“How long does it take to buy a home?” This is a common question that we receive from clients and one of the most common questions home buyers have across the country. Needless to say, buying a home is a big decision, and it’s important to understand the timeline involved. The time it takes to buy a home can vary depending on a number of factors, including the current real estate market, the type of home you’re looking for, and how quickly you’re able to move through the process. In general, however, the average time to buy a home is about 40-50 days from the time you go under contract on a home to the time you close on the purchase.
The timeline to buy a home
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. This is an important first step, as it will give you an idea of how much you can afford to spend on a home and make you a more competitive buyer.
- Find a real estate agent. A good real estate agent can help you find the right home for your needs and budget, and can guide you through the buying process. (In South Florida, we recommend contacting Live South Florida Realty, Inc..)
- Start shopping for homes. Once you have a real estate agent, you can start looking at homes that are for sale. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the market and how selective you are. (In the current low inventory market, you can likely plan on this taking a little longer than anticipated.)
- Make an offer on a home. Once you find a home that you love, you can make an offer to the seller. The seller may accept your offer as is, or they may counter with their own offer. This negotiation process can take anywhere from a few hours to several days.
- Get the home inspected. Once your offer is accepted, you’ll need to have the home inspected by a qualified professional. This is important to identify any potential problems with the home before you buy it.
- Close on the home. Once the inspection is complete and you’re satisfied with the results, you’ll be able to close on the home. This is when you’ll sign all of the paperwork and officially take ownership of the home.
Of course, the timeline described above is a rough estimate. Here in South Florida, we continue to see a low inventory of homes for sale combined with a relatively high level of competition from home buyers. Even though the number of home buyers in the market is not as great as it was a few years ago, we are still seeing more Americans opting to relocate to South Florida. As always, hiring a local and knowledgeable real estate will be critical to your success in the home buying process.
Are you looking to buy or sell real estate in South Florida? If so, contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc.! In addition, be sure to download the free Florida Home Search app for your smartphone or tablet.