Buying a home is not something you can do overnight. Even if you have the cash to buy the house of your dreams, you are unlikely to be able to push the deal through in days because of the processes that must be followed by everyone involved. So, how long does it take to buy a home? Well, according to the expert real estate agents at EXIT Real Estate Consultancy, you can expect the entire house-buying process to take around five or six months once you are ready to buy.
Being ready to buy means having the required down payment and your finances in order (you will usually need an agreement in principle from a lender before you view any properties). These are the two most important aspects of preparation you need to consider before you can even think about getting on the property ladder. If you have these pieces of the puzzle in place, you can begin to house-hunt. Below are a few of the steps involved in buying a home and how long they usually take.
Hire a Real Estate Agent
Speak to friends and family members about who they have used in the past. Getting recommendations is a terrific way to find an agent you can trust. You can also look online to find a nearby agent with a good reputation. This should take a couple of days at most.
Find the Home You Love
Your real estate agent will help you to find the perfect home based on the criteria that are most important to you. You should write down a list of the features your home must have and include those that you would consider desirable but not essential. If your agent has this information, they will be able to find homes to suit. If you are lucky, you will find the ideal home in a week or two, but your search could take longer, depending on the housing market at the time.
Put in an Offer
When you have found the home of your dreams, you will be eager to put in an offer. Your agent will discuss what type of offer you should submit based on information provided by the seller’s agent. You might have to do some negotiating to reach an agreement that suits both parties. This can take a few days.
Finalizing Your Mortgage
If you have placed an offer and had a satisfactory home inspection carried out, you can begin the process of finalizing the mortgage. You will need to submit various documents to your lender, such as bank statements and wage slips.
A lot of other work goes on in the background at this time. Your lawyer will need to do title searches and provide information to the lender, and the underwriter will need to review all your documents as well as the local and state policies where you live. When everything is in place, your loan contract will be drawn up. How long this takes depends on how straightforward the application is. You can expect it to take anywhere between one or two months.
The fastest way to buy a home is with cash, but most people are not in a position to do this. Mortgage processing can take a couple of months; it is this that tends to add the most time to house buying. If you are buying with a mortgage, you can speed up the process by making sure you have all your documentation to hand and by getting mortgage approval in place before starting your search. Of course, using a reputable agent will also make the process quicker and easier.