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How long does it take to sell a property in your area?

Moving house? New research reveals Britain's fastest and slowest-moving property markets

Thinking of putting your home on the market? New research could help you gauge how long you can expect to wait before you get an offer.

It takes an average of 56 days to match the average home with a buyer, according to property portal Zoopla’s analysis of home sales in 50 of Britain’s largest towns and cities.

Those selling in Edinburgh and Falkirk have the shortest wait, with property snapped up in 27 days on average. Meanwhile, sellers in Blackpool face an agonising 71-day slog to find a buyer to purchase their property.

Here we reveal the 10 hottest and coolest property markets in Britain, explain why your home might not be selling and what to do about it.

  • If you’re thinking of selling up and buying a new home it can help to get advice on your mortgage options. Call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0800 197 8461 for a chat about how much you could borrow and the best deal for you.

Where property is selling fastest

Zoopla analysed a sample of for-sale listings, published on its website on or after 1 April 2018 until 31 March 2019, and examined how long it took (in days) for the status of those listings to change to ‘under offer’ from when they were first published.

Scotland dominated the areas with the fastest-moving property markets, according to Zoopla’s research.

Falkirk and Edinburgh were the top areas for a quick house sale, taking an average of 27 days for an offer from a buyer to be received.

Homeowners in Glasgow only had to wait 31 days, and over in Stirling sellers had an average 32-day wait.

You can use our gallery to see what sort of home you could buy in the hottest property markets in Britain right now (for more information head to Zoopla) or skip to the table below for more information on the number of days it takes to sell and the average house price in the area.

Town Average days to secure an offer Average asking price May 2019
Falkirk 27 £154,579
Edinburgh 27 £298,575
Glasgow 31 £186,705
Stirling 32 £222,736
Cardiff 37 £255,528
Coventry 37 £215,909
Newport 40 £187,842
Nottingham 41 £207,456
Birmingham 41 £207,474
Mansfield 42 £156,763

Source: Zoopla


The slowest-moving property markets

At the other end of the scale homes put up for sale in Blackpool spent the longest time on the market, with sellers having to wait 71 days on average for a buyer to be found.

Perhaps surprisingly, London was the second slowest-moving market with homes in the capital taking an average of 70 days to shift.

You can use our gallery to see what sort of homes are available in the slowest-moving property markets in Britain right now (for more information head to Zoopla) or skip to the table below for more information on the number of days it takes to sell and the average house price in the area.

Town Average days to secure an offer Average asking price May 2019
Blackpool 71 £122,306
London 70 £659,660
Newcastle upon Tyne 68 £209,693
Hemel Hempstead 65 £392,879
Bradford 64 £135,798
Reading 64 £430,006
Preston 63 £191,628
Telford 62 £178,444
Doncaster 60 £162,012
Swansea 59 £180,239

Source: Zoopla

How long will it take to sell your home?

Homes in Scotland and the North East typically sell the quickest, with the average time to secure a sale a relatively speedy 42 days.

Again, homes in London take much longer to shift, with the typical wait lasting a frustrating 70 days.

Use the map below to find out the average selling time in your region.

What’s stopping your home from selling?

If your home has been on the market for a while there could be a number of factors at play.

Your asking price isn’t right

Getting the asking price right is crucial to securing a quick sale.

If your property is overpriced, potential buyers won’t see it in their search results or will be put off coming to visit it.

The best way to estimate your home’s value is to research what similar homes have sold for in your area and get a valuation from at least three local agents.

Your estate agent isn’t working hard enough

Estate agents are great at persuading you to list your property with them, but some are better at following through on their promises of a speedy sale and high price than others.

If your agent has gone quiet, get on the phone and ask them why. A good agent will be able to tell you everything they’ve been doing to try and sell your property.

If you’re losing faith, check your tie-in and notice periods and consider changing estate agents – it could give your sale a new lease of life.

  • Find out more: our estate agent comparison tool (in partnership with GetAgent) will tell you which agents are doing the best job in your area.

The photos aren’t popping

With more and more people searching for property online, photographs play a huge part role in attracting would-be buyers.

It’s hard to be objective about your own home, so get a friend to look at the photos on your property’s listing and give some frank feedback.

Property photographers usually take more photos than what ends up on the online listing, so ask your estate agent if you can see other options or even get new pictures taken.

This can be particularly helpful if, for example, it was snowy outside when the original photos were taken and they’re still in the advert in the summer, as the snowy pictures will immediately let buyers know your home has been languishing on the market for several months.

Your property is tough to mortgage

The type of property you have could be hard for buyers to get a mortgage on.

Mortgage lenders can be less willing to lend on flats above shops, properties with a short lease or homes made of unusual materials.

Talk to your agent to check if this could be a problem for your home and if there are any extra steps you can take such as offering to extend the lease as part of the condition of sale.

It’s a bad time to sell

The time of year you list your property can have an impact on how long it takes to sell.

Research suggests March is the best time of year to list a property – but it could be down to what’s going on in the wider economy.

Brexit uncertainty might be making buyers more cautious about making an offer on a property. Talk to your agent about how Brexit is impacting buyer behaviour in your area.

To see whether prices have gone up, down or stayed the same in your area recently, check out our interactive house prices map.

Get expert advice on moving home

If you’re thinking of selling your property, it’s worth getting your finances sorted before the offers come flooding in.

Call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0800 197 8461 or fill in the form below for a free callback to go through how much you could borrow and your mortgage options.

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