How Long Does It Take to Sell a Home in Today’s Market?

House with words - How long does it take to sell a home in Silicon Valley today?How long does it take to sell a home in Silicon Valley right now? It depends on what segment of the real estate market the property is in, and what type it is. Most homes are selling in 3-4 weeks.

How long does it take to sell a home in Santa Clara County?

First, for the success stories, the properties that do sell, what’s the timeframe?

  • Houses which have closed escrow averaged 27 days in September 2022 so far
  • Also in September, the median days on market is 17 days
  • For condos and townhouses, the average days on market so far this month is 38
  • The median days on market for condominiums and townhomes is 27

Pending sales – how long were they on the market?

  • Pending houses right now average 33 days on market
  • Pending condominiums and townhomes average 28 days on the market

It’s interesting to see that the more recent sales were slower for the houses but faster for condos and townhomes as compared to the closed sales.

Active listings and length of time on the market

  • Houses for sale in Santa Clara County that are not under contract (and not listed as “Agent Only”) average 52 days on market
  • For townhomes and condos, it’s an average of 44 days on market

So it seems that for the homes which DO sell (and not all homes which are listed become sale pending), the average is in the 3-4 week range.  What that says, pretty clearly too, is that if your listing is well marketed but doesn’t sell in three to four weeks, you’ve got a problem.

Some types of properties will always take longer (think Santa Cruz Mountains, ultra luxury homes and others), but overall, your home should be seeing 3-5 showings per week and get at least one offer for approximately every 10 showings, which should happen within 3-4 weeks.

What if your home has been on the market for a month with no offers, or only low offers?

If your house or condo has been actively listed and marketed for more than 4 weeks and isn’t selling, it’s time to have a conversation with your agent. Every situation is different and I cannot advise anyone but my own clients about what needs to happen in your case.

I can tell you that if your home does not get an acceptable offer in 3-4 weeks, there’s a good chance that the number one obstacle is a price that’s too high for the current market. If that is the case, it’s time to make a serious change in the price – think hedge clipper, not nail clipper. Otherwise, if home values are dropping and your price does not get ahead of it, you will be chasing the market down. It is very expensive when that happens.

Beyond price and just getting or not getting offers, you will want to understand:

  • how many showings are there each week?
  • what is the feedback from the buyer’s agents? (what are the buyers saying?)
  • what homes ARE selling?
  • how long does it take to sell if it’s underpriced? (that’s a common strategy today)

Some flaws are fixable and some are not fixable. You cannot do anything about a less desirable location or a neighbor with too many vehicles or an eyesore of a front yard. But you do control the price.

Some real estate gurus like to say “there’s no problem that the right price can’t fix”. That’s true, but sometimes there are cheaper ways to solve whatever the problem is.

In some cases, home sellers are offering to pay points on the buyer’s loan to offset the rising interest rates. Frequently it’s a lot cheaper for the seller to buy down the loan rate than to take a price reduction of 3-5%.

Related reading to how long does it take to sell:

Why didn’t my San Jose home sell? (on this site)

Beware over improving your property when preparing to sell (on this site)

Selling your home in Silicon Valley – 9 FAQs (on popehandy.com)

 

It’s late August – has the Silicon Valley real estate market stalled out?

Oftentimes, the Silicon Valley real estate market in the month of August is a little slower than most of the rest of the year (worse still: December).  But with our prolonged and dire inventory shortage, I wondered if the market was slowing much this August.  So rather than guess or ask around what other agents are experiencing, I went to the source, our local MLS, to see what the numbers say.

One marker is the speed at which homes sell.  For single family homes in Santa Clara County, right now there are about 1.57 months of inventory – that’s pretty good if you’re selling and pretty tough if you’re buying.  It’s about the same for regular sales as for all sale types (short sales, REOs etc.)

Days to sell are still pretty short.  In August, it remains under a month for regular sales (but longer for distressed properties – if you can find them!).

August 23 2013 SCC days to sell SFH regular sales

What’s the takeaway? Home sellers who might be tempted to wait until September to sell may find that August isn’t a bad time after all – this year.  Our Santa Clara County real estate market is anything but uniform, so this birds eye view may not apply to your area, home type, pricing tier, etc.  Overall, though, even in August, it’s a hot seller’s market in Silicon Valley. (Realtors: it’s a good month to keep working!)

How hard is it to sell a house in San Jose right now?

Right now, it is pretty easy to sell a house in San Jose. (That of course does not mean it’s easy to get top dollar.)  A great indicator is the median days, weeks or months to sell.  The local MLS to which I belong, MLSListings, can chart various statistics for us, including this one. So today I ran the figures for medians days to sell for San Jose going back five years.  The lower the number, the easier it is to sell; as you can see, right now, it’s at the lowest point in five years: good news for home owners who want to sell!

 

Median days to sell a house in San Jose Jan 2007 to June 2012

Median days to sell a house in San Jose Jan 2007 to June 2012

 

How do the numbers break down? Visually we can get a good overall sense of the trends, but having the actual data is helpful too.

 

Days to Sell, Median
Month200720082009201020112012
Jan527676235431
Feb276856173422
Mar184557152918
Apr234549163015
May254345242514
Jun284826243413
Jul3942222931
Aug3545193632
Sep4959183832
Oct5143214639
Nov6466185538
Dec6669215942

 

What I like about seeing the numbers in this format is the ease for comparing the same month in prior years.  The most recent completed month is June, so let’s consider this June and those before.  In June 2012 it was a fast 13 median days to sell.  A year ago it was 34, the year prior to that 24, in 2009 26, 2008 48 (horrible for sellers!) and in 2007 28.  The six year average for June, including this year, is 28 days.  Homes now in San Jose are at less than half that for median days to sell!

The odds of selling a home are largely about supply and demand.  Right now inventory is low and demand is high.  The chances are good for success in selling this year if you do everything right (pre-sale preparation, hiring a good agent, marketing, etc.).