If you’re a homeowner in California contemplating selling your house, one of the most significant initial concerns you might have is, “How long will it take to sell my house?”
It’s a critical question that can impact your planning, financial decisions, and future housing arrangements.
In this post, we delve into the heart of the matter and explore this question from multiple angles to help you navigate the home-selling process in California with confidence. We’ll also share expert strategies to potentially speed up your home’s sale.
What’s the average time to sell a house in California?
The average time to sell a house in California ranges from 37-56 days. This range includes both the time it takes to receive an offer and the typical closing period. However, selling a house in California is a dynamic process that can vary depending on the region and local market conditions.
In the Greater Sacramento area, an example of an active market in Northern California, houses tend to sell relatively quickly compared to other parts of the country. According to Patricia Holter, a top real estate agent with the Roxanne McCaslin team, the average home sale unfolds as follows:
“On average, in the Greater Sacramento area, most homes — when priced correctly at market value — receive offers within 4-7 days, go pending within 7-10 days, and take 30 days to close escrow. In total, from the day the home goes active on the market, on average most homes are sold within 37 days.”
Different cities can present different timelines
This pace, as described by Holter, reflects the healthy demand and relative shortage of supply common in many Northern California markets. However, the market dynamics can be different in other parts of the state.
For example, homes in many Southern California housing markets spend anywhere from 45-56 days on the market before selling, based on HomeLight sales transaction data. This estimated range represents the time from listing to closing the sale.
Meanwhile, in the Central Valley, the timeline might be slightly longer due to the more rural nature and lower population density of the area. For example, a home in Fresno might take longer to get an offer, bringing the list-to-close average closer to 64 days.
This highlights the importance of understanding local market conditions and working with a knowledgeable real estate agent when planning to sell your California home.
What is the best time to sell a house in California?
Not all seasons are created equal when it comes to selling a home in California. The ideal time to list your property can depend on local market trends, the specifics of your home, and buyer behaviors in your region of the state.
Holter observes some distinct seasonal patterns in her market: “In the winter season, we see an impact on the selling time for homes in Northern California. During the winter season, homes generally take longer to sell. We believe this is due to the Holidays, colder weather, and a handful of buyers waiting to receive their tax refund to put toward buying a house. For example, if a home were to go active on December 20th, we typically don’t see it go pending until January due to the Christmas and New Year’s Holiday.”
Of course, selling time frames can also vary from city to city within California. Below are two examples based on our Best Time to Sell Calculator, which uses housing market data HomeLight has collected to estimate the best and worst months to sell your home if you want to make the most money, and which months are best to sell your house fast.
In northern areas like Sacramento:
- Best time for more money: If you’re in the Sacramento area and aiming to get the most money from your home sale, the best month to close on your sale is June. Since it typically takes about three months from listing to close, you would ideally list your home in March to achieve a selling price that’s 3.21% higher than the yearly average. On a $600,000 home, that can be close to $20,000 more in proceeds.
- Best time to sell fast: If your goal is to sell your Sacramento area house fast, listing in April could mean selling your house 6 days sooner than if you listed in any other month, with the fastest sales closing in July.
In southern areas like Los Angeles
- Best time for more money: In Los Angeles, the highest selling prices are typically also seen in June. So, to maximize your profits, you would want to list your home in March to achieve a selling price that’s 1.65% higher than the yearly average.
- Best time to sell fast: If speed is your priority, listing your Los Angeles home in February could help you sell your house 4 days faster, with the quickest sales typically closing in May.
Keep in mind that while these trends offer helpful insights, the ideal selling time can still vary depending on specific local market conditions and your personal circumstances. Visit HomeLight’s Best Time to Sell Calculator for a more customized estimate based on your home’s location.