A real estate transaction can take as little as five days or it can take many months to complete – It all depends on the buyer’s and seller’s situations.   Generally, the process takes about 6 weeks from beginning to end to complete.  If a property is being sold for cash with no inspections, the transaction can be completed as soon as the title work and the tax certifications are done which could be as little as 5 days.  The transaction that takes the longest is the short sale. This is a situation when the seller owes more for the mortgage amount than what the property is worth in the current real estate market.  The short sale takes time because the bank is involved in all negotiations.

Step One – Getting it ready to sell

To sell your home, you’ll want to get it ready for sale first.  Depending on what needs to be repaired & spruced up around the house will dictate how much time this phase takes.  See some of my other blog posts about staging a home for sale and Cleaning up & Cleaning out.  Remember: You want to take your house from living condition to showing condition.

Step Two – Choosing your Realtor

I strongly suggest that you choose the Realtor who has a marketing plan that fits your needs to get your house sold.  Make sure that it is someone who has the years of real estate experience which will get you though the selling process without drama.  Please choose the professional who you will feel comfortable working with, talking to and interacting with over a few months time.  Don’t choose the most irritating Realtor no matter what they say they can do for you – you will regret it and the process will not be enjoyable.  Choosing a Realtor could take just a few days.

Step Three – Marketing and the Offer

This part of the process involves the marketing of your home.  This is when the property is photographed and the sign goes in the front yard.  It’s an exciting day.  This is when the property will appear on the multi-listing services as well as all of the other web sites, social media outlets and advertising of the property.   It will be the star of the show!  Marketing continues throughout the sale process.  As your agent, I will door knock in the neighborhood, use open houses and create coming soon flyers to announce your property is for sale. Plus I will use all the other marketing strategies that will get more buyers though your home. Property showings will start.  Be prepared to leave the house in the morning in showing condition so that if a buyer wants to see it while you are at work then it is in tip top condition to be shown.   It’s tough to keep your house clean and sparkling.  But it’s the only way that buyers will be engaged and decides to buy it.   Then you get an offer!  HipHipHooray!  It’s an exciting day!

Step Four – The offer & the building inspection & title work

An offer has been made on your property!  Oh Happy Day!  Review the offer with your agent and make your counter offer to include any changes that you need to see on the contract.  Or accept the offer as it is written.   As soon as price and terms of the contract are agreed upon & signed by both parties, then the contract has been executed.  During this phase, the buyer then will make their formal application to the bank for the mortgage to purchase your property.  This is also the stage when the buyer selects their building inspector and their title or abstract company to start the title work.  The building inspection will be scheduled and preformed by a certified building inspector.  As soon as the inspection is complete the buyer will announce whether they are accepting the property in its current condition or if they will ask you, the seller to fix a problem that was discovered during the inspection process.

Step Five – the Settlement day

You and your real estate team have worked hard for a few weeks to get you to the settlement table.  The title work is complete.  The building inspections are done.  The final mortgage commitment has been made and you are ready to sign the deed and all other paperwork to sell your property.  Congratulations you’ve sold your house!

Conclusion – From beginning to end the sale of your home generally takes 6 weeks if the buyer is getting a mortgage.  Sometimes a mortgage company can get the mortgage work done in a shorter period of time but never less than about 4 weeks.