How Long Does It Take to Sell a House in California

How long does it take to sell a house? As of October 2023, homes spent an average of 50 days on the market. This duration has increased from a minimum of 30 days on the market observed in May 2022 but decreased from a maximum of 74 days in January 2023.

Days on market is an important indicator that measures the period from when a house is listed until it enters into a contract with a buyer. The specific duration for any given house varies based on the property itself and the dynamics of the local real estate market.

The selling timeline can extend further when considering the closing process. According to data from Ice Mortgage Technology, the average timeframe to finalize a purchase loan is 45 days.

From the initial listing to the final closing, the entire process approximately spans 3 and a half months (nearly two months to receive an offer and just under a month and a half for the closing process). This estimate does not include the time potentially required to prepare the house for listing.

On the other hand, opting to sell your house for cash could streamline this process significantly. Sell Quick California offers a rapid solution, allowing you to receive an offer within a few days and potentially reducing the closing period to as brief as one to two weeks, in return for accepting an offer that may be below market value.

How is the shift in the market impacting the time to sell?

In the current market for single-family homes, it generally takes about 50 to 100 days to sell a house — sometimes even longer, depending on the area.

The prolonged time to sell is largely due to a significant increase in mortgage rates that started in mid-2022. These rates are still high, which has decreased the pool of buyers who can afford or are willing to buy a home.

There was a slight increase in pending home sales, which are sales contracts that have been signed but not yet finalized, by 1.1% in September 2023.

Seasonality plays a crucial role in how quickly homes are sold. Data shows that homes listed in April and May typically sell 20-30 days quicker than those listed in January:

To put it in context, although the pace of the market has decelerated from the extremely rapid conditions experienced from mid-2020 to mid-2022, the current figures are moving towards the historical norms. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) noted that the average time on market in July 2011 was 98 days, improving to 68 days by 2012, which was considered fast following the housing market downturn of the late 2000s.

It’s important to note that the days on market and time to close figures are averages derived from a large number of home sales. Some financing companies may complete the process quicker, in as few as 30 days.

Large financing companies often face more bureaucratic hurdles that can delay loan approval and funding. Conversely, smaller, local lenders may achieve shorter closing times due to their agility and greater familiarity with local market nuances.

Stages Of Selling A House with Sell Quick California

Understanding whether potential buyers will be attracted to your home can be uncertain, yet the process of selling a house follows a clear sequence of steps. Here’s what you should anticipate:

Listing The Property

Initiating the sale involves setting a price for your home and putting it on the market. After your property is listed, your real estate agent can organize showings, allowing interested buyers to explore your home.

Choosing the right moment to list your home is crucial, as seasonal factors can significantly affect the speed of the sale. A skilled real estate agent from Sell Quick California can help assess these factors and provide guidance throughout the listing phase.

Accepting An Offer

When offers begin to arrive, negotiation starts to finalize the sale price. You might receive offers that fall short of your expectations. In such cases, you have the option to either accept the initial offer or negotiate for a more favorable deal.

After reaching an agreement on price that both you and the buyer are happy with, you’ll proceed by accepting the offer, thereby advancing the sales process.

Appraisal And Inspection

Having listed your home and accepted an offer might seem like you’ve crossed the major hurdles, but challenges can still arise.

Delays often occur during the appraisal and inspection stages. An appraisal, usually required by the buyer’s mortgage lender, assesses your home’s fair market value to ensure the buyer isn’t overpaying.

A home inspection evaluates your property for any significant issues concerning health, safety, or mechanics. Discovery of numerous problems may lead the buyers to reconsider their offer, or at the very least, require you to address these issues before finalizing the sale.

Final Negotiations

Post-appraisal and inspection, there may be further negotiations dealing with any contingencies the buyers wish to be resolved before concluding the sale.


The final step involves closing the sale and transferring ownership to the new buyers. At this stage, you will review and sign all necessary closing documents and receive the sale proceeds.

Ensure you have vacated the property by the agreed closing date, collecting any keys, access codes, and garage door openers to hand over to the new homeowners.

How Long Does It Take to Sell a House in California

Preparation Time for Selling Your Home with Sell Quick California

The time required to get a home ready for sale depends on the amount of maintenance and updates a homeowner has previously undertaken. On average, it might take about a month to prepare a house for the market.

The preparation process often begins with a visit from your agent, who will advise on necessary improvements and, crucially, what efforts might be unnecessary and not beneficial to the sale’s pace.

