How long does it take to sell a house?
How long it takes to sell a house can seem at the mercy of wider market factors, but there’s plenty of things sellers can do to help speed up the process.
How long does it take to sell a house? - Factors to consider
Known in the industry as days on market (DOM), the average time for a house to sell is calculated from the average number of days properties are ‘for sale’ – officially, from when a property is listed to the date buyers sign the contract of sale.
With this said, sellers must consider multiple factors that may affect the time it takes to sell a home. These include:
Sellers or buyers market
Numerous factors impact how long it takes a house to sell, and as was the case in 2021, wider market conditions are often at play. The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the property market saw median DOM plummet when demand for detached houses increased. The RBA’s decision to slash interest rates to 0.10% in November 2020 accelerated market growth as listings decreased and buyer demand grew. During this period, Australian homes spent a median 24 DOM, well down from 39 days in 2020.
National median DOM inched up to 30 in 2022, still comparatively low and a sign the market continues favouring sellers.
Surprisingly, based on data, there were no significant differences between the DOM for houses and units, with houses having a median DOM of 29 days in comparison to units with 33 days in 2022.
Depending on the state that the property is, the time it can take to sell your home can drastically differ. In 2022, Northern Territory homes spent a relatively high 83 median DOM. Compare this with Tasmania at median 17 days, where home sales were outpacing the national rate.
Metro vs non-metro
Similarly, homes in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas continue to sell at different speeds, with city homes recording lower median DOM over 2020-2023 than homes in rural locations.
Home presentation and asking price
While economic conditions and location are out of a seller’s control, how long a house takes to sell can be affected by decisions made during the selling process. For instance, presenting a well-maintained home with a competitive asking price is more likely to result in a quicker sale than an overpriced house in urgent need of repairs. An experienced agent can advise what preparations your home needs and a realistic asking price to make it as attractive to buyers as possible.
Location or suburb
An expert local agent is also your first port of call for specific data insights for your suburb – useful for timing when to list your house for sale. By calculating the average time to sell a house in a particular suburb, real estate agents can measure a suburb’s performance over time and current levels of buyer demand. Suburbs with low DOMs are in demand whereas a high DOM signals decreased buyer interest. Sales fluctuate seasonally, so an agent’s knowledge can guide you towards the most advantageous time to list.
It's important to remember DOM figures only show the average time houses take to sell while they’re on the market and don’t reflect how long the process of selling a house usually is. Time to find an agent, organise the contract, prepare the property for inspections and for the settlement period should all be factored in.
All up, the process of selling a house can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months. If you need to sell on short notice, engaging an experienced and flexible agent can help speed up the process.
What can you do to sell your house faster?
When you’re looking to sell a house fast, knowing the local market is crucial.
While DOM is usually lowest in a seller’s market, with the right knowledge, it’s also possible to sell a house quickly in a buyer’s market where demand has cooled, and sellers have more competition. Finding an experienced local agent with a proven track record of selling houses fast can be the difference between a quick sale and a drawn-out one.
Here’s some more things you can do to put your home in the best position for a quick sale:
- Have a strong marketing strategy, including professional photography. Agents can devise a marketing plan targeting as many buyers as possible and it’s worth keeping in mind some real estate websites don’t accept listings from owner-sellers.
- Set a realistic asking price by knowing what comparable properties are selling for in your suburb.
- Get your home sale ready by making any repairs, cleaning thoroughly and having it professionally staged.
- Consider low offers. Agents are sales experts and could negotiate keen buyers back up to your asking price.
How long does each state take to sell a home in Australia?
On average, it takes around 30 - 40 days to sell a home but there’s notable variation between states.
|2020 Median||2021 Median||2022 Median||2023 (until March) Median|
|New South Wales||32||25||34||48|
|Australian Capital Territory||39||32||35||45|
After the median DOM plunged nationwide in 2021, selling times increased in most states in 2022. Homes in NSW (+9 days) and NT (+6 days) recorded the highest increase in selling time with Western Australia (0 days) and South Australia (-5 days) the only states to buck the trend.
In 2022, homes in WA (21 days) and Queensland (21 days) had the lowest DOM in the country while homes in the NT had the highest, taking a median 83 days to sell.
NSW (34 days) and Victoria (29 days) homes hover around the national median of 30 days while it takes longer to sell a house in SA (61 days) and ACT (35 days).
Your state vs the national median
|2021 Median||2022 Median||2023 (until March) Median|
|New South Wales||25||34||48|
|Australian Capital Territory||32||35||45|
How metro VS non-metro areas affect days on market
How do I sell my house in a slow market?
What is the average time it takes to sell a house?
Is selling a house faster with a realtor?
What costs are involved in selling a house?
When does settlement occur?