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How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?


The home buying process is exciting but can be lengthy, especially if you have a purchase fall through and have to start over. How long should you expect it to take to buy a home from start to finish?

The overall home buying process can take around four months and can be broken down into three distinct phases: the search (two months), the offer (one month), and the financing (one month). Any one of these steps can take longer, so give yourself plenty of time when considering buying a home.

The Search

The National Association of Realtors found that most buyers in 2019 took between four and ten weeks to search for and find their new home. Buyers who used the internet to search typically took longer, closer to ten weeks, and those who relied on in-person searching only averaged four weeks. Give yourself three months to allow enough time to really do a thorough search and not rush into a home that it not the right fit for you because you are limited by time. Working with a real estate agent can help you make your home search efficient.

The Offer

Once you find the perfect home, it’s time to make an offer and (hopefully) agree on a sales contract with the seller. If they accept your offer without any changes, it can be done in as little as a day. More likely, you will go back and forth a few times and wait for an inspection before your offer is completely accepted. Your real estate agent will come in handy again as they negotiate on your behalf with the seller.

The Financing

Most lenders recommend allowing 30-45 days to get all financing documents together after having an approved sales contract. This is referred to as the time to close, or get to the final sale. The lender will get the property appraised and send your loan application through underwriting where they scrutinize your finances and ability to repay the loan.

Getting a pre-approval or pre-qualification before beginning your home search can save you time, typically one to two weeks. It can also cut down on negotiation time with the seller as they can see that you are ready to move forward with the purchase and may be more likely to agree to your terms, knowing that you are a reliable buyer.

Once you get the clear to close notification from underwriting, your lender will send over the Closing Disclosure documents. They are required to give you three full days to review these documents before closing and completing the sale.

Once you get to closing and sign all documents, the lender will hand over the keys. Congratulations! After months of hard word, you have bought a house!

Author Bio: Greg Sandler
Greg Sandler is a distinguished leader and strategist in the mortgage and real estate investment industry. With over two decades of experience, Greg has honed his expertise in guiding his clients to build wealth through real estate.

Greg Sandler has direct and first-hand experience as co-founder and CEO of USA Investment Group Management Inc., focusing on growing real estate holdings and diversified asset portfolios. Under Greg's guidance, the company has executed hundreds of traditional real estate acquisitions and currently manages a substantial portfolio of rental units.

Greg also has a track record of driving multi-million-dollar revenues and leading high-performing teams to success in mortgage loan originations, achieving the prestigious "Top 1% Originator" status in consecutive years. Currently steering the helm as the President at USALending.AI in Keller, TX, Greg has revitalized this division of a mortgage bank, significantly expanding the company's scale.

Prior to this, Greg's role as Senior Vice President at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp in Rocklin, CA, was marked by his pivotal contribution in establishing the company's presence in northern California and northern Nevada. Under Greg's leadership, his team of nearly 110 dedicated mortgage professionals originated and funded approximately $800 million in residential mortgages annually.

Greg's professional journey is marked by his exceptional skills in negotiation, sales leadership, financial analysis, and P&L management. His ability to strategize, coupled with his in-depth knowledge of the mortgage and real estate sectors, makes him a visionary leader and a respected figure in the industry.

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