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How long does it take to buy a house? (Timeline for buying a house)

Lisa Bennett
February 25, 2022

Purchasing a home is not something that happens overnight. Finding the ideal home, securing financing, and putting in an offer requires time and effort. Many different steps are generally required to be completed. What is the average time it takes to purchase a home? It is a question that many homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers, have.

The time it takes to buy a house varies depending on the buyer, the market, and the purchased property. It’s one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. Besides being time-consuming and frustrating, it can also be challenging. Every homebuyer’s timeline will be a little different from others. However, by anticipating what will happen and making plans appropriately, you can make the process go much more smoothly.

Finding a lender (1–14 days)

Meeting with your lender is one of the steps in the process of buying a home. It is your lender’s responsibility to assess how much of a mortgage you are eligible for and assist you in getting pre-approved so that you can begin looking for homes in your price range.

Once you’ve found a lender, schedule an appointment to discuss your needs and expectations for a loan. Prepare to talk about your financial situation, including your income and debts. Your lender will also run a credit check on you. It is an excellent opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the process of buying a home.

Pre-approval for a mortgage (4–8 days)

Before you begin your house search, it is recommended that you first get pre-approved for a mortgage. It will give you a better idea of what you can afford and put you in a negotiating position when it comes time to make an offer.

Receiving a pre-approval for a mortgage is an exciting step in the home-purchasing process. To do so, you’ll need to provide the lender with financial information, which will determine how much house you can afford. You’ll need to gather several documents, such as pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. The lender will next request permission to check your credit history.

Consult with a real estate professional for guidance (1–14 days).

As soon as you start looking at houses, you should contact a real estate agent to help you with the process. Find someone who has previous experience purchasing properties in your area and who can assist you in locating a suitable property for your requirements.

Having real estate agents assist you throughout this process is a smart move since they are familiar with the area, understand the language of home sales, and have access to critical information regarding each property they represent. In addition, most home sellers require buyers to have an agent before releasing private information about their home or showing it to anyone.

Searching for a home (45-90 days)

As soon as you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to start searching for a home. While looking, it is vital to keep your priorities in mind. The property you select will not have everything on your wish list; nonetheless, it should have the majority of your must-haves.

Remember that the longer you make a decision, the more competition from other buyers. If you need to find a home in a short period, your real estate agent can begin looking for houses for you.

According to how quickly you find the perfect home, this process stage might take anything from a few weeks to several months.

Negotiate and make an offer (3-5 days).

As a homebuyer, negotiating and coming up with an offer is by far the most stressful part of the process. Make an offer with the help of a real estate agent or the seller on your own. As long as nobody else makes an offer and you’re willing to pay the asking price, it could be easy. But that doesn’t happen very often. There will almost always be other offers, and if you’re fortunate, you may even get it.

After this goes back-and-forth for a few days or weeks, there will be an agreement, or someone will pull out of the negotiations. The typical process starts with submitting a purchase contract, also called a sales contract. If the seller has accepted your offer, you’ll pay for a home appraisal and home inspection. You’ll also need to get homeowners’ insurance and meet with a closing attorney to review the paperwork. If no issues arise from your appraisal or inspection, you’ll be ready to close on your home.

Get approved for a mortgage loan (5–30 days).

You and your mortgage broker are nearing the completion of the mortgage approval process. You will need to compile all of the documents required to be submitted to your lender to complete the underwriting procedure and receive approval for the loan.

Conditional Period (3–7 days).

If you had any conditions in your offers, such as an inspection, financing, or anything else you had agreed with your real estate agent, those terms would need to be included.

It will be a comprehensive review of the state of the house and property, and will most likely want to return for any further inspections. Make a point of following up if there are any issues.

Inspection: This period will be used to undertake an in-depth review of the property by a professional home inspector, who will look for any potential issues with the home that may need to be resolved before closing.

Appraisal: It is carried out by a professional appraiser who will visit the home and complete an in-depth estimate of its value based on comparable homes previously sold in the area.

Closing Period

The lender will produce a closing disclosure form following the completion of your appraisal, which will include your final mortgage terms, including the total amount of interest paid and any closing expenses. If you are purchasing a house, you must receive a closing disclosure at least three working days before the closing date. It allows you time to evaluate the terms, ask questions, and ensure that you receive all of the information you require.


You will need to walk through the house on several occasions to ensure that it is worth what you are paying and that it is still in the same condition as when you first purchased it. You want to ensure that all of the appliances are still working and that the sellers did not scrape any walls or floors.

Moving In

It’s time to wrap things up! What remains is for you to move into your new home once you have the keys in your possession. In addition, obtain a mortgage. And make sure you have insurance and have your appliances installed.

Once you’ve completed the home-buying process, there is a slew of tasks to complete before you can truly consider yourself “moved in.” Nonetheless, don’t be worried – if you’ve taken care of everything on this list, your closing should go down without a problem.

How long does it take to buy a house?

“How long does it take to buy a house?” is frequently asked by prospective home buyers. In reality, the length of time it takes to buy a property has various factors, including the current market conditions, the local economy, and interest rates on mortgage loans.

What is the average time it takes to purchase a home? It can take as little as a few days or as long as several months to complete the process. The best time to buy is when you have found your ideal home and can afford to purchase it.

Printable Checklist for Moving House