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How long does it take to sell a house?

Selling a house requires a great deal of organisation and patience. Currently, that patience is really being put to the test. The recent pandemic has had a huge impact on the real estate market as both buyers and sellers come to terms with a changing market.

The questions being asked are: Is now the right time to sell? Is it sensible to accept a reduced offer simply to ensure a quick sale or is it better to wait until prices start rising again? Is it a good time to buy? Or would it be better to wait and see how far prices drop?

The length of time to sell a property in Spain varies from case to case. It depends on whether the sellers and buyers are in a chain, whether buyers need to get a mortgage and also the type of the property on the market. Rustic properties take longer to sell, for example, because of complex legal situations. New builds are often bought off-plan and can sometimes take up to two years to complete.

According to a Fotocasa survey, more than half of homeowners sold their house in less than six months, with 18% selling their property between six months and one year.


Aside from the factors listed above there are 5 variables that can affect the time taken to sell a house.

The 5 Variables That Can Affect How Long It Takes To Sell A House

1. Planning

Careful planning can reduce the time taken to sell your property considerably. It is advisable to take time to do your research at least six months before you want to put your property on the market, including:

Finding a good real estate agency
• Arranging any renovations or maintenance on the property

• Ensuring the property is ready for photos

• Making sure that you have all the required documents in place (energy certificate, community documents etc)

• If you are selling your primary home, it is advisable to look for your next home at the same time you are selling and sort out anything that can be done in advance such as a mortgage.

2. Timing

Research shows that it takes less time to sell a house if it is put up for sale in the first half of the year. The months that take less time to sell a house tend to be the spring months of February, March, April, May and June.

According to a study carried out by the property consultancy Tinsa, the provinces where houses sell the quickest are:


Madrid: 4 months

Barcelona: 4.3 months

Las Palmas: 5.5 months

Santa Cruz de Tenerife: 5.7 months

Navarra: 6.5 months

Zaragoza: 6.6 months

Guipúzcoa: 6.6 months

Jaén: 7.4 months

Málaga: 7.6 months

Badajoz: 7.8 months


In fourteen Spanish provinces it takes more than a year to sell a house. In descending order, the provinces where it takes the longest time to sell a house are:


Cantabria: 16 months

Ourense: 15.6 months

Segovia: 15.4 months

Ávila: 14.9 months

Salamanca: 14.6 months

Zamora: 14 months

Asturias: 13.3 months

Ciudad Real: 13.2 months

Tarragona: 13.2 months

Girona: 12.8 months


Knowing the average time a property sells in your neighbourhood can help you manage stress when your sale seems to be taking longer than expected. If you see that a nearby property is still on the market then it might help alleviate your stress when you are unable to sell your property after six months.

3. Appropriate buyers

Whether you are using a real estate agency or not, it is important to ensure that you are directing your property at the right people. Think about the typical demographic of your neighbourhood. Is your home suited to families or couples? Or would it be more suitable for an investor or developer? It is better to receive a few serious offers than a multitude of offers that are never going to lead to a sale, which ends up being a waste of your time.

4. Visits

This is probably the most time-consuming part of the whole process, but also the most important. So, again, you want to be sure that only serious buyers are able to view your property. During visits make sure that if you are using an estate agent they are fully prepped about every aspect of your property, emphasising all the positive elements, giving examples of current or potential renovations and potential changes which would increase its market value. A well informed agent should also be able to explain the current local market situation. What have prices been doing in the last year or so, what are they expected to do in the next twelve months? Are there many homes currently on the market? Whether you are confident or not about presenting your home to strangers, working hand-in-hand with an experienced estate agent will help do the job better and hopefully achieve a quicker sale.

5. Negotiation and legal documents

Once you receive an offer you might think your property is sold but you could still have a long way to go. This is the point at which a great deal of time can be saved if you seek the advice of the appropriate professionals and experts.

Good luck!