Skip to content

How long is too long?

The housing market is fickle and depending upon where you live, it can take from 10 to 298 days to sell your house. You may choose to sell your house by Auction or Private Sale; an intense auction campaign may take six weeks and private sale can take more time than an auction albeit a less intimidating process.

The reality is, there is no magic number as to how long it will take for that big red SOLD sign to be stuck on your board out the front of your house. However, there are a few reasons why it may take a while to sell a house, so let’s explore a few:

Why do homes stay on the market?

  • Overpriced – An agent may have misled the seller to get the listing. Unfortunately, this scenario is more common than we care to think, so it’s important to know what has sold in your area and keep your price within a realistic range.
  • Test the market – At times sellers want to see if a buyer will pay an inflated price because they are either foolish or fall in love with the property. If your house has some unique features it’s possible to attract a buyer willing to pay a higher price.
  • Stubbornness – Buyer’s may be stuck on a price and prepared to wait until the market catches up.
  • Buyer’s market – It can take longer to sell a house in a buyer’s market as there is usually a lot of competition with many houses on the market to compare.
  • Tenant occupied – this could make it difficult to obtain an appointment. If your property is tenanted it could restrict the amount of inspections and stifle flexibility.
  • Not suitable for inspection – At times sellers put their homes on the market before they are finished preparing the house for sale. Ideally you want to present your house in the best possible light; make sure any painting or odd jobs are done before the sale board goes up.
  • Reduced commission – Commissions are negotiable but make sure you are getting the service you deserve. If you are selling a high-end property you should be able to negotiate a lower commission with ease. If not, it’s a competitive industry so shop around for a great, enthusiastic agent.
  • Limited Internet or multiple listing services – You want to get the most exposure you can so make sure your property is listed on a number of websites and also in print form to cover all buyer’s needs.


The key is to choose the right agent! The right agent would know the property market in your area well and be able to advise you of the best method of sale as well as give you an average ‘days on market’ figure to guide you as to how long it may take to sell your property. You will need to reach an agreement about the rate of commission, estimated price and cost of advertising. Quoting the old adage, “Position, position, position!”… Don’t underestimate presentation and professional sales agents when it comes to selling your house for the right price.

Secure your financial future today!