How quickly can you sell a house?

That depends on a great number of factors – many of which are out of your hands. You may sell quickly in a traditional sale… if you get an offer straight away. If they have solid financing, and if it does not fall through. If there are no significant issues with the house, such as a faulty roof or frayed wiring. If…the list goes on and on. That, for many people, is far too many ifs to contend with especially when you need to complete a sale on an accelerated timeline.

In this article, we will take a look at the typical house sale process, as well as alternatives that may save you both time and money.

How Quickly Can You Sell a House With an Estate Agent?

Again, your timeline will be unique to you. But in general, you will need to:

  • List and market the house in order to appeal to the right types of buyers.
  • Arrange viewings. Typically, it takes about 10 viewings to get a viable offer.
  • Accept an hour. This usually occurs anywhere from a week to a month out. This is highly dependent on the state of the market and your specific property, however, so it may take much longer.
  • Undertake legal enquiries, searches and surveys. These legal and technical aspects can take up to ten weeks to complete.
  • Negotiate and arrange contracts. A buyer can still back out at this juncture. If so, you are right back where you started.
  • Exchange contracts. This can take two or so weeks.
  • Completion. Finally!

On average, it takes four to six months to complete a sale. And we cannot emphasise enough: it all depends on various factors, many of which you cannot directly influence or control.

Is an Auction or Short Sale a Solution?

With an auction, you could sell your home in about 45 to 60 days. Not bad. But there are some
drawbacks to consider. You typically require a fair amount of equity in the home to make it
worthwhile, and still, you could be forced to accept the minimum bid.

Let’s dispense with a common misconception: a short sale doesn’t mean your timeline is short!
It means the price is. With this method, you ask your lender if you can sell your home for less
than you owe. This is usually more suitable to those who are in arrears and/or facing
repossession. But a short sale can take much longer than a traditional sale, so it is not for those
facing a pressing time crunch.

What About a Cash Property Buyer?

How quickly can you sell a house with a cash buyer who specialises in fast sales? In a matter of weeks. Generally, it takes just 21 – 28 days to get from your initial enquiry to completion. You
submit a simple internet form and within a day, you will receive an offer in principle. If you decide to continue, the cash buyer company will then instruct valuations professionals who will inspect the property.

When this is finished, they make a formal offer. This may change if there are significant issues with the house (e.g. faulty roof, damaged plumbing, etc.). The offer is contingent upon a RICS report. Once this is complete, and you want to proceed, they will move towards completion. All
of the legal and technical work is done by the company and you will bear no costs. (You should be free to use your own solicitor, if you choose, or you may work with one provided as part of the house buying service).

Within a few weeks, you can be rid of a house you no longer want or cannot afford – and have the funds in your bank account to help fuel your next steps. This is the quickest way to sell a house, and one that gives you more control over the process.