How Long Does it Take to Buy a House?

March 2, 2023

Before you embark on your next real estate adventure, knowing how long it takes to buy a house will help you set your goals and reduce stress. One thing is certain: purchasing a home is not an activity that real estate agents can tell you is designed to provide immediate ...

Before you embark on your next real estate adventure, knowing how long it takes to buy a house will help you set your goals and reduce stress. One thing is certain: purchasing a home is not an activity that real estate agents can tell you is designed to provide immediate gratification. Purchasing a home is a lengthy process. It’s satisfying and enjoyable, but it takes time.

Now let’s take a closer look at each, including examples of issues that may arise and cause the time it takes to close on a home to be extended.

Loan Pre-approval (pre-approval): Period : 1–5 days

You may wish to purchase a house, but are you able to do so? If that’s the case, what’s your budget? Before going out to look at houses in person, you must first answer these questions. If you intend to pay in full, the lender can determine how much you can afford based on your financial situation. They’ll examine your revenue, properties, debts, and credit score before sending you a pre-approval letter outlining the amount of money they’re willing to lend.

Lenders want your company, so they should issue a pre-approval letter quickly. Since you’ll need to connect your pre-approval letter to any deal you make, it’s better to contact your bank to get pre-approved sooner rather than later in the process. Being pre-approved helps you to know exactly how much you will spend right away. Your time is valuable; don’t waste it by looking at houses you can’t afford!

Research in the Neighborhood: Period : 3–30 days

Most home buyers have a mental image of the type of home they want to purchase before they start looking. You can now get very detailed about what communities and homes will suit your budget now that you have your loan pre-approval.

Here’s what you’ll be doing now:

These are normal questions to ask, and they’re crucial to answer early in the home-buying process. As a result, you’ll be able to begin your home quest with a laser-like emphasis.

Since everyone is different, there is such a wide range of estimates for this phase. A third-time home buyer in a market where they’ve lived for twenty years, for example, is likely to make decisions more quickly than a first-time home buyer in a new area. Each individual takes a different amount of time to complete this step.

Also Read: How to Get Your Home Ready for Renters?

Choosing an Agent: Period: 1–5 days

Hiring a real estate agent is a no-brainer because it will cost you nothing and will provide you with a slew of advantages. This does not, however, imply that you can hire the first agent you come across. You should devote some time to finding an experienced and competent agent who can effectively serve your interests.

Some clients prefer to communicate with an agent via emails or phone calls. It should only take a few days to complete this phase.

Personal Home Tours: Variable

Now it’s time to have some fun! You can begin touring homes on the market that meet your criteria once you have your budget, priorities, and proper representation.

The length of time it takes to find a home is influenced by market conditions. Low inventory is common in a hot real estate market, with some homes attracting several offers shortly after being classified in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This will lengthen your quest because it will be far more difficult to find homes, let alone get your offer accepted. Similarly, if you have your heart set on a particular neighborhood, it can take some time before a home in that area becomes accessible.

Furthermore, the events in your life will have an effect on how long you spend looking at houses. People who are approaching a big life event such as a new job have a greater need for a home. Others may not be in a hurry and are willing to wait a long time before a home that perfectly suits their needs becomes available.

What is the average amount of time spent looking for a home? According to a report, the average buyer actively searches for 10 to 12 weeks and looks at a total of 10 properties.” However, for some people, this process could take months.

Contract Negotiation: Period : 1–5 days

You’ve found a home you want and want to make a bid! Your real estate agent will draft an offer that includes the price and contingencies you want. Any of these contingencies can cause the purchase of your home to be delayed. The home sale contingency, for example, stipulates that if your current home does not sell, the closing of your new home will be postponed.

Also Read: How to Buy Your First Rental Property?

Following the receipt of your contract by the seller, several days of negotiations will ensue in which both parties try to negotiate an agreement. If there is an ongoing bidding war, you might even be competing with other buyers.

Contract to be Signed: 30-60 days

When the seller accepts your bid, you are legally under contract. The length of time the house is under contract before you close on it is specified in your bid. The way you pay for it would have a significant impact on how long it takes to close the deal.

Your bid would provide a funding contingency if you want to finance your future home with a mortgage. Since your lender requires time to underwrite, adding a funding contingency will result in a longer contract to close duration.

Based on the form of loan, below are some estimates:

Remember that these are just projections. A buyer with bad credit and uncertain sources of income may require 60-90 days to close on a house. However, you can speak with your loan officer about the number of days they prescribe. It might be tempting to extend your deadline to make your bid more attractive, but doing so puts your earnest money at risk.

Cash buyers, on the other hand, are not bound by these restrictions. They will close even more quickly, often in just a few days.

How Long Does it Take to Buy a House?

Duration of Escrow Time estimate: 7-21 days (while under contract)

The escrow period starts after the seller approves your offer. Various tasks will be scheduled by your agent, including:

Closing and Final Walkthrough: a few hours

You’ll do a final walkthrough of the property with the listing agent within 24 hours of closing. Walkthroughs enable you to double-check that the repairs you ordered have been completed and that the property’s condition hasn’t changed significantly since the first display.

After that, you’ll sign a slew of papers to take ownership of your new home, you’ve made it all the way to the top! The pleasure you will receive from your new home will, ideally, outweigh any tension you may have experienced during this period.

Final thoughts

So, what is the average time it takes to buy a home? For the most part, it’ll be a few months. However, for others, it could be six months or longer. It is determined by a number of factors and varies from person to person. Staying on top of deadlines and being informed about the measures involved, on the other hand, will help you prevent unnecessary delays.