It takes the average buyer 4.5 months to buy a home, according to Zillow. However, there are many considerations to take into account. Small details can add time to the process, and it's impossible to accurately estimate how long it'll take someone to close on a purchase.
Here are a few timely factors to keep in mind:
For a financially savvy buyer, the first step in the homebuying process is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Taking the time to do so now may help avoid hold-ups later on.
If your lender already has your details and has pre-approved you for a loan, you may be able to obtain financing quicker when you're ready. Additionally, if you can show the seller that you're already pre-approved, that person may be more likely to quickly respond to your offer.
Though it's time-saving in the long run, pre-approval could take about 2.5 weeks, according to GOBankingRates.
Finding the right home
Most people begin their home searches online, but work with a real estate agent and visit open houses soon after.
Finding the right real estate agent may take some time, especially if you're looking for someone with very specific expertise. It's important to properly vet the agent before starting to work with him or her. Ask questions about their background, qualifications and experience.
The average buyer looks at 10 homes over the course of 10 weeks, according to data collected by the National Association of Realtors. However, if you're looking for something highly specific, such as a house on the lakefront, it may take some additional time to find the perfect place.
Negotiating the contract
Once you find your dream home and make an offer, the seller might accept it with a few days. In some cases, though, certain situations draw out the process a bit longer.
The seller might counter your offer, and a negotiation period could ensue. If the home inspector finds that the house needs a new roof, or something else that needs attention, you might ask the seller to lower the cost or provide the fix. Either of these situations could draw out negotiations.