How Long Does it Take to Sell Your Home?

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Your home is likely the most valuable asset you own. In the event that you decide to sell it, how long do you think it should take?

Due to the immense value and importance of property, as well as the countless regulations that surround real estate transactions, selling a home is a far more time-consuming and complicated process than sell, for example, a car.

In fact, according to a recent guide on how long it takes to sell a house, the average amount of time required to sell a residential property in the UK, from start to completion, is about 60 to 90 days.

That’s two to three months — a surprisingly long time, even with the uncertainty of Brexit and an impending election affecting house sales. Below, we’ve looked at why it can take as long as two to three months for a house to sell, as well as what you can do to speed up the process.

The first reason homes in the UK can take quite two to three months to sell are the myriad legal requirements placed on the seller.

If you’re selling a home in the UK, you’re legally required to provide buyers with an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). This process can take anywhere from one to seven days and should be carried out before you list your home on the market.

Next, there’s the marketing process. There are countless ways to sell your home, from listing it online to working with an estate agent. Each offers their pros and cons, with the DIY approach usually the slowest.

To speed up the process of attracting prospective buyers, it can help to list your home for sale at a competitive price that’s in line with the market, and focus on options that maximise visibility for your listing.

Next, there’s the process of working with a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. This is a fairly easy step that most people can take care of in one to two days.

From here, there’s the process of arranging viewings, receiving offers and finally, accepting the offer that best suits you as a seller. On average, this part of the process can take 21 to 49 days, with more appealing homes typically attracting offers the fastest.

Although you might think that waiting for an offer is the most time-consuming part of the process of selling your home, the reality is that the post-offer searches, legal inquiries and surveys often take longer than this.

This is the part of the process in which you and the prospective buyer will need to deal with the Land Registry, review the mortgage offer and carry out any relevant searches. The process can vary slightly depending on your location and the type of property you’re selling.

On average, this part of the process takes between 28 and 84 days. However, in some areas, or for certain properties, issues that pop up during this process could increase the amount of time that’s required before you and the buyer can reach a deal.

Finally, there’s the exchanging of contracts and the completion of the deal. This is where you, as the seller, and the buyer will reach an agreement regarding the property and legally commit to a deal regarding the sale.

While this part of the process can feel like the home stretch, the reality is that many home sales fall apart during the exchange of contracts. In fact, a recent study found that more than 300,000 sales fall apart at this stage every year, costing parties an estimated £2,727.

Altogether, the average amount of time required to sell your home in the UK is 60 to 90 days, or two to three months. As such, it’s important to plan ahead and take steps to make your home an appealing asset, from pricing it realistically to ensuring it’s well maintained and presented.

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