FAQ: How Quickly Can a House Sale Go Through?

by | Jul 23, 2019

Sometimes, circumstances arise that force you to sell your house quickly—or, at least, try to. Surprise medical bills or another family emergency can cause you to harness all available resources so that you can care for yourself and your loved ones as best as you can for as long as possible.

There are a number of different reasons that may cause stress and pressure to sell a home quickly. And, it can leave you anxiously asking how quickly a house sale can go through and whether there is anything you can do to help speed things along. The short answer is that it depends. But, because it is most dependent on you, you have more to say in the outcome than you might think.

How Quickly Can a House Sale Go Through?

In an ideal scenario, you get to choose the conditions under which you sell your home. Second to that is that you get plenty of warning that you should start planning on selling. More often than not, however, life rarely unfolds as we expect it to.

Even when you’re active military and expect to be moved around, it can still throw you off-center when you get those new orders—and suddenly have to sell your house.

Of course, there is almost always a lot to do when you decide to put your home up for sale, whether the situation is ideal or not. That means rarely is it just one factor that influences how quickly a house sale can go through; it’s usually several. And, unfortunately, every extra detail that you may have to attend to can just add to your stress—and delay the sale.

What are Some of the Key Areas to Address Before Selling?

You may have to clean.

Even if your home is just a little dusty, potential buyers may view it as dirty. The reality is that, when you have a job, kids, pets, and hobbies, your house is probably messier than even you would prefer. Whether it’s just wiping down counters and sweeping the floors or scrubbing tile grout and spraying for bugs, some degree of cleaning—by you or a paid service—is probably needed to attract buyers who will make an offer.

    • Time commitment: One day to two weeks

You may have to perform repairs.

Depending on how long you’ve lived in your home and whether you’ve been able to properly maintain it, repairs are probably necessary, too. They could be as simple as patching up holes in the walls, tightening loose cabinets, or adding a fresh coat of paint to one or more rooms. Or, you might have to refinish the hardwood floors and update the electrical system. Of course, what you choose to do is, ultimately, your call. But, for any needed repairs that don’t get done, a serious buyer will expect a discount.

    • Time commitment: One day to three months, depending on the scope of repairs, availability of experts, and weather conditions

You have to stage.

To give the best possible impression to potential buyers who visit, it’s important to stage your home. That can include rearranging the furniture to create a more open look, adding new lighting to brighten dark spaces, and planting some flowers outside the front entrance. It will certainly involve removing your personal items and clutter to help potential buyers see themselves in your space since that can help you get more offers.

    • Time commitment: One week to one month—if advanced booking required

You have to market.

Of course, to get would-be buyers interested in the first place, you will have to market your property or hire a real estate agent to do it for you. And, the more avenues through which you can advertise, the faster you should be able to sell. So, place ads in the paper and put up some signs and also allow your agent to post details about your house wherever possible online.

    • Time commitment: Five to ten hours weekly until the house is in contract

You have to show.

Though it can sometimes feel invasive, and isn’t always convenient, opening your home to potential buyers is one of the best ways to encourage offers. Whether you hold weekend open houses or give buyers and their agents access throughout the week is up to you. Just remember that the more often you can show your home, the less time it will take to sell it.

    • Time commitment: One to two hours daily plus every Saturday and Sunday 

How Long Will a Sale Actually Take?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to gauge exactly how much time each of these tasks may take to accomplish or how quickly most traditional buyers will respond to your efforts—especially with SoCal home sales falling flat in recent months.

Even brand new homes in a strong California market can take more than a month to enter into a contract.

Even brand new homes in a strong California market can take more than a month to enter into a contract. Then, a buyer’s lender can drag the process out further—sometimes taking 45 days to close if the loan is for a new homeowner.

Still, to give you some idea of the amount of time you may need to invest to get your home sold, we’ve created a timeline for many of the major tasks mentioned above. The numbers can seem daunting, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t doable. It depends on how quickly you need to sell.





Prior to putting the house on the market Clean 1 day – 2 weeks
Repair 1 day – 3 month
Stage 1 week (popular stagers may be booked out 3-4 weeks in advance)
When on the market Open houses Daily or weekly while the home is on the market
Marketing Up to 10 hours weekly while the home is on the market
Time on market 30-60 days
Closing Inspection 1 day
Bargaining 1 day – 2 weeks
Appraisal 1 week after an appraisal is ordered; 3-7 days  to receive the report
Escrow 30 – 45 days
Title 2 weeks on average

What Expenses Will I Encounter as a Seller?

When you factor in the expense of cleaning, making the necessary repairs and upgrades, staging, marketing, and your title, escrow, and real estate agent commission fees—plus everything you need to do to get your new home ready—you won’t be left with much.

In fact, your net cash-in-pocket could be less than if you simply sold your home as-is to an all-cash buyer. If you take into account all the time you spent getting your house ready to sell, too, it can start to feel like you’re behind, not ahead.

If the idea of finding a reputable all-cash buyer to sell your home to also sounds like a lot of work, know that it doesn’t have to be. There are good buyers who serve California homeowners by closing on their homes fast and paying a fair cash price—without charging fees or requiring inspections.

When it comes to cleaning and removing clutter, a cash buyer will simply let you take what you want and leave what you don’t.

Additionally, when it comes to cleaning and removing clutter, a cash buyer will simply let you take what you want and leave what you don’t. Then, they should handle the rest of the expenses. That includes dealing with title and escrow. And, there is one all-cash buyer, in particular, who also strives to be your trusted real estate advisor by working to serve your needs more than their own.

Sell Your Home Fast with a Buyer You Can Trust

At Sell Your House Direct, we know the meaning of service. As a disabled veteran-owned small home-buying business, operating with excellence has been our top priority from the first day we opened our doors nearly two decades ago. Since that time we’ve succeeded in providing solutions for sellers that give them the quickest, and easiest, return on their home—even if that means advising that they don’t sell to us. That’s because our mission is to positively impact lives, not just our pockets, through our work.

Whether it’s providing a net sheet that contrasts selling your house with a real estate agent versus selling directly to us or lining up a moving truck so that one more item can be checked off your list, we are here for you. We can often close escrow in less than a week, too. So, if you need to sell your home fast and are concerned about how quickly a house sale can go through, just give us a call. We’ll help you make it happen on a timeline that works best for you.

To get an offer today from a local all-cash buyer you can trust, reach out through our website or call us directly at 760-566-7716 anytime. We’re here and ready to serve you. 
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