How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?
A common question asked by potential home buyers is: how long does it take to buy a house? Every buyer and situation are different, but on average, buying a house can take anywhere from 10 weeks to 9 months and sometimes even longer. Based on our 10 Steps to Buying a House we’re going to break down the timeline of each step and how long it really takes to buy a house from start to finish. There are many different factors that affect the home buying process like the housing market, the buyer’s financial situation, and much more! So we’re here to break down the process step-by-step for you to have a better idea about how long each step may take.
Before you even start looking for a house you need to take a look at your financial standing to make sure that you are able to afford a home. Get your credit and FICO score checked as soon as possible in order to know if you need to improve it or not. Building your credit takes a significant amount of time, especially for first-time home buyers. You may need at least 8 weeks to build it back up before you move forward with the home buying process.
Finding the Right Lender
Finding the right mortgage lender usually, takes about a week. Before deciding on a specific lender take some time to research the different mortgage options and talk to different lenders. This is an important part of the process because your lender is there to help you understand the financial side of home buying. They will also answer any questions you have about your finances and mortgage options.
Get Preapproved for Mortgage
Before beginning the actual home search, you need to seek a pre-approval on a loan. A pre-approval allows the lender to look deeply into your financial situation through an application process that includes an extensive financial background check and analysis of your current credit score report. Then, the lender will provide a specific mortgage amount, which you are eligible to borrow before applying for the loan. A preapproval shows sellers that you are financially capable of buying a house and makes the home buying process move a lot faster. Getting preapproved usually takes a few days to one month. This step of the process can be delayed if the lender needs additional documents to finalize the pre-approval.
Finding the Right Realtor
One month is plenty of time to find the right real estate agent whom you trust. Ask family and friends for any recommendations they can provide. You can also search online through sites like Realtor, Zillow or Trulia. Don’t forget that you are hiring a realtor to assist you during the home buying process and negotiations so be sure to ask thorough questions to make sure that he or she is a good fit.
In general, home shopping can take up to 3 to 6 weeks or even longer depending on the availability of homes in the market and how much time you have to look. Screen the homes online first this will help you save time before actually visiting the homes in person. Keep in mind that home shopping usually takes the longest in the home buying process.
A home inspection is definitely worth investing in to make sure the house you are about to purchase is in good condition. The home inspector will look into everything about the house including plumbing, structural, cosmetic, electrical and mechanical. The actual home inspection only takes about 2 to 3 hours but it may take up to a week to schedule an inspector to visit the house.
Negotiating an Offer
The negotiation process typically takes less than a week. It can definitely take longer if the seller decides to counteroffer rather than accept or reject your offer, which is fairly common. In a counteroffer, the seller usually wants to negotiate the price or adjust terms. Always be prepared to negotiate with the seller on the house!
The loan process is where you finalize your loan and get approved. It can take about a week to three weeks. During this process, your files will be carefully analyzed by the underwriter to make sure it meets all the requirements. If you need to resolve any issues or provide more documents this process may take a little bit longer.
Closing the Sale
On average closing should take no more than 30 to 60 days. The actual closing process where documents are signed and finalized usually only takes a few days. This is the last step in the home buying process so everything needs to be finalized correctly before you are able to move into your new home!
From start to finish the home buying process could be 10 weeks to 9 months or longer based on these steps. If you’d like to learn more about the home buying process or are interested in buying a home please give us a call today at (800)-346-8047!