How Long Will It Take To Sell My House?

Published on February 11, 2018

There are many factors that will affect the length of time it takes to sell your house.  Every transaction is different.  In each deal there is a group of people working for you the seller, and for the purchaser.  Most real estate deals include the buyer, the seller, the listing agent representing the seller, the buyer’s agent, the buyer’s loan officer and lending institution, the buyer’s attorney, the seller’s attorney, the seller’s attorney’s title company, the seller’s attorney survey company, the lender’s attorney, the home inspector, the appraiser and the list goes on…  

So many people involved, it takes a lot to keep them moving in unison towards the closing.  Firstly, the listing agent must have an understanding of the time of year in which buyers will be most interested in the house.  Generally speaking, homes that are listed during the Spring sell the fastest, while homes listed in the winter take the longest to sell. This is due to the increased buyer demand toward the beginning and mid year and the waning of that demand during the colder holiday months, when it can be harder to move. 

One of the most important factors that will definitely have an impact on your length on the market is pricing.  The price of a house depends on what similar style homes are selling for in the same location. Want to get substantially more for your house than everyone else? Be prepared to wait until the market catches up to your expectations. Typically, any house that is priced accurately will sell within 90 days or less. From there, you can add an extra month onto the listing period per increase based on how many more thousands of dollars you are over the average price of the nearest comparable sales. 

How long a house will take to sell also depends on the most likely buyer.  Homes in neighborhoods with a high number of first time buyers may take longer to sell than homes in an area with older buyers who may be willing to pay cash.  In the Greater Buffalo Niagara / New York Area, cash sales close within 30 – 45 days. Deals that include financing take on average 45 to 60 days from the time of contract to close. Not all mortgages are the same, conventional mortgages typically close within a shorter amount of time than FHA, or VA mortgages, which can carry extra inspection contingencies. 


In every listing there are two main time periods, 1. the time it takes to get an offer (Days On Market or DOM) and 2. the time it takes to close.   Across the entire MLS for 2017, the median days on market was between 25 and 30 days.  So far, in January of this current year 2018 the median days on  market was 18 days.   


The important dates regarding the selling of your house include: 

The Listing Date – Date that the house is listed for sale in the MLS

The Listing Expiration Date – date the listing expires and the contract between the listing agent and the seller is terminated

The Open House Date – Time at which the open house is scheduled. Usually within 1 week of the listing date. 

The Date Offers will be reviewed – Deadline in which offers on your house are due from prospective buyers

The Contract Date – Date the contract is signed by the buyer as an offer to the seller

The Home Inpection Deadline – Deadline that the buyer has to complete their home inspection and submit their property inspection addendum to the seller. The property inspection addendum lets the seller know if the buyer would like any repairs. 

The Escrow Deadline – Date the escrow is due from the buyer.  This is either within 2 days of attorney approval, or at the time of home inspection.

The Buyer’s Mortgage Application Deadline – date the buyer must submit their application for a loan to their lender.  

The Buyer’s Mortgage Commitment Deadline – Date the buyer’s lender must issue their commitment letter formally qualifying the purchaser to move forward and buy the house. 

The Final Walk-through Date – Day that the buyer and their agent tour the house to make sure it looks the same as when they first saw it. This is usually the day before closing

The Closing Date – Date the transaction is finalized



Anja Wright 

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