How Long to Sell a House in the UK
When homeowners first contemplate putting their property on the market, one of the most common questions they ask is ‘How long will it take to sell our house?’
Generally speaking, selling a home in the United Kingdom takes 2 to 3 months. However, as you may know, this is not always the case. Some properties are selling within the first week, while others remain on the market for many years.
According to the latest City Rate of Sale Report released by Post Office Money Mortgages, the average property in the UK takes 91 days to sell. The report examined the average time properties took to sell across 20 of Britain’s largest cities in 2016. The results suggested ‘time on market’ varies considerably between cities.
Properties in Bristol and Edinburgh spend the shortest time on the market, with homes typically selling in 51 and 53 days respectively. Whereas, prospective sellers in Swansea and Liverpool have to wait for the longest, with the average property remaining on the market for 100 and 108 days respectively.
In this ‘How Long to Sell a House in the UK‘ guide, we will cover the factors that can impact the length of time your property is on the market, issues that may delay a sale and how to maximise the chances of selling your home fast.
What Factors Impact How Long to Sell a House in the UK?
In a market with so many variables, it’s difficult to say exactly how long it will take to sell your house. In some cases, there’s no rationale behind how slowly or quickly a house sells. For some lucky homeowners, it’s a simple case of being in the “right place at the right time.”
However, the following five factors have a large influence onhow long to sell a house in the UK.
Price: When determining the asking price of your home, ensure the final decision accurately depicts the market value of the property. Overpriced houses take a much longer time to sell, purely because fewer people can afford them. Plus everyone loves a bargain, so houses that appear more affordable appeal to a wider market. An effective strategy to attract more buyers is to price your property slightly under market value, leading to more bids and ultimately a faster sale.
Location: It’s all about location. And this couldn’t be truer when it comes to selling your home fast. As indicated by The City Rate of Sale report, ‘time to sell’ varies significantly between cities. However, the property’s neighbourhood maybe more significant.
It’s no secret homes situated in desirable neighbourhoods, with outstanding schools, green parks and low crime rates are highly sought after. Of course, walkability has a major influence too. Houses within strolling distance to public transport are in demand.
Unfortunately, location is a factor out of your control. However, the property’s condition is one thing you can control.
Condition: As you would expect, well-maintained homes that sparkle and shine sell much faster than homes that ‘need work’. Buyers want houses that are ready to move into, not houses they have to spend time and money repairing. Read our guide for the most profitable home improvements.
Properties that have been decluttered and professionally staged enable buyers to imagine themselves living in the space. This is crucial. If buyers can’t imagine their own belongings in the house, they’ll move on.
Furthermore, professional photography is a key factor influencing buyer behaviour. High-quality images that highlight the best features of the property and make the rooms appear larger and more spacious have the ability to capture hearts. At the very least, great pictures will lure more potential buyers to your viewings.
Current market: It’s a simple measure of supply and demand. When there are fewer houses on the market and more buyers, a well-priced home will sell faster. Limited properties and high demand create a sense of scarcity, which can result in a bidding war. This is known as a ‘seller’s market’ because home sellers have the upper hand.
However, when there are fewer buyers and more homes for sale, the same property could take months to sell. This type of market, known as a ‘buyer’s market’ provides house hunters with more time to find their dream home.
If you’re a seller in a buyer’s market and you don’t have the patience, a fast home buyer, like Accelerate Homes could be the perfect solution.
What Factors can Delay the Sale of a House?
Provided all things go smoothly, a typical house should sell within 2 to 3 months. However, we recommend preparing yourself by understanding what factors can slow down the process.
Buyer Issues: When a seller accepts an offer from a buyer, the property is considered to be ‘under contract’. However, this does not mean the sale of the house is complete. The final sale is subject to buyer conditions, such as title insurance, home loan approval and final inspections, which can stall the completion of the sale by 30 to 45 days.
Contract falling through: Unfortunately, it’s common for the first contract on a home to fall through. If the buyer finds significant problems on their final inspection, or their home loan is not approved the agreement can fail, and you are back to square one.
Property chains collapsing: Unless you score a first home buyer, it is likely your buyer is also trying to sell their home. And if you’re selling your own home, you are also looking to buy another home. This is called a property chain, where the ability to purchase a home is dependent on the success of other transactions. If one link fails, the entire chain collapses, potentially causing a property disaster.
Lengthy repairs and slow tradesman: Completing the necessary repairs to get your home looking spick and span can take much longer than you might expect, especially if you’re relying on external contractors to finish the job.
Pricing your home too high: Although this was mentioned earlier, it’s worth repeating. Do not allow an estate agent to overprice your house. Buyers want more bang for their buck, and an overpriced house is a guaranteed way to limit your market and deter potential buyers.
Need to Sell your Home Fast?
If you’re looking to sell your home quickly, you should consider all of the above factors. Can you afford to wait around until a seller’s market exists? Do you have the resources to undertake the necessary repairs and home improvements? Can you provide home staging and professional photography to present the best possible version of your home? Are you brave enough to set your price slightly under the market value?
If you don’t have the time, money or patience for all of this, you may wish to consider contacting our friendly consultants. Accelerate Homes specialise in buying houses incredible fast for cash. Our mission is to help those in need, so we purchase any home, in any condition and any location.
We have a streamlined processes allowing us to finish the entire sale, from quote to completion in as little as seven days. Unlike other fast home buyer companies, we have a significant cash fund and don’t rely on investors or loans. This equals a worry-free and risk-free sale.
If your property has been on the market far too long with little interest, or you simply need an incredibly quick sale, request a free quote today by filling out this form.