Many questions have both short and long answers. The short version can be satisfying but may lack nuance. The long answer is more to sift through, but it tends to come with useful details. How long does it take to buy a house? That’s a question with both short and long answers.
How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?
The short answer is that the total time it takes to buy a house varies depending on several factors, including the state of your local housing market, your financing needs, and what you’re looking for in a home. On average, the time between starting a house hunt and completing the purchase is best measured in months.
What about the long answer? SmartAsset offers a breakdown of several common tasks for homebuyers and the length of time it takes to accomplish them:
- Getting preapproved for a home loan generally takes between one and seven days.
- Choosing a real estate agent typically takes somewhere between one day and two weeks.
- Finding a home is a bit of a wild card. The window varies widely and is influenced by what you’re looking for in a house, what’s available in your area, how quickly you decide to make an offer, and whether your offer is accepted.
- Completing home appraisals and inspections normally takes a week or two.
- Moving from signing the contract to taking a seat at the closing table tends to take 30 to 45 days. USDA, VA, and FHA loans may take slightly longer.
Getting preapproved takes a few days, but it offers some significant benefits. It helps you determine how much you can really afford to spend and demonstrates to sellers that you are a serious buyer. As Dave Ramsey indicates, it also gives you a head start on the loan approval process, which can reduce the time between contract and settlement.
Selecting a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent should be an invaluable ally during the homebuying process, and as the Home Buying Institute points out, your real estate agent can have a major impact on how long it takes you to find and buy a house. To choose the right one for your needs, ask for references from people you trust and read online reviews. When you’ve narrowed your list down to a few names, make appointments to interview them and see who is a good fit. Ask how long their clients normally shop before purchasing. Consider how they answer your questions and whether the insights and advice that they offer fit your needs.
Your Home Hunt
How long does it take to buy a house? A huge part of that calculation depends on how long it takes you to find the house. According to Realtor.com, the average homebuyer visits 10 different houses over 10 weeks before they find the home that prompts them to make an offer. However, individual experiences vary wildly. Some homebuyers fall in love with the first home they see and submit a winning offer. Some find appealing properties, but their offers aren’t accepted. Others spend months looking for the right place.
The Road to Closing
Once an offer is accepted and the contract is signed, there is a push to get inspections and appraisals completed, and the final approval of your loan begins. Houselogic urges buyers who want to keep things moving smoothly to respond to any requests for additional information promptly. Meanwhile, you’ll also need to arrange for insurance and make sure that you have the funds required for closing. Closing itself typically takes an hour or so – and once it’s over, you’ll be a homeowner!
Your lender also plays a role in how long it takes to buy a home. After all, their efforts have a direct impact not only on how long it takes to get approved but also on whether you close on time. At PrimeLending Twin Cities, we pride ourselves on delivering stellar, personalized service that gets the job done right without delays or unnecessary stress. With a wide range of loan products to choose from, we’re ready to help you select the right one for your situation and guide you through the entire loan process. How can we help you? Contact us today to find out.