How Long Does Buying a Home Actually Take?
Posted by Scott Jacobs, Broker on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 9:59:49 AM By Scott Jacobs, Broker / February 28, 2023 Comment
How Long Does Buying a Home Actually Take?
Any real estate investor must be well knowledgeable about the procedure for finalizing a property sale. Whether you are purchasing a single-family house or a multifamily building, you must comprehend and navigate the closing process.
You always want to be on the offense in this process rather than the defense, much as in sports. To position yourself for success and actually close the deal, you must be aware of what to expect. You should also be aware of what is a fair timeline.
When you're ready to buy a house, it's important to know how long the process will take. There are a lot of variables that can affect the timeline, from finding the right house to getting approved for a mortgage. In this blog post, we'll explore how long it really takes to buy a house. Keep reading to find out more!
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to buy a house, depending on the market conditions and the type of property you're looking for.
The process of buying a house can be a long and tiresome one. Depending on the current market conditions and the type of property you're looking for, it can take anywhere from several weeks to many months before you are able to make an offer. It's important to be prepared for the length of time involved in the process and plan accordingly. Whether it's finding a good realtor, applying for financing, conducting inspection visits, or revising contracts with the seller, each step adds more value than just making an offer. Once all that is taken care of you will finally be able to call your new home yours - worth every minute of it!
The Steps of Buying a House & Days to Complete Them
The first step is finding a real estate agent that you trust and who has experience in the area where you want to purchase a home.
A trustworthy, experienced real estate agent is an invaluable asset when it comes to purchasing a home. They will not only help you to understand the local real estate market, they can also provide advice and insight on the best neighborhoods and property types for your needs. A great real estate agent can save you time, money, and stress if they find the perfect house for you. Taking the time to find the right professional for you is definitely worth it in the long run. Finding a qualified agent who is knowledgeable about your desired area is an important first step when shopping for a new home.
Finding the trustworthy ones? Click here: http://jacobsandco.com/agents
Once you've found an agent, they will help you find properties that match your budget and preferences.
Having an agent as your guide can be immensely helpful when searching for a new home. Local agents have a wealth of knowledge about the area and can steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding a property that best fits your budget and desires. From visiting potential properties with you and providing valuable feedback, to talking through potential offers, an agent's expertise can help take some of the stress out of purchasing a home.
Get pre-approved for a loan (1–3 days)
This procedure is fairly easy to execute and usually takes 24 hours.
Any lender you choose will inquire about your financial condition by asking you a few rather straightforward qualifying questions. They will inquire as to your monthly income, whether it be personal or household. They'll also inquire about any ongoing bills you may have. Debts can include mortgage payments on other properties you own, auto loans, and even credit card debt. These are merely the most typical sorts of debt; they are not the only ones.
The bank will examine your credit after a brief phone conversation to make sure you are eligible. Even if your credit score isn't the best, you shouldn't worry too much about this portion because you should still be able to acquire a loan as long as your income minus your debt is above the bank's minimum requirement.
Once you've found a property you're interested in, your agent will help negotiate the price with the seller.
Finding the perfect property can be a challenging but thrilling experience, and an experienced realtor can prove invaluable in this process. Once you think you’ve located your perfect home or investment, your agent is there to help negotiate the price with the seller. This part of the process can be overwhelming for buyers, but with a professional navigating through on their behalf, it can make all the difference in achieving high satisfaction. Having an expert with knowledge of the area and current prices to represent one’s interests at the negotiating table cannot be understated - it could make all the difference in making sure your property purchase goes smoothly.
Submit, negotiate, and sign a contract (2–10 days)
You've located a house you wish to purchase. Congratulations! Choosing a purchase price to give the seller is the next step in the procedure. The next step is to decide whether you want to request closing fees, budgets for repairs, or any other contingencies you might need. Once you have signed the offer, your agent will have it prepared for submission to the seller's agent. Fantastic if the seller accepts your offer. They frequently make what is known as a counteroffer in response. You can choose to accept their response at this moment or provide your own.
You get to sign the finalized contract and begin the escrow portion of the house purchase after the back-and-forth is over.
With the negotiations finished, it's now time to approach lenders for your new home. Financing doesn't have to be a long and drawn-out process, but it can take anywhere from a few days up to multiple weeks depending on each individual situation. Preparing the right paperwork beforehand can help streamline the process, as can having all your assets and credit history ready before applying. Be sure to consider all of the loan options at hand and pick the best one that fits your needs. With a little preparation and patience, you'll be settled in your new home soon!
Get the loan finalized
There are quite a few steps to this process that make getting a loan a little frustrating.
Remember that pre-approval letter that you got before you even started looking for a home? Throw it away because it means nothing anymore. The bank is now going to dive deeper into your financials and make sure that you have not done anything financially crazy since getting that letter, like buying a brand-new car that your income won’t be able to support with a home loan. They will analyze your credit report in depth, assessing your credit score and overall financial health. At this stage, the lender will want to see your bank statements.
Along with your personal information, the bank is going to want to know about the house. This part of the process is much longer than your financials but will not require you to do very much, thankfully.
Overall, expect a timeframe of 2-4 weeks for your loan to get finalized. If everything is straightforward, it may take as little as around 10 days. In the end, you will get a closing disclosure document from your lender, which will clearly state the type of loan you have been given and its conditions.
From here, many of the following steps will be going on simultaneously.
Process title work (3–5 days)
To secure a home loan, the bank will need to know that the house has a clear or clean title. A clear title means that there are no existing liens on the property. Liens can be anything from unpaid utility bills to work that was done to the property but was never paid for. A clear title also reveals that the prior sales transactions were done lawfully and the current owner is entitled to sell the home. Title work is going to be done by your title firm or closing attorney and will require no work on your end, but it is part of the waiting process.
