I get this question from many different buyers, so I thought it might make a good blog topic. Many first time buyers are curious as to how long it takes to find a home as well as how long it takes to "close" on a home.
From the first steps of contacting an agent and a loan officer, typically you could start looking at homes the next week. Usually it takes 3 or 4 weeks to find a home, sometimes longer and sometimes shorter. I had one couple that bought the second house I showed them, on the first day we looked at houses. I've also had buyers look at 40 houses over 4 months. But most typically, buyers find something they fall in love with in 3 or 4 weeks or so, once the serious looking starts.
From there, we sit down and write the purchase agreement. Part of the purchase agreement has a timeframe for inspections to happen (called an inspection contingency). That timeframe is typically 5-10 days total. This is to allow time to inspect the home and then if problems arise, to negotiate the problems.
After the inspection contingency is removed, there is typically 4-6 weeks until the closing happens. During this time, several things happen. The loan process will get underway, and the first thing to happen here is the appraisal. The appraisal is usually scheduled in the next 3-5 days.
Also during this period, the rest of the loan information is gathered and verified. The title work will begin and everything around the title process will be diligently worked on. This includes verifying the history of the title, or setting up a title insurance policy, name searches, surveys, and much more.
The big day arrives, Closing Day. It all comes down to the closing, where all the documents are signed, and the deed to the property is transferred. Now that the deed has been transferred, you can move in and enjoy!
A summary of the timeline
1 week to start setting up search parameters and tweaking
4 weeks to look and find a home
6 weeks to close on a home (usually 4-6 weeks)
Total time: 11 weeks plus or minus.