Basic Timeline of the Homebuying Process

Cozy Bedroom Design

Buying a house is undoubtedly one of the most exciting experiences a person can have. However, it is also one of the most expensive decisions you will make, so it isn’t surprising that this process takes time.

Whether you are a first-time buyer or you are already on your second house hunt, the homebuying journey can feel particularly long and daunting. There is always the possibility of dealing with lots of delays and complications, all of which can slow down the whole process.

So, the main question is—how long does it take to find the right house and what can you do to make things go smoothly?

To get an idea of the average homebuying timeline, read on to learn what to expect when looking for a new house.

Planning a budget

The homebuying process starts with preparing your budget. If you are lucky enough to already have a down payment, which is typically at least 10-20% of your home price, then you can easily move on to the next step.

However, if you don’t have enough financial assets, then this may be the longest task in the entire process you have to complete. Saving up for a down payment can take up to a few years and requires planning your budget carefully ahead of time. 

Finding a real estate agent

Because the homebuying process is long and overwhelming, it is best that you rely on the expertise of a real estate agent to guide you along. Although this task usually takes a few days to complete, it is advised that you invest your time in interviewing multiple agents before settling on the one you believe best fits your situation. 

When you are conducting your interviews, make sure you ask the real estate agents about their years of expertise, how many homes they have closed so far, and what qualifications or certifications they have.

Searching for a home

Probably the most exciting part of the homebuying process is searching for your home. This task typically takes around two to three months, which is understandable because shopping for a house is a huge commitment. To make things easier, you can make a list of things your new home should have.

For instance, think about the number of rooms you need, where the location of the property is, what the school district is like, and the type of transportation that fits your lifestyle.

Making an offer 

Once you have found the right house for you, your next step is to make a formal offer through your real estate agent as soon as possible. This offer is an agreement between you and the seller, which they may accept, reject or counter. If they accept your offer, then it will take a few days until the deal is official.

However, if the seller makes a counteroffer, then you will probably find yourself in a juggling act, going back and forth to negotiate the best deal that suits both parties. If this happens, the process could take longer.

Exchanging contracts

Exchanging contracts is the legal part of the homebuying process where you mainly sit in the background and allow your solicitor to take the reins to close the deal faster. This task can take up to four weeks because of the several legalities that need to be completed.

Besides this, there are other things that happen during this stage such as making inquiries about the status of the property, if there are any planning permissions, and paying off the deposit. When these tasks are completed, both you and the vendor will sign a legally binding document that makes you the official owner of the property.

Completing the sale

Although you have signed all important contracts, you still won’t be able to move into your home just yet. There are other things that you have to do first, such as ordering a home inspection, getting home insurance, and doing some final checks to make sure everything is in order.

Also, this is the stage where you pay off the rest of the money for the property and get the title deeds and proof that the vendor’s mortgage has been cleared.

Final thoughts

All in all, the homebuying process can last up to six months or more, depending on how fast and smoothly things are going. To ensure everything stays in order, hire a real estate agent to guide you along and help you close on a deal soon. For more information, use our post as a reference to get an idea of what the basic timeline is when buying a house. 

Moving Boxes

How To Move Into A Small Apartment

Polyurethane Foam Insulation

Advantages of Polyurethane Insulation in House Walls