In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “ How do you find out how long a house has been on the market “.

How do you find out how long a house has been on the market?

There are various ways you can find out how long a house has been on the market. We have listed a few of those below.

Finding out how long a house has been on the market may give you huge advantages when negotiating with the seller as you may be able to gauge their state of mind and how eager they may be to let go of the property.

That being said there are some property markets such as “high-value property” which tends to stay on the market much longer due to the short supply of buyers looking for those sort of properties.

In these cases, knowledge of how long the house has been on the market may not provide any true advantages.

Below are some ways you can find out how long a house has been on the market:

Ask the seller

Your first option is to ask the seller. Some sellers will be honest with you but most may not as informing you on how long the house has been on the market could weaken their negotiating hand.

Ask the estate agent

If there is an estate agent involved with the sale of the property then they will likely know how long the house has been on the market but don’t expect them to divulge this to you.

Or if they do tell you, don’t expect what they say to be completely true.

Estate agents are of course trying to get the best prices for the properties they sell and they are well informed that informing you of the sale price will limit their ability to effectively negotiate a good price.

Ask the neighbours

In some cases, the neighbours may know how long the house has been on the market because the sellers have told them or because they noticed when the for sale signs got stuck outside the house.

A quick chat with a few of the neighbours may reveal how long the house has been on the market.

Check the listing  website

Some property listing websites will contain data on when the property was first listed but tis practice isn’t so popular with sellers as this information informs buyers on how desperate the sellers may be to get rid of the property or the level of interest that the property is receiving.

This sort of information could empower the prospective buyer during negotiations and hence is a detriment to the seller.

As almost every property listing website works towards keeping its customers “the property sellers” happy, they are not very keen on releasing data of how long a house has been on the market and the only way to find out how long a house has been on the market may be by doing a bit of investigative work yourself.

You should be aware that sellers are very capable of relisting properties which haven’t sold and hence the listing date you may see may not be the actual date the property was first listed.

Rightmove and Zoopla currently let you know how long a property has been listed for.

Search Google

One way you can know how long a house has been on the market is to search for the houses full address on Google. 

By doing this you may see other third party websites where the property listing has been syndicated to by Zoopla, Rightmove or any other property listing website.

These property listing websites may have data on when the property first appeared on their platform and you can then do some quick maths to find out how long a house has been on the market.

In some cases, the Google search results for that house may also contain metadata which states when the link was first published.

This will also give you an indication of how long the house has been on the market.

Reasons why a house may be on the market fora long time

There are various reasons why a house may be on the market for a very long time, they include:

  • The house is overpriced
  • The estate agent is bad at their job
  • The house has issues such as subsidence or Japanese knotweed
  • The housing market is down
  • Mortgage rates are high
  • The location of the house is poor
  • The house is being sold at the wrong time of the year

If you are currently shopping and considering getting a mortgage in the future then a mortgage broker may be able to help you.

Use a mortgage broker

You may want to consider using an independent mortgage broker to get a mortgage.

Mortgage brokers are important as they can access mortgage products from across the whole of the market in some cases.

This could be over 11,000 mortgage products. This may have some advantages rather than going directly to a mortgage lender.

A mortgage broker will look to understand your financial circumstances and then provide recommendations on which mortgage products may be suitable for you based on your mortgage affordability.

After giving you these mortgage recommendations, most mortgage brokers will seek your consent to apply for a mortgage in principle. 

This will allow you to shop for your home easier as more estate agents and sellers may take you seriously or it will give you confidence that your mortgage is indeed a possibility before you make a full mortgage application. 

Once you have found a home you want to buy and are satisfied with the mortgage offer for your mortgage then the mortgage broker will then look to get you a mortgage offer.

This will come with a key facts illustration document which details out the features of your mortgage including how much you will pay per month.

It will also contain information on if there are any limits such as early repayment fees, or annual overpayment limits.

If you are happy with everything you can then go on to secure your mortgage with the help of a conveyancer.

Your conveyancer will manage the legal searches on the property to ensure there aren’t any issues with it.

They will oversee the sales agreement to ensure it is in your best interest, they will manage the transfer of mortgage funds, exchange contracts with the seller or their conveyancer and set a completion date with the seller or their conveyancer.

In this brief guide, we answered the question “ How do you find out how long a house has been on the market “.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

John Bate

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.