Are you ready to buy a home this year? Familiarize yourself with our home buyer’s timeline for a step-by-step breakdown of what you can expect of the home buying process:

  1. Select Your Real Estate Professional – Your first step is to find an agent that services your desired area. Real estate professionals have access to the latest sales data and will work on your behalf to help guide you through the home buying process!  
  2. Find a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage (1-2 weeks) – Next, take the time to research different lenders and mortgages to find the best rate and package for you. Ask your REALTOR for a great lender recommendation if you don’t already have one. Obtain pre-approval from your selected lender, meaning they have reviewed your financial history, credit report and verified your income, assets and debts. Once you have been pre-approved, you will know how much house you can afford, what your mortgage terms will be and be armed with a pre-approval letter that shows sellers in this competitive real estate market that you are a credible buyer!
  3. Schedule a Buyer Consultation with your Agent: After you have been pre-approved, schedule a buyer consultation with your agent to analyze and discuss your “needs” and “wants” in a home. Your agent’s knowledge about the current market and conditions can help you focus your search on what is most important to you (i.e. community amenities, short commute, school district, home office, etc.).
  4. Start your search and view homes (10 weeks) – Now it’s time to start looking at houses!  According to the National Association of REALTORS 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the typical buyer spent a median of 10 weeks searching for a home last year and visited 10 homes.
  5. Make an offer and get an executed contract (3-5 days) – When you have found the right home for you, it’s time to put together an offer! The seller may take some time to accept, reject or counter your offer. This is the time to negotiate terms with the seller or seller’s agent. After an offer is accepted and signed by both parties, the contract is now executed!
  6. Deliver Earnest Money & Option Check (within 3 days of contract execution): Delivery of Earnest Money and Option Check is time sensitive! Buyer must deliver Earnest Money (typically 1-3% of purchase price) to the title company and Option Check (typically $100-150) to the seller within 3 calendar days. Missing this deadline could lead to breach of contract and loss of your option period
  7. Get the home inspected during the Option Period (5-10 days from contract execution)– Once the home is under contract, order your home inspection right away! An inspection is a visual survey and performance review of the structure and components of the home and can help you identify any deficiencies in the home that may need to be addressed with the seller. You will typically have an Option Period of 5-10 days; utilize this time to conduct any inspections and negotiate any repairs.
  8. Loan approval and appraisal (21-45 days from contract execution) – After contract execution, your lender will start working on your loan application and obtaining final approval of the loan. The lender will require an appraisal of the home to determine the home’s value. The buyer is responsible for the upfront cost of the appraisal, which typically takes a week to schedule plus 1-3 days to receive the report.  Loan processing can take an average 21-45 days to close, depending on lender and loan type.
  9. Close on your new home!– Once you receive a clear to close from the lender, you will receive your Closing Disclosure that lists your cash to close and closing costs in detail. Review this with your agent and perform the final walk-through of your new home. Prepare your funds for closing day and sign all paperwork. Once the home has been funded, you can pick up your keys as a new homeowner!

We hope that helped you better understand the timeline of buying a home! You can download our “Home Buying Process” Infographic here. Please contact us at (214) 449-1022 if you have any questions or need help with your home search.