How long does it take to buy a house? Imagine the storm inside your head when you’re selling your home. A question that keeps on bombarding your mind day and night.
No matter how feverishly you want to buy a house and move in, the answer is a tough one to pin down.
Home shopping can take anywhere between 4 ½ and 5 months on average, but it’s important to remember that the process can take significantly longer depending on the type of loan you need to purchase a home.
We recommend you speak with an experienced real estate agent who has his finger on the pulse of your latest local real estate market trends and can accurately tell how fast you can buy a house and move in.
Buying a home is one of the most significant purchases people make, so most buyers make sure they’re familiar with the lay of the land before they jump into things.
Also, buying a home can be a long process because there are many details to consider.
But no worries, we’ve made it easy for you with this list.
How long does it take to buy a house? A timeline of your home-buying process
1. The search for the perfect home
Unless you are very wealthy and don’t mind either overpaying or having your home go unsold for a long time, you will have to be selective about what house you buy within your budget.
Finding a home in the area that makes the most sense for your needs can take a while, so it’s best to start early!
When deciding if the home you want to buy is worth making an offer on, one key detail to consider is how long it would take for another buyer to scoop it up if needed.
Approximately 23% of buyers surveyed in the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2020 said it was difficult or very difficult to locate a home. But this is much easier with the help of a real estate agent.
2. Receiving an acceptance
There are many steps involved in becoming a homeowner. Therefore, it’s difficult to give a concise answer regarding how long it takes to buy a house.
There will be times when you lose out on opportunities because it’s very competitive in this current real estate market.
You may have to make offers on multiple homes before getting one accepted.
Also, if you are financing your purchase, many other cash buyers will compete with you for the few homes available.
Several factors can contribute to such competitiveness, including buyer motivation (wanting to move now rather than wait another 30 days or longer), timing considerations (schedules that don’t allow sufficient time for showing properties), housing market conditions, aggressive marketing strategies, and so forth.
3. Dealing with negotiations
A successful negotiation is another factor that determines how fast you can buy a house and move in.
Prospective home buyers often find themselves bartering and negotiating with multiple members of the team on hand at a given time. This includes real estate agents, home inspectors, appraisers, and more.
It can be challenging to come to a mutual understanding when two parties don’t agree. To avoid confusion and needless revisions, always ensure that both parties finalize which terms they have agreed on and which ones have been altered.
It can sometimes be easier to use a mediator if both sides are stuck on demands or specifications for repairs.
4. Loans and preapprovals
People find it easiest to buy a house when they already have cash in their bank accounts and aren’t concerned with gathering all of the expected extras during loan approval. But on average, it’s been reported that people seeking home loans spend more than a month before closing on the application process.
In addition, sixteen percent of respondents said it was challenging to collect all of the necessary documentation for their lenders to go through underwriting.
Getting a mortgage can be challenging, but remember that you’re not alone! Many other people are going through the same thing.
13% of buyers said they found the process of getting a mortgage loan to be arduous (Zillow Consumer Report, 2021).
In addition, 13% said they had difficulty deciding what kind of loan to get (Zillow Consumer Report, 2021).
How fast can you buy a house and move in?
Even though there is no clear answer to how fast you can buy a house and move in, buying cash might be your best option.
If you’re financing a home and desire a quick closing, you can take measures to fast-track the process.
Maintaining constant communication with your agent and your lender is one of the more minor but equally important things that will lighten this overbearing load for everyone by speeding up the loan approval process!
But, at the end of the day, each loan will have its unique line due to the various factors involved (such as the underwriting or title-transfer processes).
Even if a home meets your criteria quickly, it can take time to negotiate the details with the seller – if you can make the deal work at all. Knowing what to expect in advance can be helpful:
1. Get your finances in order
Homeownership can be scary as it’s a massive decision that has implications for your future.
Buying a home will undoubtedly affect your entire way of life – so plan to have small portions of money over time to reach your 20% down payment (statistically, it takes the average buyer 7 years’ worth of living costs saved up).
Remember that this percentage can be less. In the following article, I explain how much money you need to buy a house and discuss those percentages.
If you can’t afford this large upfront expense, financial advisors suggest breaking your down payment into pieces to make it more manageable.
Having a side gig is a great way to help you collect your down payment faster.
Knowing your credit score, reviewing your credit reports, and handling any discrepancies will ensure that you present the best possible face to your bank during the mortgage application process.
The Mortgage Calculator on our website can help you understand what you can afford based on your income, debt obligations, and down payment.
[Related Article: How Much Money Do You Need to Buy a House?]
