How long does it take to sell a house in Houston?

June 27, 2019 — Written by Tara Mastroeni and Andrea Leewong

Couple who sold their house in Houston

If you’re thinking of selling your home, one of the top questions on your mind may be, how long does it take to sell a house in Houston? The reality is, while the average days on market (DOM) in Houston has risen slightly to 57 days according to an April 2019 press release by the Houston Association of REALTORS®, there are still multiple factors that go into determining how long you can expect to wait.

We’ve laid out some of the most common factors that influence the time it takes to sell a house in Houston. When the time comes to sell, knowing this information will allow you to put yourself in the best possible position to find a buyer fast.

Asking price

Setting the asking price is an important factor in how long it’ll take to sell your home. Sellers can fall victim to the belief that overpricing the home is the way to go. Overpriced homes can end up sitting on the market and get continually passed over for homes that are a better deal or have more to offer. Ultimately, these homes can end up selling for a lower price than the original asking price and taking much longer to find a buyer.

Instead, pricing the home as accurately as possible is the best way to catch the attention of buyers and to encourage offers. The price should be based on the home’s fair market value, or an assessment of what buyers might be willing to pay for the home based on its qualities and current market conditions.

→ Selling in Houston and want to have the certainty of receiving a competitive offer? See what Opendoor can offer for your home.

To give you an idea of what you can expect, the median sale price of a single-family home in Houston is currently $245,000, according to that April 2019 press release by the Houston MLS. However, before you can bank on that figure, you need to take into account factors such as your home’s location, condition, and current market trends.

Home condition

One of the main factors that affects your asking price and the expected days on market is the condition that your home is in when you decide to put it up for sale. Conventional wisdom states that a move-in ready home will be snapped up faster than one that requires a lot more work to be done. However, a competitively-priced fixer-upper could move just as fast.

Jason Cline, Opendoor’s General Manager in Houston, recommends paying particular attention to your roof and HVAC. “It’s important to get your roof and HVAC tuned up, serviced and in solid working order. Be sure to file your insurance claims in a timely manner for any roof damage, so you can get the paperwork going before you are ready to sell.”

roof repair

As a seller, you have a few options. You can spend the time and effort – plus a little cash – getting your property to look its best. This includes finally finishing up all of those home maintenance tasks you’ve been putting off and staging the property. On the other hand, if doing that much legwork is not for you, you can lower your asking price so that potential buyers feel like they’re scoring a deal.

A third option is to sell your house to an iBuyer like Opendoor. We simplify the repair process when you sell your home. When we make an offer on your home, it includes a free, no-obligation assessment to find out if your home needs any repairs. If it does, you choose how you want to handle repairs: you can make them yourself or have us do the work so you can focus on moving to your next chapter.

Lot and location

The phrase “location, location, location” is well-known for a reason. The location of your home will play a big role in the amount of time it takes to find a buyer.

If you’re selling a home in Houston’s trendy West University Place neighborhood, for example, you can anticipate spending 77 days on market, according to Realtor.com. In contrast, however, Realtor.com reports that the slower-paced Woodlands neighborhood has an average days on market of 91.

To visualize the differences in days on market across zip codes, we’ve mapped over 100 Houston zip codes with their corresponding days on market figures for April 2019.

Data Source: Realtor.com residential listings database for April 2019 for Houston zip codes where Opendoor buys and sells homes

Market conditions

Just like they will affect your asking price, current market conditions will also impact the average time to sell a house in Houston. In seller’s markets, where available inventory is far lower than the demand, homes tend to move off the market very quickly. Sellers also tend to have their pick of buyers and are privy to higher-than-normal sale prices. In buyer’s markets, houses tend to sit longer and sellers are often pushed to price their homes attractively.

In particular, Houston’s real estate market seems to be in flux, stuck in-between the two extremes. On the one hand, according to the aforementioned press release, the number of available listings has risen by a whopping 13.8% over the last year, indicating a turn toward a buyer’s market. On the other, the median sale price also rose – though by a much smaller margin of 2.1% – which is a sign of a seller’s market.

Though only time will tell, judging by the numbers it appears as though Houston could be on its way to becoming a buyer’s market at some point in the near future.

Good news for buyers: Houston zip codes with greatest listings growth vs last year (where Opendoor buys homes)

Zip codeCityListing count growth
vs last year
Avg list price growth
vs last year
77038Houston112%30%
77461Needville82%-45%
77091Houston76%46%
77089Houston60%11%
77346Humble55%4%
77093Houston54%5%
77022Houston51%17%
77536Deer Park51%-10%
77447Hockley48%8%
77598Webster47%-15%

Data Source: Realtor.com residential listings database for April 2019

Good news for sellers: Houston zip codes with greatest average listing price growth vs last year (where Opendoor buys homes)

Zip codeCityAvg list price growth
vs last year
Listing count growth
vs last year
77091Houston46%76%
77017Houston45%33%
77086Houston45%23%
77039Houston44%-5%
77019Houston34%1%
77038Houston30%112%
77033Houston29%11%
77045Houston26%24%
77047Houston23%11%
77489Missouri City22%41%

Data Source: Realtor.com residential listings database for April 2019

Time of year

Believe it or not, the time of year also has an effect on how long it will take to find a buyer. In many markets, the spring and summer season tends to bring with it a surge of eager buyers and can be considered the best time to sell. Reasoning holds that it’s easier to move when school is out of session and snowfall is not an issue. However, in some markets where winter weather creates a draw, the opposite is true.

In Houston, the market seems to be ramping up with the warmer weather. In the press release, Houston Association of Realtors Chair, Shannon Cobb Evans, is quoted as saying, ”Consumers have been taking advantage of optimal conditions for home buying, with low interest rates and a growing supply of properties, and that has powered Houston to a strong springtime performance.”

As you can see from the chart below, days on market in Houston fluctuates from as low as the mid-40s in May and June to as high as the 70s in December and January. Interestingly, average temperatures correlate well with DOM, which may be at least one factor in how many buyers are willing to visit and make offers on homes.

This correlation follows along with the national trend. Nationwide, home sales tend to pick up in February, increase even more in the spring, and peak in the summer, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

As a seller, that means the timing of your sale is everything. You can either take advantage of the strong spring market and join the pack or wait until winter where there may be fewer buyers, but there’s also less competition. Ultimately, the best time to sell is when it works best for you, both financially and in terms of life circumstances.

Data Source: Realtor.com residential listings database for April 2019 and US Climate Data for Houston

Key takeaways

There are several important factors that affect how long it takes to sell a house. Asking price, property and neighborhood characteristics, and the time of year can all impact your timeline. The good news is that there are now more ways than ever to sell your house in Houston, giving sellers more flexibility and choice to make the right decisions for themselves and their family.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice. Opendoor always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

Related articles and resources

→ How much does it cost to sell a house in Houston?
→ How a Texas accountant used Opendoor to buy and sell without the hassle
→ Opendoor expands to Houston

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