Buying a Home Takes Longer Than You Think – See the Timeline to Buy

One of the biggest surprises for first-time homebuyers is how long the homebuying process can take, especially in the Seattle area. Even if you’re thinking about buying a home 6 months from now, the reality is you should probably start the process now. Here’s an overview of how long the home buying process can take.

Find the right real estate agent

1 – 2 Weeks

It’s important to be thoughtful when choosing a real estate agent. A bad agent who isn’t proactively sending you homes, responding promptly and thinking creatively about how to make your offer more competitive can turn a fast, friendly buying experience into a prolonged, painful one.


Get pre-approved for a mortgage

1 – 3 Weeks

If you have straightforward finances and/or have applied for a mortgage before and have all the relevant paperwork on hand, this process can be done in as little as 12 hours. But for most first time homebuyers, it’s safer to plan on at least 1 week. Get started here.


Get an offer accepted

6 – 12 Weeks

On average, Seattle homebuyers put 5-8 offers down before getting their first accepted. For each offer, this involves touring the home, scheduling and paying for a pre-inspection, and working with your agent to draft & submit an offer.


Close and move in

4 Weeks

When your offer is accepted, you and the seller mutually agree on a closing date. You’ll need to allow enough time for the bank’s appraisal & underwriting, title & escrow, and often for the seller to move out. Plan on a month.

Total Average time to buy in Seattle:

3 – 4 months

What’s the takeway? Even if you’re renting in Seattle and have 6 months left on your lease, it’s good idea to get started now.  Get your homebuying plans jumpstarted, get pre-approved today.

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