You’ve decided to sell your house sometime in the near future. However, a lot must happen between now and that bittersweet moment when you hand over the keys. To keep your stress levels at a minimum, it’s essential to know how to sell a house.
Whether you’re a first-timer or simply need to brush up on home-selling 101, you may be looking for clarity on what to repair before selling and when to contact a Realtor. You must also learn how to set an asking price, how long it will take to get an offer, and when your buyers will move in.
You’ll find those answers and more here. Let’s review how to sell a house in 10 simple steps.
1. Pick a move-out date and work backward
According to Marc Austin Highfill, a real estate agent with 24 years of experience who has helped sell more than 2,000 properties in the Richmond, Virginia, area, sellers should decide when to close and set milestone goals between now and that endpoint.
“What I have found works best is to work a timeline backward,” he says. “We ask, ‘When do they want to move out of the house?’ That means looking at when they want to move. Then it’s when they need to be under contract, and then when we need to be actively listed.”
|Typical timeline||Downsizing||Sell for cash|
|Listing prep||2-3 weeks||6-12 months||None|
|Time on market||2-4 weeks||2-4 weeks||None|
|Time to close||5-6 weeks||5-6 weeks||1 to 3 weeks|
|Total time||2.5-3.5 months||8-15 months||1 to 3 weeks|
Review the rough estimates above to get a ballpark idea of how long it takes to sell a house. Then, consider your circumstances and decide how much preparation you’ll need. Work with your agent to lay out a plan from there.
The typical home sale often requires around two to three weeks of preparation, and two to four weeks listed on the market. However, those timelines can change based on the seller’s goals and personal situation, as well as your local housing market conditions.