How long does a house sale take?

Whether you’re considering selling your home or have had your house on the market for a while, you may find yourself asking the question: how long will it take to sell my home?


12th September, 2021

Updated 30/08/2023

Whether you’re considering selling your home or have had your house on the market for a while, you may find yourself asking the question: how long will it take to sell my home?

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In this guide we’ll answer questions like: what is the average time taken to sell a house in the UK, what are the steps involved in selling your house and how long can your house be on the market for? We’ll also cover some of the critical factors that can delay the sale of your home and make suggestions for how you can speed up the sale of your home. Read on for more information or use the menu below to navigate easily.

What is the average time taken to sell a house in the UK?

The average time taken to get an offer for your home in the UK is 6 weeks (figures provided by Hometrack, a residential property market specialist). As you’d expect, this figure varies depending upon location. Properties in London and the South East of England sell much more quickly than the rest of the country, averaging only 4 weeks to sell. In the North West of the UK sale times are typically much longer, taking an average of 10 weeks to sell your house. The table below shows a breakdown of average time taken to sell a house by region:

Region Time to receive offer
East Anglia 5 weeks
East Midlands 7 weeks
Greater London 4 weeks
North East 10 weeks
North West 8 weeks
South East 4 weeks
South West 6 weeks
Wales 5 weeks
West Midlands 8 weeks
Yorkshire & Humberside 9 weeks
National 6 weeks

SmoothSale can provide you with a no obligation cash offer for your property in as little as one hour. Just complete our simple house valuation form and one of our property specialists will be in touch right away.

What are the steps involved in selling your house?

There are six steps involved in the typical sale of a property. The main ones are:

      • Obtaining a mortgage in principle: this is a relatively quick process and is often done before the prospective buyer views the property. The usual time taken to obtain a mortgage in principle is usually around 24 hours.
      • Getting an offer accepted: from listing the property and conducting viewings to receiving an offer to sell your home the time taken is typically around 36 days.
      • Ordering property searches: property searches are backlogged at the moment and can take up to three weeks, but there’s also the time taken between accepting the offer and the property searches actually being ordered to consider. The entire process typically takes around 4 weeks.
      • Arranging mortgage and conveyancing: once the offer has been accepted and searches are complete the buyer will have to arrange their mortgage and conveyancing. This typically takes around 10 weeks from end to end.
      • Exchange of Contracts: Once the mortgage has been arranged and conveyancing is complete, the buyer and seller exchange contracts and the sale of the property is agreed.
      • Completion: the time taken from exchanging contracts to selling the property can take as little as 1 day up to 4 weeks depending on the parties involved.

According to the entire process takes around 6 months. The shrewd amongst you will have noticed that this is much longer than the figures above. This is because the majority of time taken to sell a home is actually taken up with the conveyancing work that comes after an offer is accepted. This complexity is what drives many homeowners to consider selling their house for cash to a reputable quick house sale company like SmoothSale.

As previously mentioned, the length of time that your house will be on the property market depends upon which part of the UK you’re located in. If your home has been on the market for significantly longer than the average time for your area it’s worth considering which factors could be negatively impacting the speed of your house sale. We’ve broken down some of the most common ones here.

What can delay the sale of my house?

A number of factors can delay the sale of your property. Here are five of the most common ones:

      • Asking price: if your property has been languishing on the market without much interest it’s possible that you’ve set the asking price too high. Speak with your estate agent and discuss whether the price is reasonable, review comparable properties that have sold in your area, and be prepared to reconsider the asking price you’ve set for your home.
      • Marketing: people are increasingly looking to the internet to initiate their property search. It’s important that you make sure your property’s online presence is up to scratch. Make sure that pictures are high quality and captioned, the description is clear, features are highlighted and floor plans and energy performance certificates (EPCs) are provided.
      • Property Market Conditions: the state of the property market will impact the speed of your house sale. When the property market is booming it is easier to sell a house fast. When things are slower it can take much longer, and you may have to take a hit on the asking price or perhaps renovate or do home improvements to make your property stand out from the rest of the market.
      • Quality of Estate Agent: all agents are not created equal. If your estate agent is not being proactive and following up with prospective buyers quickly you may lose a potential sale. Stay on top of your estate agent to ensure that they’re doing what they should be to sell your house.
      • Property Presentation: if your house is marketed well online then it will likely strum up some interest and potential buyers will want to come and view the property. When they do you need to make sure that the property is presented well so that they can see it in its best light. This means decluttering, tidying, and boosting the curb appeal of your property to attract an offer.

How can I speed up the sale of my house?

As you’d expect, speeding up the sale of your house means addressing any of the issues outlined above:

      • Set a fair price: estate agents often overvalue properties to win business over their competition. This can lead to delays with your house sale. Go with an agent and price that seems realistic in comparison to the current market. Taking the time to set a fair initial price is critical, as reducing the price at a later date won’t have the same effect as listing it with a fair price in the first place.
      • Market the property effectively: it can be a pain to get your listing marketed well, from taking great pictures to thinking through the key selling points. This is time well spent however, since this is the first look that prospective buyers will have at your property. Ensure that your listing presents your property in the best possible way to attract buyers.
      • Choose the right agent: go with a reputable agent that has a track record of selling properties quickly. Look online for reviews and recommendations and consult friends and family members in your search. Investing the time up front to select the right agent can save you the pain of switching agents further down the line.
      • Time the property market: list your property at a time that the market is flying. It’s hard to time this against the economic climate, but certain times of the year are always better to sell a property. Properties sell fast in the Spring, whereas the Christmas period is notoriously slow.
      • Present the property well: make sure the property is clean and clear of clutter for viewings and be on hand to answer any questions that the buyer may have if you’re conducting viewings yourself. Rightmove have written a great article on how to prepare your property for a viewing. If an agent is conducting viewings on your behalf then ensure that they’re aware of all of the key property features and selling points. This will equip them to sell the house fast.

Taking the time to address each of these points puts you in the best position to sell your house fast.

Can I sell my house in 7 days?

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How long will my house be on the market?

Yes! If you’re struggling with the stress and pain of selling your house on the open market then SmoothSale can help.

Our cash house buyers service is designed for vendors looking for a guaranteed sale of their property in as little as 7 days. Alternatively, we offer an ‘Investor Marketing’ route to market for vendors who want to sell their property to our network of trusted investors in under 30 days. Get a cash offer today! Alternatively, get in contact on 0800 368 8952.

FAQs About House Selling Timeline

How can I speed up the house selling process?

To expedite the process, focus on enhancing your property’s appearance, pricing competitively, and collaborating closely with your real estate agent.

What if I receive multiple offers?

Receiving multiple offers can be a positive sign. Work with your agent to carefully review each offer’s terms and choose the one that aligns with your goals.

Can I sell my house during the winter months?

Yes, houses can be sold during any season. While spring and summer tend to be more active, motivated buyers are often present year-round.

Is staging my home necessary?

Staging can significantly impact buyers’ perception of your property. A well-staged home can help potential buyers visualise living there, potentially leading to faster offers.

How can a real estate agent help in the process?

A skilled real estate agent brings expertise in pricing, marketing, negotiation, and contracts. Their guidance can streamline the process and improve your chances of a successful sale.

What happens if my house doesn’t sell within the expected time frame?

If your house isn’t selling, it’s essential to reassess your pricing, marketing strategy, and property condition. You may need to make adjustments to attract more buyers.

Sell your house for cash to SmoothSale

Simply enter your details below to get a no-obligation cash offer for your house.


Sell your house for cash to SmoothSale

Simply enter your details below to get a no-obligation cash offer for your house.


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