“Sellers sometimes focus on tasks that don’t enhance the sale process or speed it up,” notes a representative from Sell Quick California.

Jamie McMartin, renowned for rapid sales, shares her strategy for expediting the sale process: “With the right planning, I can have a home staged, photographed, and listed within 48 hours. Typically, the entire preparation takes three to five days.”

McMartin outlines the expedited selling schedule she employs when feasible:

  • Listing Preparation: Involves staging, professional photography, crafting the listing description, creating 3-D tours, and placing the for-sale sign. This stage can take 3-5 days, but in urgent scenarios, as little as 48 hours.
  • Listing Launch: The listing goes live, optimally on a Wednesday to allow a couple of days to attract showing interest, taking about 1 day.
  • Showings and Open House: Showings start on Friday, with open houses scheduled for the weekend, spanning 3 days.
  • Offer Review and Negotiations: Offers are ideally received by Sunday night, with negotiations completed by Monday at 5 p.m., taking around 2 days.
  • Inspection Period: The home inspection is conducted, with the report reviewed and any necessary amendments negotiated over 5-7 days.
  • Appraisal Period: Following the payment of the appraisal fee by the buyer, the appraiser evaluates the property and submits a report to the lender, a process lasting 8-10 days.
  • Appraisal-Related Negotiations: If necessary, this can take an additional 1-2 days.

This streamlined approach by Sell Quick California highlights the efficiency and speed at which a home can be prepared, listed, and sold, aligning with sellers’ needs for a swift and effective sale process.

How Can I Sell My House More Quickly with Sell Quick California?

For those in urgent need of selling their home, whether due to financial challenges or the necessity of relocating for a job, opting for a cash sale can be an incredibly efficient solution.

By bypassing the traditional market listing and directly requesting an offer from a company like Sell Quick California, you can receive a proposal in just 48 hours and potentially close the deal in as little as one to three weeks.

The advantage of cash buyers is their preference for buying properties “as is,” allowing sellers to skip the usual prep work required for listing a home. This not only saves time but also expedites the entire sales process.

Furthermore, cash transactions remove the need for lender involvement, thereby eliminating the time-consuming lender-mandated appraisal and streamlining the path to closing.

Here’s a quick comparison of timelines between a direct cash sale and the traditional listing process:

Sales AspectDirect Cash SaleTraditional Listing Process
Sale Timeline7 to 30 days99 days (54 days to accept an offer, plus 45 days to close)
Home Preparations0 days30 days
Time to Receive an OfferAs few as 48 hours54 days
Appraisal0 days8-10 days

Interested in receiving a cash offer? Sell Quick California offers a streamlined service for homeowners to receive cash offers for their properties in virtually any condition across the nation. Sellers can obtain an offer within 24 hours and close in as little as 10 days, all without the need for staging, showings, or open houses.

Factors That Influence the Speed of Selling Your Home with Sell Quick California

The timeframe within which your home sells can be affected by various factors. Here are the primary aspects to consider:

Market Conditions

Understanding the dynamics of both the local and national real estate markets is crucial. Whether it’s a seller’s market, where demand surpasses supply, or a buyer’s market, with more homes available than there are buyers, significantly influences the speed of the sale.

  • Seller’s Market: This scenario benefits you, potentially leading to a quicker sale as buyers compete for limited inventory.
  • Buyer’s Market: Here, you might face longer selling times and may need to be more flexible in negotiations due to the surplus of available properties.

Days on Market

The length of time your home has been listed can affect its sale prospects. A longer listing period might deter potential buyers, who could speculate issues with the property.

Asking Price

Setting the right asking price is pivotal. An overpriced home may deter potential buyers, while underpricing could lead to a faster sale but at the cost of potential profit. Consulting with a real estate professional, like those at Sell Quick California, can help in determining a competitive and fair price.

Property Condition

A home in excellent condition sells faster than one requiring significant repairs. Buyers typically prefer homes ready for move-in without the need for immediate maintenance, making the condition of appliances and flooring noteworthy factors.


The location of your property plays a critical role in its appeal to buyers. Homes in sought-after neighborhoods or near desirable amenities, such as schools or shopping centers, are likely to sell quicker compared to those in less favored areas.

Optimal Selling Time

While personal circumstances largely dictate the best time to sell, market trends also influence the ideal selling period. Early May is generally considered the prime time for selling homes in many markets, attributed to favorable weather, market activity, and the timing of the school year, leading to quicker sales and higher selling prices.

