How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?

Monica Greene

Buying a home is an exciting time for anyone. Even so, it’s not like other kinds of purchases where you can go into a store and get something right away. From cooling-off periods to multiple phases of contracting, it can take much longer to close on a home than many first-time buyers initially realize.

If you’re interested in learning more about the home buying process, your realtor and lender can help walk you through the steps, but it’s always a good idea to understand the process of buying a home before you reach out to a realtor. One major question new buyers may have is how long the home buying process takes. Here’s what you need to know about what to expect in terms of each step in the timeline of buying a home.

2-4 Weeks: Have your real estate agent show you some homes.

Obviously, it takes a few showings before you can find the perfect home for you and your partner. As such, this timeframe is a bit of an estimate; however, if you and your real estate agent are seeing a few showings a week, you’ll likely find a home you like in about two to four weeks. That being said, if you’re really picky, this process might take more time. One way to speed up the timeline is to speak clearly about your wants and needs with your agent so that you don’t waste any time with properties you’re not interested in.

1-2 Days: Get the property inspected.

Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in buying, you’ll need to get it expected. You want to be sure that your home doesn’t have any underlying issues like mold, water damage, or termites before you make an offer since these sorts of issues can decrease the overall value of the home. Just because something comes up during the inspection doesn’t mean you can’t make an offer on the home, but it should be taken into account as you craft an offer.

3 Days: Make an offer.

After you’ve had the property inspected and feel comfortable doing so, it’s time to make an offer. There are a lot of ins and outs to making a solid offer, and your real estate agent will help you navigate this process, including any negotiations based on what the home inspection uncovered. The seller generally has three days to decide whether or not to accept or turn down your offer, so you won’t have to wait too long to find out whether or not the offer was accepted—even if those three days feel like an eternity!

Up to 6 Weeks: Close on the home.

Once an offer has been accepted, it may still take longer to close on the home. This is because there’s a lot of paperwork required with the transferring of property from one party to another, and your need to make sure that everything is signed and filled out properly. Your real estate agent and mortgage lender will both help you through this process, which can take up to six weeks in its entirety.

Don’t miss this pro-tip for speeding up the process.

If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be able to speed up the homebuying process considerably by showing buyers that you’re serious and willing to put your money where your mouth is. Taking a look at a few different home loans can help you find the right interest rate and the sort of home you can qualify for based on your monthly income. It’s easy to compare home loans with iSelect and other online tools in order to find the right rate and get pre-approved.

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