What is considered a ‘long time’ for a house to be on the market?

What is considered a ‘long time’ for a house to be on the market?
11th November 2019

When homeowners first think about putting their property on the market for sale, one of the most commonly questions asked are: “How long will it take to sell my house?”

How long does it take for a house to sell? It’s difficult for any estate agent to give a definitive answer here, as there are so many factors which influence the speed at which your house might sell. From location to interior design, kerb appeal to the proactivity of your estate agent, there is countless reasons why your home might sell more or less quickly than the one next door. Put simply, some properties sell in the blink of an eye, while others can take a while.

Speaking generally, selling a home in the UK can take an average of 2 to 3 months. However, this isn’t always the case. Some properties can be snapped up within the first week, while others remain on the market for many years.

According to the latest City Rate of Sale Report, recently released by Post Office Money Mortgages, the average property in the UK takes 102 days to find a buyer. This report examined the average time properties took to sell across 20 of Britain’s largest cities in 2018 and, unsurprisingly, the results suggested ‘time on the market’ varies considerably between cities.

Properties in Scotland – namely Edinburgh and Glasgow – spend the shortest amount of time on the market, taking an average of 39 and 48 days to sell, respectively. Compare this to prospective sellers in London, Newcastle and Liverpool, however, who typically have to wait considerably longer, with the average property taking 126 and 106 respectively to sell.


What variables does selling a property (quickly) depend on?

Number one on the list is: The Price. To set the list price of your property at the right value is the first and, arguably, the most important step for any homeowner looking to move on for two main reasons:

1.       An overpriced property will simply take longer to sell, and the likelihood is you’ll achieve less money in the long run than if you’d have priced it fairly to begin with

2.       A fair and accurately priced property will attract more buyers and take you less time to sell

When establishing the asking price of your property, ensure the final decision accurately depicts the market value of your property – not what you think it’s worth. This can be difficult, especially if you are emotionally attached to your home, but prospective buyers will not value your home based on how much you like it! Overpriced properties take much longer to sell, purely because fewer people can likely afford them, or justify the cost if your property measures up similarly to others on the market, but for less money.

The second important variable to consider is the location of your property. Unfortunately, your home’s location is the one thing you cannot alter, yet it is one of the most crucial factors for prospective buyers. In many cases, the better and more desirable your geographical location/neighbourhood is, the more interested buyers you’re likely to find.

As indicated in the City Rate of Sale Report, ‘time to sell’ varies significantly between locations, however your property’s neighbourhood is important, too:

- It’s no secret that homes situated in desirable neighbourhoods, with good schools and local amenities, low crime rates and green space are highly sought after

- Walkability to local amenities – even if just the doctors or local shop – can be a huge benefit

- Houses within strolling distance to public transport or commuter lines are always in demand

Unfortunately, whilst location is out of your control, it’s certainly a factor to consider when you come to purchase your next property. Equally, if you home isn’t situated in a location deemed ‘top of the market’, it’s important the price of your home reflects this. Your local Romans property team will be able to advise on property hotspots, and the prices properties in these areas are currently demanding.

Want to find out more? Get in touch with our Sales team by visiting your local Leaders branch, or call 01344 753 100 to discuss your requirements.


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