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How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?

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Selling a house on the open market can sometimes take a long time. Even if you find a buyer quickly after listing your property for sale, getting the paperwork completed, surveys carried out, negotiating on price and much more can drag on for several months.

Many homeowners in 2024 have been wondering how long it takes to sell a house. With the slightly unpredictable UK property market, will it take longer than it might’ve done a few years ago? And does the waiting time vary based on the country you’re in?

In the blog below, we’ve explained exactly how long it takes to sell a house. Keep reading for all the information you need.

Average time to sell a house in England

According to Zoopla, selling a house in the UK takes 185 days on average. But how does this figure vary across the different towns in England?

Over the past year in Manchester, properties have been listed on the market for 213 days on average. Meanwhile, the waiting time in Bristol drops significantly below the average, at 120 days.

In Brighton, it takes around 170 days to get your house off the market, while in Norwich, the average is 149 days.

Average time to sell a house in Wales

In Cardiff, a house is listed on the market for approximately 181 days before a sale is completed. In Swansea, this figure is 179 days; in Newport, it is 164 days.

In the more northern parts of Wales, a property has been listed on the market in Wrexham for roughly 195 days. This number rises even higher in Llandudno to 205 days.

Average time to sell a house in Scotland

Over the past year in Edinburgh, a property has been listed on the market for 120 days before it has found a buyer. Buyers in Glasgow have been moving even faster, with an average of 106 days on the market.

The typical time to find a buyer in Stirling is 123 days, while in Aberdeen, properties have been extremely slow to sell, at 489 days on average.

Average time to sell a house in Northern Ireland

If you sell a property in Belfast, it will typically be listed on the market for 165 days before you find a buyer. In Londonderry, this number increases slightly to 179 days.

A house will take around 190 days to find a buyer in Coleraine, while in Newry, the average is 142 days.

Tips to make your house sell faster

You are not totally powerless about the time it takes for your house to find a buyer – there are steps you can take to speed up the process. 

Firstly, the professionals you choose to assist you with the house-selling process are extremely important. Like all lines of work, some estate agents and solicitors are far more efficient than others. So, if you want the deal completed smoothly, you should check their reviews and perhaps ask for recommendations from friends on the fastest professionals they’ve worked with.

You will also need to navigate all the other buyers in your property chain. Communicating clearly and regularly with them can prevent delays by ensuring that everyone is always well-informed. 

Your house price will make a big difference, too. It is advisable that you get several independent valuations on your property – because if you set the number too high, it will scare away potential buyers.

Smaller details, such as the photos you use when listing your property on Zoopla and Rightmove, can make a difference, too. You want to ‘put your best foot forward’ at all times – and keeping the house in excellent condition for viewings and ensuring you have top-quality marketing photos will both have an impact.

When is the best time of year to sell a house?

Generally speaking, there are some times of the year when properties sell faster in the UK. Spring is often regarded as the best time to sell your property – as the market tends to become more active during this season, as people are keen to get everything sorted by Summer.

By contrast, the summer holidays (particularly August) tend to be quieter because families are away on holiday. The same applies to the Christmas period, as homeowners are reluctant to move house during their valuable ‘family time’.

If you want more information on how long it takes to buy a house, then click on the link.

Is it starting to take longer to sell a house in 2024?

Interest rates rose considerably throughout 2023 and stayed at this high level for the first few months of 2024. This reduced activity in the housing market because mortgages were more expensive and, therefore, less affordable to the majority of people. 

By contrast, the past few years saw enormous buyer activity, with several ‘Help to Buy’ schemes and a break on Stamp Duties. 

Therefore, in early 2024, it will take longer to sell a house than it might’ve done several years ago.

Should I sell to a cash house buyer?

If completing your house sale quickly is your top priority, then selling directly to a cash house buyer is an excellent option. A reliable cash buyer can complete your property purchase within 7 days because they use their own funds to do so. This is significantly faster than any other route, including the open market or using an auction house.

Using a cash buyer is not always ideal for everyone, so you should consider your options before proceeding. Although the deal will typically be completed much faster, it will be at least 10-20% lower than the typical market value. If making a profit on your sale is important to you, and you are not in a rush to complete it, then the open market may still be a better option.

On the other hand, cash buyers could be a great option if your house is in poor condition and won’t be suitable for the open market. This may be because it is dilapidated, has broken doors and windows, has an extremely short lease, has a very poor EPC rating, or something else entirely.

You should check the reviews of a cash house buyer and ask for references before deciding to sell to them. 

For more information on cash house buyers – such as how long it takes to receive funds after a house sale – get in touch with

Do different types of property take longer or shorter to sell?

As a general rule, smaller properties tend to sell faster in the UK because there are more potential buyers who can afford them. By contrast, larger houses (e.g. detached properties with 4+ bedrooms) take the longest to sell. 

This is supported by data from Zoopla, which goes on to state that two-bedroom terraces sell in the quickest time of all property types.

As outlined further in this blog, your location within the UK will also make a difference. In the countryside, where fewer people live, it can sometimes take longer to sell compared to a busy city with a dense population. 

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