How Long Does It Take to Buy a House? The Average Timeline

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

Are you in the process of buying a house for the first time but don’t know what to expect? Becoming a homeowner is a thrilling experience but it’s a long way to go from finding the perfect property to having your offer accepted.

There’s also a lot of paperwork and legalities, including getting a mortgage loan, down payments, house inspections, and more. This is why it’s helpful to prepare for each stage of the journey.

So, how long does it take to buy a house? Keep reading to find out.

Looking for a Home

The longest part of buying a house is looking for the perfect home. This timeline depends on the place you live in or want to live in, the state of the real estate market, and the criteria you have for your future home.

Estimated timeline: 5-6 months or more.

Selling Your Own Home

If you’re selling your own home during the home buying process, this could take extra time as you find the best buyers and sell the house faster. You may need to do some minor or major renovations and touch-ups to your house to get it ready for sale.

This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the work the house needs. Then, you need to look through offers, do counteroffers, do home inspections, and complete all documentation for the house. 

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Estimated timeline: 5-6 months.

Getting a Mortgage Preapproval

Before you can get a mortgage or a loan, you need to go through the mortgage preapproval process. This is especially important if you’re going the ‘rent to own no money down bad credit‘ route and need to see how much house you can afford.

To get preapproved, you need to have a solid credit score and convince the financial institution that you’re capable of paying off the mortgage in full.

Estimated timeline: 1 week.

Getting an Offer Accepted

Once you put in an offer, you need to wait and see if it’ll be accepted by the seller. There are three scenarios here:

  • The seller accepts your offer and you start the closing process;
  • The seller rejects your offer and you either resubmit another offer or move on to another property;
  • You make a counteroffer with better terms and conditions for the seller.

For each of these scenarios, the home buying timeline is different and depends on how motivated the seller is.

Estimated timeline: 1-2 months.

Preparing for Closing

The final step of buying a home is preparing for closing the deal. This means your offer was accepted and all appraisals and home inspections are complete. 

Estimated timeline: 1 month to 45 days.

How Long Does It Take To Buy a House? This Guide Will Help Understand the Process Better

If you’ve been wondering “How long does it take to buy a house?”, these tips will help you prepare for the house-hunting process and learn what to expect.

Discover more home-buying and real estate tips over on our blog and stay tuned for the latest trends and topics in the industry.

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