The Timeline for Selling A House: The Steps Explained

Jan 14, 2024 | Selling

Home » The Timeline for Selling A House: The Steps Explained

Welcome to the Big Sale!

Getting ready to sell your house but aren’t sure where to start or how long it takes before you can post that “Sold” sign? We’ve outlined the timeline for selling a house in a step-by-step guide that will turn this process into a walk in the park and reduce and expedite the sale!

What’s Your ‘Why’? Your Answer Dictates the Timeline

The first question to ask yourself is, “Why am I selling?” Are you looking for a change of scenery, or perhaps chasing a new job opportunity in another city? Upsizing or downsizing? Baby on the way? Your reason for selling influences everything from your pricing strategy to your timeline.

For example, if you’re selling due to a job relocation, you may have a stricter deadline. You’d need to expedite the process, which could mean pricing your home competitively to attract buyers quickly. On the other hand, if you’re upsizing due to a growing family but have some months before the baby arrives, you have a longer timeline. You can take time to stage your home attractively, conduct open houses, and wait for an offer that meets your ideal price.

So, take a moment to pinpoint your ‘why’.

The Timeline for Selling A House in Steps

Find the Perfect Real Estate Agent (1 Week)

The timeline for selling a house can be positively impacted by finding a real estate agent who is a good fit for you. While getting your home to look its best, start interviewing real estate agents to find one who knows their stuff. The perfect agent can make the difference between a smooth sale and a bumpy ride. Look for someone who knows your local market like the back of their hand and has a solid track record in home sales. They can also provide invaluable advice on how to prepare and stage your home for sale.

What’s Your Home Worth? (1-2 Days)

Now that you’ve got your goals lined up, it’s time to figure out your home’s worth. Don’t worry. We’ve got an epic tool for that! With Property.com’s property valuation tool, you can get an estimate of your home’s value with just a few clicks. You should also use the expertise of a seasoned realtor. A realtor will review comparable sales—known as “comps”—in your neighborhood to fine-tune your home’s estimated value. They’ll also scrutinize current market conditions, including demand, supply, and seasonality, to set an attractive price that can spark bidding wars.

The timeline for selling your house can be positively or negatively affected by the price you set. Set too high of a price, and your house sits on the market for a long time. If you set too low of a price, it may sell quickly, but you may leave money on the table.  That’s why we advise using multiple sources, such as our home valuation tool and a realtor, to determine the best price for your home.

Make Your Home Shine! (1-2 Weeks)

Next up, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your home ready to dazzle potential buyers. This might involve decluttering, a bit of cleaning, or sprucing up the place with some fresh paint. You’ll also want to seriously consider staging your home to highlight its best features and create an inviting atmosphere. The timeline for selling a house is no doubt reduced by turning it into a neutral space tin which buyers can envision themselves living as opposed to feeling like a guest in someone else’s home. Remember, it’s all about creating a great first impression!

DISCOVER => Home Staging Hacks

It’s Showtime: List Your Home (1 Day)

Now comes the exciting part – listing your home for sale! Head over to Property.com’s user-friendly, AI-supported listing portal to get started. Remember, the devil is in the details, so make sure to highlight all the unique features of your home and include high-quality photos and a floor plan to attract potential buyers.

The Run-Time – How Long Your Home Stays on the Market (Variable)

When it comes to how long a property stays on the market, there are several factors at play. So, what influences this timeframe? Here are some key factors that can have a significant impact:

    1. Location: A prime location can attract more potential buyers, reducing time on the market. Neighborhoods with good schools, low crime rates, and access to amenities are highly sought after.
    2. Price: A property priced competitively based on market conditions and comparable homes in the area can sell faster. Overpriced homes tend to stay on the market longer.
    3. Condition of the Property: A well-maintained home with updated features can attract buyers faster than a home that needs significant repairs or updating.
    4. Market Conditions: In a sellers’ market, where demand exceeds supply, homes sell faster. In a buyers’ market, where supply exceeds demand, homes take longer to sell.
    5. Marketing Strategy: A strong marketing strategy that includes professional photographs, a compelling property description, and effective online listing promotion can help attract buyers faster.

