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Unraveling the Home Buying Timeline

Embarking on the journey to own a home is an exhilarating adventure, often accompanied by a multitude of questions. One of the most frequently asked queries revolves around the time it takes to move from initial contemplation to the triumphant moment of stepping through your new front door. You might be surprised to learn that from starting your search to closing day, the entire process typically takes approximately 4-6 months.

In this article, I will demystify the buyer timeline, shedding light on the different phases of the home-buying process.

Budget and Planning (Approx. 1-3 Months)

Start Now: Secure the services of your real estate professional by entering into an agency relationship. This way you’ll have a dedicated advocate representing your best interests from the very beginning. A good Realtor® will be able to offer valuable insights, resources, and recommendations before the buying process even starts.

Assess Your Finances: Set a budget, and determine your affordability. This phase involves researching mortgage options and obtaining pre-approval, understanding down payment requirements, and calculating monthly costs. It is essential not to skip the important step of meeting with a mortgage specialist to determine a realistic budget.

Research and Choose a Community: Explore different neighbourhoods and communities to find your ideal location. Consider factors like schools, amenities, parks, and commute times. Select a community that aligns with your lifestyle and preferences.

Find Your Dream Home (Approx. 8 Weeks)

Visit Open Houses: Tour homes to see various designs and layouts. Take notes on features you love and those you’d like to avoid.

View Listings Sent to You from Your Realtor®: Send your preferences and criteria to your Realtor® so that they can search for active listings that meet your needs. Review the listing information carefully, as the details might reveal "must-haves", "nice-to-haves", and "dealbreakers".

Have Your Realtor® Schedule a Tour of Private Showings: Narrow down the selection to 4-6 homes and have your Realtor® schedule private showings for you to become better acquainted with the properties and the neighbourhoods.

Make an Offer (Approx. 1-2 Days)

Selecting the Right Home: Collaborate with your Realtor® to draft a compelling offer. They’ll guide you on pricing, terms, contingencies, and negotiation strategies.

Deposit: Provide a deposit (part of your down payment) to demonstrate commitment. Your Realtor® will handle the paperwork.

Offer Accepted and Home Inspection (Approx. 1-2 Weeks)

Inspection: Arrange a home inspection to assess the property’s condition. Inspectors check for structural issues, safety concerns, and necessary repairs.

Legal Steps: Inform your real estate lawyer and provide their contact information. They’ll conduct title searches and ensure legal compliance. Budget for legal fees, land registration, and other closing costs.

Appraisal (Approx. 1-2 Weeks)

Appraisal: Lenders may require an appraisal to determine market value. This step ensures your mortgage aligns with the property’s worth. Again, it would be wise to include the cost of the appraisal in your budget.

Finalize Mortgage Approval (Approx. 2-3 Weeks)

Mortgage Process: Work closely with your lender to finalize mortgage documents. They’ll verify your financials, credit history, and employment details.

Title Search: Ensure a clear title and address any liens. Your lawyer handles this critical step.

Closing Day (1 Day)

Transfer Funds: Coordinate with your lawyer to transfer funds. You’ll need to pay the remaining down payment and closing costs.

Keys and Possession: Receive the keys and officially become a homeowner. Celebrate your new journey!

As you’ve noticed, the home-buying process requires time and thoughtful consideration. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, or plan to upgrade or downsize in 2024, I’m here to listen, advise, and guide you.

Reach out today and let’s turn your dreams into reality, or feel free to share this information with anyone looking to purchase a home in the upcoming months. As always, I'm here to assist.

Wendy de Haas

Real Estate Advisor

Professional Real Estate Negotiator (PREN)


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