2. Get a reliable real estate agent
If you’re considering purchasing a new home, the first place to look is online.
Visit a credible website for inspiration – you can narrow down search results based on residential property details like size, location, price range, etc.
But the best place to search is with an agent like Juan Cano. Check out the houses we have for sale at Real Estate Juan C!
The experts in your local area can help you make the entire process go as smoothly as possible.
A real estate agent usually serves as a go-between to facilitate a transaction that you should handle yourself.
The inspector attends to whatever needs checking before purchase.
In contrast, the attorney checks what deeds are available and details like property lines or zoning restrictions that may have kept others from building on the land before.
And if a mortgage is involved, you should choose an expert lender or broker who can negotiate with these people for you if things get complicated.
Don’t forget that Real Estate Juan C is here to help you with the process of buying or selling your next home.
3. Apply for preapproval ahead of time
Get pre-approved by your chosen lender so that you get to know the criteria on which they lend.
This is a short-term process wherein you provide financial information to the lender, which helps them determine whether or not you are creditworthy and can afford their mortgage products.
Be pre-approved by the lender to demonstrate your seriousness.
If they have credibility and expertise in this area, the agents will help you find the right lender.
A lender who could then help you with the selection process of getting a home worthy of your new status as a property owner in this area!
4. Present an offer
When finding your next home, there are many factors to consider: the neighborhood, the space your family/laundry appliances, etc.
When finding your next home, there are many factors to consider: the neighborhood, the/laundry appliances, etc.
Once you find a house that you love, don’t be afraid to make an offer on it! But even though an offer may be accepted, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all deals are closed until the contract has been handed over and signed by both parties.
The purchase process can be long and arduous.
However, don’t let things get too stressed because they will eventually take their toll on you in one way or another. Consider this when dealing with someone who takes pride in their work and takes each sale personally; if you have to revisit the deal several times before it is finally closed – know that there are people ready to help!
A sale contract is an agreement between two parties: a buyer and a seller. It outlines the terms of the transaction, how it will be carried out, and each party’s obligations.
The buyer and seller must agree to all material terms before they can move forward in completing a sale.
5. Finalizing the plans and closing the bond
During the 30- to 45-day escrow period, your lender will be keeping a close eye on you. They are doing this to ensure there is no reason for concern or worry about your loan when it comes time for them to process it for approval.
This process may take longer if you hope to have an FHA or VA loan because of the added certifications required by these organizations.
If any of your information has changed since you were pre-approved and things have gotten worse, such as a drop in credit score or more outstanding debt than previously disclosed, then further verification may be required at this point as well.
6. Schedule the inspection
You may want to inspect the property immediately after going under contract.
After you sign your purchase and sale agreement, the longer you take to schedule your inspection, the later you risk having any items that need attention to be fixed or have a credit given back to you.
Any requests about these issues should also be made within a certain amount of time, as stated in your purchase and sale agreement.
7. Start packing up
The months leading up to your move are a logical time to contact a local moving company regarding scheduling and to schedule an appointment with the post office regarding changing your address.
Additionally, this is the ideal opportunity to research how you will make arrangements for setting up utilities in your new home.
If you plan to stay put until your lease is over, you should arrange repairs ahead of time with your landlord since he/she will need sufficient advance notice before a new tenant acquires the property.
8. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
As you’re going through the process of obtaining a mortgage, be sure to stay in frequent contact with your lender.
They will likely send you requests for documents, so it’s best to ensure that you respond to them quickly and are as responsive as possible by making every effort to provide them with whatever information they need.
As you get ready to purchase your dream home, choose an insurance provider and inform your lender of this decision so that they can ensure they can work together with this selected provider when the time comes.
By keeping your real estate agent and attorney regularly updated throughout this, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the right people are in the know.
9. Conclude the purchase of your new home
When you’re closing a home, you want to make sure everything is done right.
This means that either the morning or night before closing, you’ll do a final walkthrough to inspect the condition of your home.
Since any request for repairs must be made during your home inspection, it’s essential to take this time to recheck all closed-off spaces (such as attics, basements, etc.) and ensure that everything has been fixed accordingly.
Next, you will head to the title company’s office, where they will review the contract’s stipulations and sign all relevant documentation.
Remember that depending on your contract’s complexity, this step can take anywhere from an hour or two up to several hours!
Buying a house takes a while, so you want to make sure you’re prepared.
If you’re still wondering how long does it take to buy a house, we are here to help you.
Feel free to contact us here or call us anytime at (617)729-2967.
Thank you for reading. We are always excited when one of our posts can provide helpful information on a topic like this!