Understanding these factors can help you craft a strategy to reduce the time your home spends on the market. In addition, while the goal is to sell your home quickly, it’s also important to achieve a sale price that aligns with your financial goals.

DISCOVER => Understanding the Real Estate Market: A Comprehensive Guide for Sellers

Play the Negotiation Game (1 Day to 2 Weeks)

Once the offers start rolling in, it’s time to put on your negotiation hat. This step might involve a bit of back-and-forth until you and the buyer agree on a price. But hey, that’s all part of the adventure! You can also count on your real estate agent to guide you through the negotiation process, using their skills and experience to get you a deal that meets your goals. Once you’ve accepted an offer, it’s time to close the deal.

Close the Deal (4-8 Weeks)

Congratulations, you’ve accepted an offer! Now it’s time to finalize all the paperwork and get ready to hand over the keys to your home. This process typically takes 4-8 weeks and involves various steps, such as home inspections, appraisals, and title searches. Your real estate agent and lawyer will be your guides through this final phase, ensuring everything is done correctly and on time.

Understanding Closing Costs and Why It Takes Time (30-45 days)

During the closing process, expect to encounter a variety of fees collectively referred to as ‘closing costs.’ These fees are an aggregation of charges from various parties involved in the transaction, such as your lender, real estate agent, and third-party services like inspections or appraisals. Typical closing costs include loan origination fees, credit report charges, appraisal fees, title insurance, and more.

The length of the closing process, typically 30-45 days, is due to several key steps that ensure a fair and legitimate home sale. First, the buyer’s mortgage lender must process the loan application, which involves verifying the buyer’s financial information and conducting a home appraisal. Next, a title search will be performed to ensure there are no outstanding liens on the property. Finally, all legal documents need to be prepared and reviewed, including the deed, which transfers ownership from the seller to the buyer.

Who pays what is often a matter of negotiation. Buyers typically pay the majority of the closing costs, including their mortgage-related fees and the costs associated with title insurance and inspections. Sellers, on the other hand, commonly cover costs related to transferring the property and may also offer to pay part of the buyer’s closing costs as an incentive for the sale.

This process may seem lengthy, but it’s essential to ensure the protection of all parties involved.

So, What’s Next?

Once your home is sold, it’s time to plan your move! Take a moment to reflect on all you’ve accomplished. It’s a significant milestone worth celebrating as you move on to the next chapter of your life. Enjoy this special moment, and look forward to the exciting adventures that lie ahead!

And there you have it! You’re now equipped with a comprehensive roadmap of the home selling process and a clear expectation of the timeline involved. Understanding these steps and their associated timeframes will allow you to plan and strategize effectively. As I am sure you are well aware, or you wouldn’t be reading this article, knowledge is power – the more informed you are, the smoother your home-selling journey is likely to be. Here’s to a successful sale and the exciting new chapter that lies ahead!

At Property.com, we’re here to guide you through every step of your real estate journey. Knowing the steps and the timeline involved in selling your home is just one of the many resources we provide to help you achieve your real estate goals.

Keep exploring our many helpful articles and resources, and stay informed on the latest news. Sign up here for news on what’s important to you. Your real estate dreams await! With Property.com as your partner, you have the power to make them yours.

Author

  • Beth McNeill, PhD

    Beth McNeill is a distinguished content creator and educator, holding a doctorate in sociology. Renowned for her expertise in the evolution and assimilation of scientific and technological knowledge, Beth has made significant contributions through her writings, which have been featured in both professional journals and major news publications. With over two decades of experience, she has also established herself as a compelling public speaker and a university professor, sharing her insights and knowledge with a wide range of audiences.

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