Get an appraisal (3–10 days)
The appraisal is a crucial step in obtaining a mortgage for a home. A bank will only lend up to a particular percentage of the appraised value, depending on the sort of loan you are applying for.
As an example, let's use the $200,000 house from the previous example to show how this operates. If the appraiser who evaluated your home determined that it was worth around $200,000, that's wonderful; the bank will continue with the loan approval process. But, if the assessment shows that the property is worth only $180,000, the bank will not provide you the required loan. You would need to either come up with a higher down payment in this case or return to the negotiation table and lower the home's sale price.
Banks do this because they want to make sure that they can recoup their investment if you default on your loan by selling the home for close to its appraised value.Obtaining an appraisal is a fairly easy process. The agency or lender you are dealing with will often have a few appraisers they trust and work with. Scheduling the individual to visit the house may take a few days, depending on their workload.
The appraisal itself typically lasts between one and two hours once you've scheduled it.
The appraiser will compile a report comparing the property in its current condition to recent sales of similar properties in the neighborhood after conducting their walk-through inspection of the property.
The appraisal is not something you really need to be there for, as the appraiser will not get into the nitty-gritty of the home you’re looking to purchase. It’s the next activity that you should set aside time for.
Get an inspection (3–10 days; 1–3 hours of active time)
A home inspection is probably one of the most crucial things you can do before buying a home, even though a bank does not mandate it. A qualified inspector will point out both the major issues with the house and any minor ones that they can find.
Even if you believe you have identified every issue with the house or if you believe nothing is wrong, don't skip this step. I've seen recently constructed homes that required repairs after an inspection.
You should begin this procedure as soon as possible since, like the appraisal, finding a reputable inspector to come out and look at your home may take a few days. You may only have a small time to finish your due diligence here, depending on your contract.
Depending on the size and style of the home you want to buy, the inspection may take one to several hours. The inspector will climb up onto the roof, survey the area from there, then enter the attic and crawl underneath the building.
The inspector often responds to you with a report of everything they found wrong with the property 24 hours after they have finished their inspection.
Negotiate repairs (2–7 days)
You are now aware of all the issues with the house that require immediate or delayed maintenance. This is your chance to put your negotiating hat back on, unless you understood you were purchasing the house "as-is," which means the seller made it clear they would not make any repairs.
A list of the issues you want fixed before buying the house will be provided to the seller. You can either request that they perform the necessary repairs or give you a credit so that you can make the repairs yourself.
In most cases, you can resolve this within a few days, but occasionally, bargaining takes longer. This won't lengthen the time it takes to purchase the home.
Purchase homeowner’s insurance (2–3 days)
Any bank that gives you a loan is going to require you to have homeowner’s insurance on the property. They will even wrap your insurance payments into your monthly mortgage payment (as well as taxes, if you choose), so you don’t have to worry about an extra bill to pay. This is where the term PITI comes from principal, interest, tax, and insurance.
You can usually get a quote within 24 to 48 hours after a brief phone call with an insurance agent. In very rare instances, it will take a little longer.
You can shop around for quotes on this, which will take you a couple of hours of active time on the phone or the internet, or just go with a company you already trust. As long as you have coverage set to begin the day you are set to close on the house, you are good to go.
Get your closing funds ready (36 hours before closing)
Up until this point, you should have done as little as possible to the money in your bank accounts. You don’t want to be moving money from one bank account to another, as that will make it harder for your lender to track your money and secure you for a loan.
You are going to want to get wiring instructions and the closing amount that you will need from your closing company or attorney for this step. Make sure you verify the wiring instructions with them, as this is where fraud can be committed, and you don’t want to lose all of your hard-saved money.
You can usually get a cashier’s check for the closing instead of wiring the money.
After you have the amount you need and the instructions for wiring, you just need to give the wiring details to your bank. Depending on your bank, you can do this on the phone or online.
Final walk-through (1–3 hours before closing)
If the seller hasn't done any repairs to the house, you can skip this step, but you should still check to make sure they haven't made any odd alterations before you buy the house. This is your last opportunity to view the house before you are forced to take care of it.
This is the last chance to confirm that the seller has fulfilled any repair requests you made of them, albeit waiting until the very last minute like this definitely wasn't a good idea.
Close on your new house! (1 hour)
You have made it to signing day. Congratulations! The signing process can be a little time-consuming and wrist-tiring. You are going to be signing your name more than you ever have before. Your closing agent will walk you through all of the documents you will be signing and make sure that you understand each of the places where you are putting your signature.
Don’t rush this process. You don’t want to sign something that you don’t understand. If you have questions, ask them. This is what the agents are getting paid for, so take advantage.
Finally, once everything is approved and signed, it's time to move into your new home!
After weeks of anticipation and hard work, the day has finally arrived to move into your brand-new home. Taking the first step across that threshold into your new space is a memory you will always cherish. From unpacking boxes, to picking out furniture and decorating; the excitement of creating an inviting atmosphere can give you a real sense of accomplishment. Embrace the chance to make this house into the perfect home for you and your family to enjoy for years to come!
In conclusion, purchasing a home is a lengthy and complex process. From looking at properties and pushing for the best price to finding financing and finally signing on the dotted line, there are several steps you need to take in order to purchase a home successfully. This lengthy process requires hard work, research, and patience. Therefore, it’s imperative to begin early and enlist the help of a dependable real estate agent that can help guide you through each stage of the purchasing process. Though there are many steps involved, when you reach the final point of owning your own home, it will be worth all of the effort that you have spent!
JACOBS & CO. REAL ESTATE, LLC.
12923 Fitzwater Dr. Nokesville, VA 20155
(703) 594-3800 | jacobsandco.com