The process of selling a house in Scotland typically takes around 170 days, starting from the first day of marketing until legal completion. However, it's important to note that the actual time can vary depending on various factors such as mortgage approval, market conditions, location, property type, and pricing strategy. In this comprehensive article, we will delve deeper into understanding the breakdown of these 170 days.
Step 1: Accepting an Offer
On average, nationally, it takes approximately 50 days (an increase from 43 days in 2022) to accept an offer on a property. This timeframe includes listing the property on the market, conducting viewings, negotiating offers, and reaching an agreement with a potential buyer.
Step 2: Time from Offer Acceptance to Completion
Once an offer is accepted, it typically takes around 120 days on average for the sale to be completed. This period involves finalising the legal and financial aspects of the sale, including the exchange of contracts and the completion process, which usually takes place within a week or a fortnight.
Step 3: Factors Affecting the Time to Sell a House
It's important to keep in mind that these figures are based on averages, and the actual duration may vary depending on individual circumstances. Several factors can influence the time it takes to sell a house, and here are three major ones to consider:
The price you set for your property in relation to similar properties on the market has a significant impact. Overpricing your house can result in fewer interested viewers and potentially fewer buyers. On the other hand, setting a competitive price can generate immediate interest.
It's advisable to research properties similar to yours that are currently on the market. When searching through property portals, try sorting them not only by price but also by the duration they have been listed. This will provide valuable insight into the current state of the property market for homes similar to yours.
Whether the market is a buyers' market, balanced market, or sellers' market is another crucial factor. In a hot market or sellers' market, where demand exceeds supply, homes tend to sell quickly, and pricing may be less sensitive. However, in a cold market or buyers' market, where supply exceeds demand, pricing becomes extremely crucial. Setting a competitive price becomes even more essential to avoid an extended time on the market.
Presentation and Marketing
The way you present and market your property can also impact the time it takes to sell. High-quality photographs, well-written property descriptions, and effective online and offline marketing strategies can attract more potential buyers and generate quicker interest. It's worth investing time and effort into making your property visually appealing and highlighting its unique selling points.
Step 4: Additional Steps in the Selling Process
While we have covered the two main steps in the selling process, it's worth mentioning some additional steps that may occur depending on the specific circumstances:
Property Valuation and Preparing for Sale
Before listing your property, it's common to get a professional property valuation to determine its market value. This step helps in setting an appropriate asking price and gives you an idea of what to expect during the selling process. Additionally, you may need to make some preparations to enhance the appeal of your property, such as minor repairs, decluttering, and staging.
Viewings and Open Houses
Conducting viewings is an essential part of the selling process, allowing potential buyers to physically see and experience your property. This can include individual viewings arranged directly with interested buyers or open houses where multiple potential buyers can visit your property at the same time. It's important to make your property presentable and be available to answer any questions during these viewings.
Offer Negotiation and Acceptance
Once offers start coming in, you will need to negotiate with potential buyers to reach mutually agreeable terms. This can involve discussions on price, terms, contingencies, and other aspects of the sale. Once you have accepted an offer, it marks an important milestone in the selling process.
Legal and Financial Processes
After accepting an offer, the legal and financial processes start moving forward. This includes tasks such as conducting property searches, preparing and exchanging contracts, arranging mortgage financing, and coordinating with solicitors or conveyancers. These processes are crucial to ensure a smooth and legally compliant transaction.
Completion and Handover
The final step in selling a property is the completion and handover. This typically involves the transfer of funds, changing ownership records, and the physical handover of the property to the buyer. It's important to ensure all necessary paperwork and legal formalities are completed to successfully close the sale.