Sell Quick California understands these factors and can guide you through the process of selling your home efficiently, ensuring you make informed decisions at every step.

What is the best month to sell a house?

According to Sell Quick California’s insights, the optimal month for a swift house sale nationally is April. Listings in April tend to close about five days faster than during other months, on average.

For securing the highest possible sale price, March emerges as the prime month, with homes selling at a premium of 2.2% above the annual average.

Nonetheless, the ideal time for selling a home can vary significantly across different markets due to various seasonal influences.

Below is a breakdown of the best months to list in specific cities for those aiming for a quick sale, along with the average time saved:

CityBest Month to ListAverage Time Saved
ChicagoMarch6 days sooner
BostonMarch14 days sooner
Los AngelesMarch4 days sooner
TampaFebruary4 days sooner
CincinnatiMay23 days sooner
New YorkJune12 days sooner
PhiladelphiaMay6 days sooner
AtlantaMay5 days sooner
Las VegasMay4 days sooner
PhoenixFebruary3 days sooner

This data underscores the importance of timing and local market conditions in the home selling process. Sell Quick California leverages such insights to guide homeowners towards making informed decisions on when to list their properties for both speedy transactions and maximum financial return.

How to Sell Your House Faster with Sell Quick California

While some aspects like weather conditions, a potential buyer’s financial ability, or overall market trends are out of your control, there are practical steps you can take to speed up the sale of your home.

Attend to Regular Maintenance and Simple Fixes

Before listing your house, here are some straightforward preparations to tackle immediately:

  • Declutter Your Space: Utilize services like Sell Quick California for removing unwanted items. Transport recyclables to your nearest center, donate to organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army, and consider renting a storage unit for items you wish to keep but need to move out of the house for showings.
  • Perform Minor, Cost-effective Repairs: Aim to complete small repairs and enhancements before listing. This includes changing mismatched cabinet knobs, retouching paint, or repairing leaky faucets. For extensive lists, hiring a handyman for a day could be efficient.
  • Enhance Curb Appeal: A positive first impression can significantly reduce the time your home spends on the market. Pressure wash the exterior, maintain the lawn, add mulch, clean up your yard, and introduce flowerpots for a splash of color that will impress potential buyers.

Engage a Leading Real Estate Agent

Having an agent who deeply understands the local market can be your greatest asset in avoiding delays and navigating the sale smoothly.

  • Check an agent’s average Days on Market (DOM) and compare it with local averages to assess their effectiveness. You should start reaching out to Realtors about three months before you intend to list.

Steer Clear of Major Renovations

According to a 2023 Remodeling Magazine report, the average return on investment for popular remodeling projects was only 60.47% across major U.S. cities, indicating that large-scale renovations might not substantially increase your home’s selling price.

  • Schedule Any Necessary Work Promptly: If renovations are essential, initiate conversations with contractors early to avoid delays.

Optimize the Space

Buyers prefer homes that feel open and easy to walk through. Reducing clutter and strategically arranging furniture can make spaces appear larger and more inviting.

Consider a Pre-listing Inspection

Identifying and addressing potential issues before the buyer’s inspection can streamline the sale process, though you’ll need to weigh the cost and benefits with your agent.

Pricing Your Home Appropriately

The initial listing price can significantly affect how quickly your home sells. Overpricing can deter early interest, while underpricing might lead to a faster sale but at a potential loss.

  • Begin with a free estimate from Sell Quick California’s Home Value Estimator, then consult with a local agent who can provide a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for a more precise valuation.

Be Accommodating

Flexibility with showings, open houses, and inspections can make a significant difference in how quickly your home sells.

Manage Emotions

Viewing your home as a business transaction rather than a personal asset can help you make objective decisions about staging, pricing, and timing your sale for the best market impact.

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Marc Afzal- Real Estate Investor

Marc Afzal is a full time Real Estate Investor and has well over 21+ years in the Real Estate Industry. Marc is a Licensed Broker, NMLS licensed Loan Officer. Marc is currently married to his wife Sheila and they live in Napa California. Marc is enthusiastic about Sports, Golf, Real Estate Investing, Family and Travel.

About Marc Afzal

Marc Afzal is a full time Real Estate Investor and has well over 21+ years in the Real Estate Industry. Marc is a Licensed Broker, NMLS licensed Loan Officer. Marc is currently married to his wife Sheila and they live in Napa California. Marc is enthusiastic about Sports, Golf, Real Estate Investing, Family and Travel.

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