How long should my home take to sell?

By Angie Kendel

There is a lot of work that goes into preparing your home for sale. You need to keep your home looking presentable for showings that can come with very little notice. It can be very stressful to live with your home listed for months on end. What is a reasonable length of time for your home to sell?

There are many factors that influence how long your home stays on the market before receiving an acceptable offer. We have seen our market move from a hot seller’s market, where bidding wars were the norm, to a more balanced market, and now, we’re slowly moving back to a buyer’s market.

Winnipeg enjoyed years where there was a real shortage of homes available for purchase. Any decent listing, in reasonable condition, would sell quickly and often with more than one offer. However, the influx of new builds over the last 10+ years has boosted the supply of homes. We have been in a more balanced market for a while now and find that many homes simply take longer to sell. Even homes that are priced appropriately, look presentable, and are in desirable areas can take longer to sell. There are simply more options for buyers to look at in the same price range. This trend is only going to continue as the market pendulum continues to swing back towards a buyer’s market. How does a seller still get the best price for their home and keep the days on the market at a minimum?

REALTORS® we work with have shared that they often find clients’ perception of what their home is worth is typically higher than what the comparative sales in the neighborhood indicate. Comparing one home to another is more than just location and square footage and a garage. The updates a home has, and the level of maintenance plays a key role in the home value. The exact same home on the same street can have a difference in selling price of a $100,000 or more simply based on updates and maintenance. Just because the house down the street sold for $450,000 and it is the exact same house as yours, does not mean your home will sell for the same price.

Buyers statistically prefer move-in ready homes that require little to no work. They are prepared to pay more for a home in move-in-ready condition. If your home has not been updated, it can dramatically affect the selling price of your home as well as the length of time it takes for your home to sell, if it sells at all. 

Investors look for homes that are not selling as a potential to make income. They are happy to take your home off your hands, do the necessary updates, stage your home and then sell it for a profit! Rather than simply discounting your asking price, what is preventing you from doing the same thing? 

If your home isn’t selling, find out what the feedback is. What are the negatives that are preventing buyers from making an offer? Discuss the options with your REALTOR®. You typically have two options: you can drop your price accordingly to compensate for the required work, or you can take your home off the market and address the negatives before re-listing your home! You take a loss with the first option, but you can make money (just like the investor who wants to buy your home) if you choose the second option.

Investors look at realistic comparable properties that have sold in your area. What updates they had and what they sold for. If your home has not had those updates it is a potential for profit, if they can buy it at the right price. The longer your home sits on the market, the more motivated of a seller you become. The more motivated, the more likely that you will accept a lower offer.  The investor knows what needs to be done and how much it costs. They do the necessary upgrades and sell your home for a profit! A word of advice . . . don’t let your home become someone else’s profitable income!!! If someone else can do it, so can you!

Talk to your REALTOR® and your appraiser. Determine what your home is worth in its current condition and what updates would bring the value up and make your home more desirable for buyers. Then determine the best updates that will give you the best return for your dollar! Once you have your home updated and more competitive with other homes, take the necessary steps to declutter, and stage your home.

Staging is about enhancing a homes’ appeal and showing how a space can look! One of my REALTORS® says, “you can’t put lipstick on a pig and fool buyers”. Buyers are much more educated and can afford to take their time making decisions now. There is no longer the pressure to buy now or they lose their chance. Take the time to give buyers a home they want to make an offer on!  Up to 70% of the factors that attribute to how quickly a home sells are directly in the seller’s control. 

The homes we have been staging have taken the time to prepare their homes. They declutter, have updates, fresh paint and finish off with staging. These homes are typically selling in a month.

If your home isn’t selling, maybe it is time to explore other options to ensure your home not only sells, but sells for the best price possible! If you feel you need help, feel free to contact us or or you can email me at or Happy selling!