The truth: how long selling a house in Florida really takes
66 days. That’s the average time from listing to closing on a home in Florida in 2022. That breaks down as 18 days to find a buyer and 48 days for inspections, contingencies, financing, and closing. That’s a long time before you get paid, and unfortunately it’s only part of the picture.
The timeline for selling a house actually begins well ahead of listing. Before a house is ready to market you will need to clean, stage, and get professional photographs. While time consuming, these steps are paramount to getting a great sale price.
All considered, it takes about 80 days, or nearly three months to sell a house in the Sunshine State. Here’s the breakdown of that timeline.
Cleaning: 2-3 Days
There are a million guides on how to clean your house for listings, but the key points are fairly straightforward.
- Deep clean everything
- Remove odors
- Sanitize bathrooms
- Sanitize the kitchen
- Organize closets
- Landscape your yard
For best results, it’s ideal to remove yourself and all of your belongings from a house prior to staging, during this cleaning stage. Your buyer needs to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, and your personal style and the day to day clutter can make that difficult.
You may even want to hire a professional cleaner to make this process faster, and to ensure nothing gets missed. Most cleaners offer deep cleaning and move-out services for a nominal fee. This would include less often touched areas like baseboards, corners, and behind furniture where dust and dirt like to congregate.
Staging: 2-3 weeks
Staging helps homes sell. It’s a well documented fact. By using neutral and well matched colors, styles, and accessories it’s easier for a potential buyer to imagine how their own style might look in the home.
A professional staging company can usually stage a 2,000 square foot home in about 8 hours; however, many staging companies are booked weeks or even months in advance. Staging requires planning and coordination, as you are effectively moving an entire new household of furniture into your space.
For best practices consider scheduling with a staging company when you decide to list. It may help you sell faster.
Listing: 2-3 weeks
Listing your home with a real estate agent takes time to get right. Your agent will start by trying to determine an accurate list price that will entice buyers. Then along with your staged photos, and a creative description, they will create a listing in what is called an MLS or Multiple Listing System. The MLS helps market available properties to agents to show to their buyers.
Once listed, it becomes a waiting game. The national average time to contract from listing is 18 days in 2022. In those 18 days it should be expected to entertain dozens of showings in hot real estate markets, as well as multiple offers. Each needs to be carefully reviewed with your real estate agent, and negotiated to satisfy your selling needs.
It is also worth noting that housing markets, while cooling, are still hot right now. While 18 days may be the current average, historical averages are far higher. In fact, as recently as 2019 the average time to contract was 30 days. That’s almost two additional weeks of waiting to sell.
Inspections: 2 weeks
Once a contract has been negotiated and accepted the next steps are typically a series of inspections to determine the scope of any repair work that needs to be done.
The first of these is the dreaded home inspection. A buyer will hire a licensed inspector to do a thorough review of the home’s structural elements, systems, and defects. They will advise on the repairs needed, priorities, and the risks of not doing the work. The buyer will then use this inspection to negotiate repairs, repair concessions, and to satisfy any lender requirements of condition.
The next inspection is typically the appraisal. Most lenders require appraisals and will only loan on a percentage of the appraisal value. If your home doesn’t appraise for more than the sales price, your buyer won’t be able to get the loan.
During this time other less common inspections may also be conducted. These could include surveys, soil tests, environmental tests, or specific structural inspections.
Financing Contingency: 4-6 weeks
Unless you are entertaining solely cash offers, your buyers will likely get financing such as a mortgage loan in order to buy your house. Lenders are very strict with their mortgage qualification requirements, and to ensure adequate time to satisfy those requirements most traditional real estate contracts have a built-in financing contingency period.
During this period, which typically lasts between 30 and 45 days, your buyer’s lender will do a deep dive into that buyer’s personal finances, ensuring they can afford the mortgage payments. This will involve credit checks, examinations of bank accounts, debts, unaccounted funds, as well as the value of the home itself (remember that appraisal?).
Luckily this period usually runs in tandem with the other inspections, so it won’t add the full 45 days to your closing timeline, but there’s always the possibility that your buyer fails to qualify. If they can’t get a loan during the financing contingency they have the right to cancel the contract. And a cancellation effectively sets you back to square one.
Closing: 1-2 weeks
Once all inspections are complete and financing is finalized you will move into the last phase of selling your home. This is the closing.
Before the day of closing, typically 5 days in Florida, your title company should order title and lien searches to ensure that you have the legal right to sell the title or deed for your home, and that there aren’t any loans or other issues which might encumber or “cloud” the title.
Assuming everything checks out, most title companies can close within 7-14 days after the financing contingency ends. On the day of closing you will sign the transfer documents, and funds will typically be disbursed within 24 hours.
So how long does it take to sell a house in Florida?
Selling a home in Florida by listing with an agent typically takes about 80 days or 10 weeks. There are a number of factors that will influence the timeline of your sale including curb appeal, upgrades, the quality of listing photos, 3d walk-throughs and virtual tours, the listing description, and ease of access for potential buyers. But regardless, you should accept that it will take time to sell your home.
The fast way to sell a house
If you have a home for sale, or a home you are thinking about selling, there is a faster alternative. Selling directly to an investor. Investors are home buyers who purchase homes at a slight discount for cash.
A good investor may be able to close on your house in as little as 7 days, as they don’t need inspection or financing contingencies. Plus, since you are going direct you can also skip the marketing aspects such as staging or photos. Not to mention the commissions and fees.
Want to know what a good cash offer might look like? Give us a call at 904-346-0600 or submit your property online to get a no obligation cash offer on your home!