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How Long Is the Process of Selling a House? Really?

Once you put your home on the market, it’s easy to assume that the hard work ends there. However, the reality of selling a house can be very different.

The truth is, there are a number of factors that contribute to just how long it will take to sell your home.

Whether you’re a brand new seller or this isn’t your first rodeo, let’s talk numbers.

How Long Is the Process of Selling a House, Typically?

According to experts, the average Irish home selling time is seven months, depending on how hot or cold your market is.

This usually spans from the first day of marketing the home to legal completion, but there are a few steps in between that can implicate the timeline.

  • From the first day of marketing to the acceptance of an offer, including viewings — the average time frame is 18 weeks
  • From the acceptance of an offer to the exchange of contracts, including legal enquiries and the negotiation with a buyer — the average time frame is 9 weeks
  • From the exchange of contracts to legal completion — the average time frame is 14 days

If the transaction fails for any reason, this can put you back 9 weeks to the “acceptance of offer” stage.

It might also interest you to know that the average number of viewings it takes to sell a house is 10. Therefore, if you know you definitely want to move in the near future, you might want to kickstart the advertising process sooner rather than later!

Which Factors Impact the Time It Takes to Sell a House?

Honestly, it’s difficult to answer the question of “how long does a house take to sell?”. This is down to the fact that there are a number of things that can interfere with the process.

Every Sale is Different

First things first, every house, market and individual sale will vary according to the number of days that the home has already been on the market and how much interest it’s getting.

In the current pandemic climate, there’s a significant delay with closings (sometimes up to 60 days).

It’s important to keep in mind that what worked for your old pal Sally might not work for you if she had a country bungalow and you have a city flat. That said, the key to success is persistence.

The State of the Market

How hot or cold the market is can also significantly affect how long it takes your crib to sell.

  • A hot market is a sellers’ market where you’ll have the upper hand, your home is likely to sell quickly when it’s reasonably priced and bidding wars are common.
  • A cold market is a buyers’ market where your buyer will have the upper hand. As a result, you’ll need to price your home more competitively so it’s not sat on the market until you’re old and grey.

And do you know what the frustrating thing is? You’re unable to control the temperature of the market. (If only we could make it as hot as we want, right?)

The Condition of Your Home

Typically, a house that doesn’t need any repairs or renovations is more likely to sell faster than a house that appears to be falling apart at the seams.

After all, buyers want to be able to move straight into a property without having to do any work.

If the house isn’t exactly presentable at viewings, this may also put a potential buyer off.


It goes without saying that an overpriced house could sit on the market longer than a reasonably priced home.

How come? Well, there might be a lack of offers. In fact, if an accepted offer is above the appraised value, this could lead to the bank not approving the loan.

Having said that, a good solicitor can help you make sure that the price is always right.

Solicitors’ Experience

Speaking of a good solicitor, they will have years of experience when it comes to marketing and selling houses. Because of this, they’ll be able to hold your hand through the process so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

The quality of the solicitor’s work and timeliness can also impact the length of the process.

That’s why it’s important not to make your choice based on price. Needless to say, the cheap ones tend to be overworked and more difficult to deal with.

Buyer’s Financial Situation

If you’re part of a chain of buyers and sellers, your house can take longer to sell.

This is because once a buyer’s offer has been accepted, it’s the seller that’s responsible for drawing up a legal contract to transfer ownership. Until this contract has been exchanged, the offer isn’t legally binding and theoretically the buyer can choose to pull out.

On the other hand, the buyer’s loan may get delayed or fall through, even if everything else goes according to plan.

Tips to Speed Up Selling Your Home: Do’s and Don’ts

While you’re unable to control how fast your house will sell, you can control certain things that might accelerate the sale. Here’s our list of do’s and don’ts:

  • Don’t go for the cheapest solicitor
  • Do choose a high-quality experienced solicitor to work with
  • Do work with your solicitor closely to get the price right
  • Do be flexible with scheduling when it comes to viewings and inspections
  • Don’t do major renovations which could cost you time and money with little Return On Investment (ROI)
  • Do make small repairs that won’t cost too much but will have a big impact
  • Do reduce clutter in your home to make it more appealing during viewings

The trick is to make the best first impression with potential buyers to spark their interest.

Do you find that you have a lot of items around your house making it look untidy? Not to worry — consider renting a self-storage unit through Nesta. This will allow you to clear any clutter out of your home for viewings without having to get rid of your precious belongings or donate them.

Want more details? Request a quote now.

 Decluttering Your Home

How Long Should You Leave Your House on the Market?

If it’s been years and you’re still wondering “how long does it take to sell a house?” then this might be a sign that your home has been on the market for longer than the average.

In this case, Toronto agent Michael Kallis says that one solution is to take it off the market and then re-list it after a couple of weeks.

Essentially, when you search for a home online, it will show you how long the house has been on the market. A newer date will get more attention and traction compared to an old one. Think about it.

How Long Is the Process of Selling a House? The Takeaway

Trying to answer the question “how long is the process of selling a house?” is like trying to answer the question “how long is a piece of string?”.

Even though the average time frame of selling a home is 15 to 25 weeks, there are many variables involved that can prolong (or shorten) the process. Just believe that you will get there eventually and you will achieve it before you know it!

In the meantime, Nesta is here to help you when you need to store your things along the way. 

Get a storage price quote now >