How Long Does It Take to Buy a House? Expert Insight


You’re ready to buy a house? Congratulations on making one of the most rewarding decisions of your adult life! With 5.25 million homes sold so far in 2019, you’re participating in a popular endeavor.

Now that you’ve decided to buy a home, you also want to know how long does it take to buy a house?

Each home sale is unique and some take longer than others. While we won’t cover every scenario, we will outline the timeline of a basic home sale.

Reading this post should give you an idea of how long you’ll wait to get the keys.

First You Fall in Love

Unless you fall for the first home you see, you’ll spend at a minimum several days browsing online real estate listings and viewing homes with a real estate.

If you’re shopping in a competitive market, it may take several weeks, sometimes a few months to find the ideal home. A hot market is usually full of buyers like you who may (or may not) beat you to submitting an offer.

On the other hand, if you’re looking in an area with a low inventory of homes, it may take longer to find the ideal home.

Making an Offer?

Once you find your home and make an offer, you’ll wait for the seller’s response. Most purchase contracts contain a time limit, and your state may also set a timeframe for offer acceptance by the seller.

Sellers usually have 72 hours to accept or reject. If the seller makes a counteroffer, it adds to the timeline. Keep in mind, you may go through multiple counteroffers.

You Are Under Contract

Once the seller accepts your offer, you’re officially under contract.

As soon as you’re under contract you’ll submit your loan application, ordering an inspection, and set up homeowner’s insurance.

During this time you’ll also finish putting together your funds to close.

It’s not unusual during this stage to look for assistance with down payments for home buying. It’s not only the down payment for the home itself, but you may also need first installments for insurance, moving expenses, and furnishings for your new home.

It’s a flurry of activity behind the scenes during the time you’re under contract.

When Is Closing Day?

It usually takes about 30-65 days to move from under contract to homeowner status. Most people make it to the closing table in 45 days, while others, especially those paying cash, may complete the transaction much sooner.

Work with your lender and realtor to avoid not closing on time.

Still Wondering How Long Does It Takes to Buy a House?

See? It’s not so bad! Most people can enjoy their new place within a month or so.

Still asking the question of how long does it take to buy a house? For a more thorough discussion about your unique situation, talk things through with your real estate agent and lender.

While you’re waiting to close, come hang out with us on the blog. We have plenty of reading material to keep you busy.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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