can be a frustrating and drawn-out process, with factors like an uncertain property market and lengthy conveyancing process contributing to the stress. If you want to speed up the process and help secure a guaranteed buyer, our quick and easy property buying process here at Good Move can help. We will buy your property for up to 85% of the market value with cash, completing the sale in as little as two weeks.