How long does it take to sell a house?

When it comes to selling a house, most homeowners are aware that the process is not necessarily a fast one and can cause a significant amount of stress, despite the best of intentions to stay calm during the ‘moving’ period.
In fact, the average length of time it takes for a homeowner to move to a new house, after putting their property on the market, is 5-6 months.

Of course, even if you’re simply moving to a new house to upsize, downsize or have a slight change in location, the process of moving house can be a time of unrest and uneasiness. What’s more, if there are additional reasons to your moving, such as getting a divorce or relocating for a career, you may feel additional pressure during the stages of moving house.

So, what should you expect from moving, and how long does it really take to sell a house? Are there certain ways you can make the moving house period less pressured on yourself for a smoother transition into your new home?

Ultimately, the average time that a property is on the market for is 90 days, however, it is necessary to allow for a further 2-3 months from the point of having your offer accepted. This allows for conveyancing, property checks, the drawing up and exchanges of contracts, any mortgage agreements to be finalised and any other complications associated with the sale.

What can slow down the sale of a house?

There are several factors that can cause the sale of a house to slow down or even come to a complete halt. In fact, 31% of house sales fall through before completion which shows how changeable and fluid the property market can be, many people can be devastated at the loss of their dream home and, unfortunately, a significant amount of cash during the moving process.

One reason for a house sale to slow down is when you are selling and are part of a property chain. Being part of a chain means if one element of somebody’s move is slowed down, perhaps there are further enquiries needed into the state or value of the property, the process is slowed down for the whole of the property chain. Likewise, if one homeowner pulls out of the property chain, the process can be disrupted for everybody involved.

Furthermore, if you are selling around the Christmas period and don’t manage to get your completion date before your conveyancers or solicitors are off work for their festive break, a further two weeks would be added to your move. You may want to consider putting your house on the market much earlier in the year, perhaps February or March, to make the effort to avoid the process of moving over the Christmas period. That said, since there are some properties that take much longer than 5-6 months to complete, putting your house on the market earlier will not 100% guarantee you have moved before Christmas.

Are there any ways of speeding up the process of moving house?

Although as a general rule moving house is a lengthy process, there are a few ways you can speed up the process of selling your house and moving to a new home:

1. Have your mortgage already in place: Make sure you have your mortgage lender ready to lend before putting an offer on your new home. You should aim to have a Mortgage in Principle when you make your offer on a property.

2. Choose a reputable estate agent from the word go: A good (and not necessarily pushy!) estate agent can help you have a smoother house moving process. Before actually putting your property on the market, have your home valued by a few estate agents and choose the one that you feel most confident in. Remember: The estate agent that values your property most highly is not always the best one to go for.

3. Use a Cash Home Buyer. A Cash Home Buyer can provide you with an immediate cash offer on your home which can significantly decrease the length of time it takes to sell your home.

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