How Long Does it Take to Buy a House?

56 E. Sedgwick philadelphia pa

If you’re in the market to buy a luxury Philly home, you’re not alone. With mortgage interest rates continuing to hover around 3%, many are looking to move into their first homes, or upgrade to a larger space. It’s a competitive market, and houses are going fast. But many home buyers wonder how long the process might take from start to finish.

The reality is there is a lot more that goes into buying a home than just finding the perfect place. With houses moving so quickly, it’s important you’re prepared before going out to view homes, as you may have to put in an offer that day. On average it can take anywhere from a couple of months to years, depending on a variety of factors. If you find a house quickly, it might only take 30 days to close. But if your search takes longer, or if the seller needs more time to vacate, it may take a bit longer.

Steps in the Philadelphia home buying process:

  1. Find the right realtor. Especially if you’re a first-time home buyer, a realtor can help guide you through the process from start to finish. A Philadelphia real estate agent can give you recommendations for lenders, give insights into which neighborhoods might be right for you, and talk you through the nitty gritty of closing the deal.
  2. Get pre-approved. Unless you’re planning to buy your home with cash, you’ll need to get pre-approved for a mortgage. There are many lenders to choose from, and with rates so competitive, you’ll want to do your research. Once you’re pre-approved, you’ll understand more about what your monthly payment will look like and what you want your budget to be to buy your home. Even if your lender approves you for a larger amount than you expect, make sure you’re setting your budget at what you are comfortable spending. You can use a site like NerdWallet to determine how much house you can afford.
  3. Find a home & negotiate an offer. This is the fun part! You’ll tour homes, and when one feels right, make an offer. After the offer is accepted, you’ll work with your realtor to negotiate earnest money, schedule a home inspection, and more. After that, your mortgage lender will order an appraisal. If the appraisal comes back at the price you’ve agreed on the home, you’re in good shape! If the appraisal comes back and says your home is worth less than what you are paying, you may have to renegotiate. This part of the process is easier if you have an experienced luxury Philly realtor on your side who can negotiate and fight for what you deserve.
  4. Now, you wait. Once the negotiating is over, you just have to wait until closing. This is your time to make sure all of your money is in the accounts you need it. It’s also when you’ll navigate title insurance, home insurance, and more.
  5. Welcome home. You’ve made it to closing day! After you sign the documents, the house is yours. If the seller has agreed to vacate by closing, you’ll get the keys and the house is yours. In some circumstances, you’ll have given the seller occupancy for a certain number of days after closing. Either way, the end is in sight.

Start with the Right Philadelphia Luxury Real Estate Agent

As you can see, there are a variety of factors that impact the timeline of buying a home. In a market as hot as ours right now, it’s likely once you start touring homes, you’ll need to be prepared to make an offer. So the process could end up being a quick one. You’ll need to be prepared for both circumstances – you find a place right away, or it may take a couple of months to find a home.

No matter what happens, working with an experienced real estate agent is one of the most important factors in finding the right home for you. You will need someone on your side who understands what you’re looking for, and who has a proven track record of expertise and results. At Maxwell Realty, we have been helping buyers find their starter and forever homes in the Philadelphia area for more than 50 years.

Call us to speak to an agent and start the journey to buying a home in Philadelphia today.