Sellers October 19, 2017

Seller’s Timeline: How long does it take to sell a house?

Last week, we dove into the timeline that buyers can expect. So this week, we’re seeing what sellers can expect when listing their home.

Six to eight weeks out

Six to eight weeks before you’d like to put your house on the market, start looking for your partner in crime: your agent. Look for someone who cares about your end goal, who is knowledgeable about the current market, and who you are comfortable with. You will go through a lot together in the next few months! Once you’ve chosen an agent, you’ll sign a listing agreement and some other documentation. Make sure to ask them about any fixes or remodeling work the agent thinks will pay off.

Four to six weeks out

For the next few weeks, get your house ready! Now isn’t the time to do a full kitchen remodel, but you do need to: clean the place from top to bottom, do some basic painting, and fix any cosmetic or functional issues that will be a turn-off to buyers.

Two to three weeks out

It’s time to start moving out. For real. Just a little bit at a time will not only help you with your impending move, but it will get rid of a lot of clutter and overall junk…and a tidy house with minimal furniture is a big plus for potential buyers. Try to pack away a lot of personal items. As gorgeous as I’m sure your wedding pictures are, potential buyers want to imagine their photos there…not yours. Also, start spreading the word that you’re moving! It’s a nice heads up for everyone: friends, family, and neighborhoods. Plus, you never know who may know someone looking to live in the area!

One week out

Now it’s time for pictures! Your agent will be able to recommend some staging tips and help you make the house look as much like a model home as possible. Then they’ll either hire out a photographer or, if they are able to, they will take photos themselves. The for-sale sign will go in your yard within the next couple of days, too.

Listing Day

It’s now time to go live! Your agent will likely share the listing within their MLS, as well as posting the listing on Zillow or Trulia. From now until a contract is signed around, live in a constantly clean state. Even if you requested appointments or for a few hours notice, there are potential buyers and their agents who will call on the way over. It just always happens. So remember to make your bed every morning, don’t leave dishes in the sink and wipe down the counter…often. The surest way to make sure a buyer stops by is to leave your house in a fenzy, with dirty clothes still on the floor…and no way to get back home between now and then.


Now just wait for the offers to come in…hopefully. If it’s a hot market right now, and you aren’t seeing much movement on your house…it almost always comes down to price. Don’t be afraid to adjust, and adjust early. In any market, the sooner you sell, the higher the price you’re likely to get.


Remember: selling a home takes a whole lot of preparation and patience.