| How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?
There are many steps to buying a house, and that takes time. Most of the time taken depends on how much time you spend looking for one. Once you have a signed contract, it takes an average of 30-50 days to close.
Step-by-Step preparation is key to prevent delays.
Research – 1-14 days
Start with some critical research to help figure out what you do and don’t want, including determining your budget. There is no good looking at homes that you simply can’t afford.
Possibly Find a Good Buyers Agent – 1-7 days
In Australia, buyers agents are becoming increasingly popular, and rightly so. A good buyers agency can save you substantial time and money and also help you avoid the many pitfalls involved. They should be your most trusted adviser. Look for a buyers agent with an intimate knowledge of the area you are looking to buy in.
Pre-Approved for a Loan – 5-10 days
Getting pre-approved for a loan, signals you’re a serious buyer. You should have your pre-approval ready before you make an offer on a home. Pre-Approval requires to have all your financials in order and submit all documents to the lender.
Finding “The” House – time varies wildly
It may be love at first sight with the first home you look at, or you may be looking for ages to find what you are looking for. It is a process that depends on many moving factors all based around your requirements and mindset as the central point.
Submit Offer, Negotiate, and Sign Contract – 1-7 days
Congratulations – You have found the house you would like to buy. Firstly you need to decide what you are willing to pay and put in a written offer. This may or may not be accepted. This is where a good buyers agent is very helpful. Using their experience, they can negotiate on your behalf. When you sign an agreed contract, you will also need to pay a deposit. Of at least 5%.
Building & Pest Inspections – 1-7 days
It is important that you get a professional building and pest inspection. Unless purchased at auction, these should be included as contingencies as part of your cooling-off period.
Final Mortgage Approval – A few days to 3 weeks
Final approval is different from pre-approval. The lender will need a few more details. They will need confirmation that your financial situation has not changed, a house building and pest inspection and a bank valuation on the property.
The “Settlement Period” and legal process – Approx. 30 days.
The legal aspect of your property purchase will normally be handled by a solicitor or conveyancer. There are various titles, checks and documents involved in the settlement process. Your conveyancer will take care of most of this for you.
Make sure you insure the house from the day you sign the sale contract.
On the day of your settlement it is important that you do a final inspection. Make sure that everything is working and in the same condition as it was on the day you signed the contract.
Settle – 1 day
Your conveyancer will have taken care of all the paperwork and details leading up to settlement day. So there should not be anything for you to do, except wait for a notification that settlement has happened and the property is finally yours.
As you can see the time it takes to purchase a property can vary wildly. By following a structured process and having the help and guidance of professionals, you will step through the process with a minimum of stress.