Table of Contents
How long it takes to sell a house is one of the questions we are frequently asked. Whether people are moving for a job, accommodating a larger family, for school applications or because they are desperate for extra space, keeping the process as quick, simple and streamlined as possible is always a priority for potential buyers.
Unfortunately, this has never been truer than the past year when the stamp duty holiday pushed demand to unprecedented levels as potential buyers raced to meet the deadline.
The question of how long it takes to sell in the UK is not simple. There are two timescales to think about – the time to find a buyer and how long the conveyancing process takes once a sale is agreed upon.
The average time it takes to get an offer on your property varies widely. For example, getting an offer on your house is based on factors such as the asking price, location, condition, whether there is a chain and how hot or cold the property market is.
The time it takes to get completion (the date you hand over keys and get paid for your property) depends on how quickly your conveyancer and estate agent act.
Some sellers have a chain (the number of people selling and buying, of which you are one of them). This can significantly impact the sale of a house too. However, the urgency created by the stamp duty holiday considerably slowed the selling process for many hopeful buyers.
While it is impossible to say precisely how long it will take to sell your house, we can offer you a few averages. We can also answer some of the questions from sellers and buyers around this topic to help you decide whether now is the right time for you.
How long will my house stay on the market?
The average time it takes to find a buyer is usually quoted as between five weeks and 14 weeks, depending on how hot or not the market is. Over the past year, as demand increased, this average fell, with many reports of homes selling in days.
How long will it take to sell my house after an offer is accepted?
In normal circumstances, the average time to sell a home, from accepting an offer to exchange of contracts, is 65 days – or just over two months.
It also depends on how good and active your solicitor deals with your sale.
However, the pressure on the process of selling a property during COVID-19 was immense. However, due to the stamp duty holiday, coronavirus restrictions on banks and conveyancers delayed the sale process to five months or more during 2020/21.
When selling, how long does it take between exchange and completion?
Most buyers set two weeks between exchange and completion. This time can be reduced if you need a quick sale or deal with things, which often happens, especially if you are in long property chains. If this is the case, you need to factor in extra time in case of an issue.
This issue may be with a buyer or seller in your property chain, not necessarily you.
How long does it take to sell my house with no chain?
If you are lucky to have a buyer without a place to sell and are not buying right now either, things should go smoothly and quickly. The sale will move even more rapidly if you have a cash buyer who does not need to require a mortgage. Often known as a cash property buyer.
It should take ten weeks to complete a sale to a first-time buyer with a mortgage. Ten weeks is from the time you make a mortgage application. Where there is no chain, and you have a cash buyer. You should be looking at no more than 8 weeks or even 4 weeks if you have an experienced buyer and a good, proactive conveyancer.
In some circumstances, it can all happen in 2 weeks or less. But usually where professional property buying services are involved.
What are my options if I need to sell my house quickly?
This will depend on how quickly you mean, the state of the local market in your area, and how desirable a prospect it is. For example, if you need to sell in a few weeks and there is not substantial demand for your type of property, you may need to look at buying firms or go to an auction.
Tips to speed up a sale?
You can speed up the sale by choosing your estate agent wisely. You should not necessarily go for the cheapest or the one who values your property more. Make sure your home the sale price is competitively and staged to sell. Choose the right conveyancer, too – shop around and read reviews. It would be best if you had someone who would be very proactive.
You will also need to be selective about offers. If speed is of the essence, go for chain-free or, ideally, cash buyers. It would help if you also were very organised; keep in close contact with your conveyancer and be around – do not book a holiday during the sale period.
What could delay a quick house sale?
Many factors, from a slow or overworked solicitor to overpricing, can derail your sale and make it take longer.
You can’t do much about some of these, like a buyer pulling out somewhere in your chain. But there are things you can do to avoid others. These include choosing the right solicitor and estate agent and keeping in touch – calling them each week.
Getting to know your buyer can help too. Make sure you have all the paperwork, such as guarantees and certificates, to hand in before you get an offer and sign everything immediately. Instruct your conveyancer early on too. And if you are buying and selling a home, do your research and decide on the mortgage lenders you want to use.
What time of the year is a good time to sell a property?
Traditionally, spring and early summer are considered the best times to sell; when more prospective buyers are looking, you’re more likely to get interested in your property.
Early autumn is also regarded as a good time, with the summer holiday (August), and Christmas is usually seen as a dead time when you struggle to make a quick sale.
The coronavirus pandemic has turned a lot of this conventional wisdom on its head. Last summer was hectic, thanks to the launch of the stamp duty holiday, as was December – when its deadline was in sight.
This means that the best month to buy is less clear-cut than it used to be – so go to market when the time is right for you.
How long do I need to live in a house before selling it?
There is no legal restriction on selling your house soon after buying it, but a few practical considerations. First, you will need to pay stamp duty on two house purchases for one – quite a steep tax bill.
The sale price will be less than the property’s market value, but when you compare the price achieved through a traditional sale to a cash sale, the difference may be less than you think!
Prospective Buyers may wonder why the property is on the market again and suspect the worst. You may also struggle to get a new mortgage six or even 12 months after your previous one was granted.
How quickly can I sell a leasehold property?
Leasehold properties can take longer because the transactions tend to be more complex and involve dealing with management companies. Help speed things up by instructing a conveyancer with experience in leasehold property sales.
If you’re considering putting your house on the market in east London, now is still a good time as demand for properties is vital. So if you are looking for a quick sale, we are a local estate agent who can help you develop the marketing strategy to help you find the right buyer.
Estate agent fees
No fees – please, do not confuse us with traditional estate agents and estate agent fees, we’re cash buyers, and we will even cover your solicitors’ costs. If you choose to sell your property using our sell house fast service guarantees a short sale with completion in as little as 7 days!
As it is a private sale, you will save thousands in estate agency fees, and there will be no legal costs once the house is sold. So we’ll give you a fair price from the start.
Like any selling route, there are some differences to consider when using a quick house sale company, and exploring these when you decide to sell is essential.
Why should I use a fast house sale company rather than a high street, online estate agent, or auction?
With a high street estate agent, your property could be sat on the open market for months without any viewings, let alone offers, and the same goes for an online estate agent.
Here are a few reasons why quick house sale companies like ours could be a better option. First, agents charge you a fee, typically 1% of your house price.
As is our membership of NAPB & TPO, which requires us to operate to a strict code of conduct and ensure you receive the best quality of service possible, the purchase price we offer you is what you’ll get!
There is nothing wrong with estate agents and online property portals, but the process can be long, costly and incredibly stressful.
Selling with an estate agent While working with the right property buying company can guarantee you a fast and easy sale; unfortunately, this speed and certainty come at a cost.
This stage of the process is just one of the stages where the sale could fall through – if your buyer isn’t happy with the outcome of the property searches, they may try to renegotiate or pull out of the deal altogether.