What You’ll Learn
- How long does it take to buy a house? In this article, you’ll get a quick overview of the steps of the homebuying process, so you can know what to expect and be better prepared.
How long does the homebuying process usually take? It’s a question that’s likely on the mind of every first-time homebuyer. You’ll see various estimates and averages online, but in reality, everyone’s homebuying journey is unique. Many factors can affect the time it takes for you to buy your home, like what time of year you are buying in, what area you are buying in, and any specific features you’re looking for (the house needs to have three bedrooms, etc.).
While it’s impossible to predict exactly how long your individual homebuying experience will be, knowing the steps in the process and the best order to take those steps can help ensure the process goes as smoothly (and quickly) as possible. Here’s a quick guide to the homebuying timeline:
- Apply for pre-approval: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a smart first step before you start house shopping. Pre-approval gives you an idea of how much you can afford to spend on a home and helps you narrow your search. By the way, Salal Home Lending pre-approvals are usually valid for 120 days.
- Conduct your home search: With pre-approval, you can confidently begin house hunting. If you’re currently at this step in the process, check out the listing search tool from HomeAdvantage®. Plus, if you end up working with a real estate agent in the HomeAdvantage network, you could earn Cash Rewards* equal to 20% of your agent’s commission.
- Prepare purchase and sale agreement (PSA): When you find the right home, prepare the purchase and sale agreement, and make an offer.
- Underwriting of property: Once the seller has accepted your offer, your next step is to submit your purchase and sale agreement to your lender for full underwriting of the property to ensure that everything is in order.
- Deposit earnest money to escrow company: Next, you will make an earnest money deposit into an escrow account listed on the purchase and sale agreement within 24 hours. Earnest demonstrates to the seller that you are committed to buying the house and is a way to show your willingness to complete all the necessary tasks leading up to the purchase of the property.
- Complete home inspection (within the time outlined in PSA): Once your offer is accepted, you’ll typically have a set amount of time to complete a home inspection to identify any potential issues with the property.
- Clear underwriting conditions: During this step, you’ll work with your lender’s underwriting team to clear any conditions necessary to finalize your mortgage approval.
- Shop for home insurance: Before you close on your home, you’ll need to obtain homeowners insurance.
- Final mortgage approval: Once you’ve completed all the necessary steps, your lender will provide you with final mortgage approval.
- Final walkthrough: The day before closing, you’ll typically conduct a final walkthrough of the property to ensure everything is in good condition.
- Closing: Finally, it’s time to close on your new home! You’ll sign the final loan documents and provide any remaining funds due to complete the purchase.
We’re Here to Help
Buying a new home can be complicated, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be exciting and enjoyable. Knowing what to expect from the timeline makes you better prepared and more confident throughout the homebuying process. At Salal, we take an education-first approach to home lending. Salal Mortgage Advisors are always available as a resource, even if you don’t end up getting your home loan from us. Feel free to reach out with any questions.
Set up a Free Homebuyer Planning Session
Thinking of taking the next step on the homebuying journey? Our free, no-obligation Homebuyer Planning Session is a great place to start. Learn what to expect, what you can afford, how much money you’ll need to put down, and what your future mortgage payments might look like.