How Long Does It Take to Buy a Home? A Basic Guide


Buying a home is not for the faint of heart.

Between choosing a real estate agent, finding the perfect home, filling out paperwork, and everything in between, it can be a stressful experience.

However, it’s all worth it once you get the keys to your very own place and you spend the first night in your new home. 

And, if you know what to expect going into it, the whole process can be smoother. For example, knowing the answer to the question, “How long does it take to buy a home?” can help you set your expectations accordingly. 

Good news: We’re here to help on that front!

Read this guide to learn more about the different steps of the home buying process and how they each impact the timeline of buying a home.

Finding a Real Estate Agent

Working with a trusted real estate agent can make the process of buying a house much easier. But, you’ll first have to select an agent. 

If you have a friend or family member that works in real estate, you have a leg up! If not, you should expect to spend about a week searching for and talking to potential real estate agents. 

Make sure you look for an agent who’s familiar with the neighborhood you want to move to. And, make sure it’s a good personality fit, as you’ll be spending plenty of time together over the coming months. 

Pre-Approval Process

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who can afford to purchase a house outright with cash, you’ll need to get a loan. 

If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll look like a more serious buyer. And, being pre-approved means that the whole process will move faster once you find the home you want to buy. 

Generally, it can take between 5 and 10 business days for the pre-approval to go through. 

Speaking of loans, as a homeowner, you can take advantage of home equity loans in the future if you need cash. That’s just one example of the perks that come with buying your own home!

Finding Your Dream Home

This is arguably the most exciting part of the home buying process: finding the home of your dreams. It can also be the part that takes the longest. 

The National Association of Realtors® reports that, on average, buyers spend about 10 weeks searching for their home and looked at about 10 homes before making a final decision. 

Try to take your time when deciding on a home, really thinking about what’s most important to you, so you make a decision you won’t later regret.

The Closing Process

Yay, you made it! You’ve found a home, made an offer, and signed a contract. Time to move in, right?

Not so fast. Once you sign the contract, there are still a few things to be done, including:

  • Final approval on the mortgage
  • Home appraisal and inspection
  • Purchasing title and homeowners insurance
  • Preparing closing funds

These items generally take up to 60 days to complete. It can feel like a long wait, but once it’s done all that’s left to do is sign the final paperwork and get the keys to your new place. 

How Long Does It Take to Buy a Home? Now You Know

After reading through this guide, you have a better idea of how to answer the questions, “How long does it take to buy a home?”

While it can be a long and stressful process, it’s always worth it in the end. 

Looking for financial advice as you prepare to buy a home? Check out our other articles!