Home Buying Timeline: What to Expect When Purchasing a Home in Idaho
January 17, 2019 | Jonna Weber
We recognize that gearing up to buy a new home can be both exhilarating AND stressful. As with all major life and investment decisions, knowing what to expect during the process can greatly ease any uncertainty. If you happen to be purchasing in the great state of Idaho for the first time, the following information will be especially pertinent to ensuring a positive experience.

One of the most common questions we get during our initial buyer consultations is how long the home buying process will take. While the answer for this varies by unique buyer and individual circumstance, there are certain steps that nearly all buyers can expect to take. To give you an idea of what kind of timeline you can expect, we’ve put together the following sample timeline.

SELECTING & HIRING YOUR HOME BUYING TEAM  

Average Time-frame: Widely varies. How long it will take for you to select a home buying real estate agent and a lender will be entirely up to you. Don’t settle – identify, interview and hire only experienced, reputable and trustworthy professionals.

YOUR REALTOR® 
Meet with your selected Realtor® for an initial consultation. This meeting will allow you to discuss your unique wants and needs - and should also provide you with an understanding of exactly what you can expect throughout the process. This is the perfect time to ask any questions you have. And please remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question – and this old adage is especially true when in reference to a transaction on the scale of buying a house! Once you identify your preferred agent or team, you will sign a buyer broker agreement.

YOUR LENDER 
You should aim to select your lender shortly after selecting your agent. Your newly hired home buying team will likely have lenders that they can recommend to you. It’s crucial that you select an excellent lender who will adhere to the contract and get you to settlement on time!


GETTING YOUR LOAN PRE-APPROVED  

Average Time-frame:  1 Day
It often surprises people to learn how quickly the pre-approval process can be completed. Compared to the full approval process, which can take several weeks to a month, the initial pre-approval process typically only takes a day or two. This is especially true if you’re fully prepared to present financial documentation (such as W-2’s and tax returns).

BEGIN YOUR HOUSE SEARCH
Average Time-frame:  1 to 3 Months

If you’ve just begun searching for homes, your agent will likely take you on a buyer orientation tour to help familiarize you with the market and the area. After you feel you have a good sense of what you’re looking for (which typically takes several weeks) you will be able to self-assuredly kick off your search in full. When you find “the right” property, you will be ready to confidently submit an offer.

Various factors can (and will) impact your search timeline. Location, property type, current market variables, etc. will all impact how long it takes for you to find “the” house or property.

Sometimes, clients come to us after they have already done some initial legwork (they’ve often been watching online listings or have been perusing houses with ‘For Sale’ signs), in which case we can often help those buyers submit offers within days.

And then there are times that we search for months before our clients find the perfect house for them. Every potential homebuyer’s process and experience is unique and handled as such.


ONCE YOU’VE FOUND “THE” HOUSE! 

WRITING AN OFFER
Average Time-frame:  1 Day

Once you locate the perfect house or property, we will kick into competitive mode and develop a strategy for writing a competitive offer by looking at nearby comparable sales or “comps”, research information on the major systems and updates in the house, etc. Once we have the offer ready, we will review it fully with you and then submit it to the listing agent to present to their sellers.

INITIAL RESPONSE FROM THE SELLER
Average Time-frame: 1 Day

Most often, sellers will respond to offers within 24-hours of receiving the offer. However, in some cases, it may take several days – or on the flip-side, it could just take several hours.

NEGOTIATIONS
Normal Time-frame: 2 to 3 days

This predicted timing also holds true in the counter-offer or negotiation process. Typically, we see a couple of rounds of counter-offers. If an offer is going to work out, both parties typically come to agreement within 24 to 72 hours. With that said, this period can vary. We have had contracts fully agreed upon within one day, as well as some that finally fell into place after weeks (or even months) of negotiations. Our team will be there to guide you through the process and inform you if we ever believe a delay is cause for concern.


YOU GOT THE HOUSE! EXECUTED CONTRACT TO MOVE-IN
Normal Time-frame: 1 to 2 Months

Once you and the seller come to agreement, your offer is fully executed. The time-frame between full execution and settlement often takes between 30 to 45 days. During this time, you will get any final required documents to the lender, lock in on an interest rate, conduct the necessary inspections and begin to make arrangements for your big move! If you do not require funding (i.e. your house purchase will be paid 100% in cash), this is the time to provide an updated proof of funds.

SOME IMPORTANT STEPS TO EXPECT DURING THIS PERIOD:
 
INSPECTIONS ARE SCHEDULED AND CONDUCTED
The home and radon tests (for homes with basements) will take place shortly after the contract is executed. If needed, specialty inspections (such as roof, chimney, sewer, pool, lead, electrical, etc.) also happen during this period. The normal time frame for these inspections is 5 to 10 business days.

HOME INSPECTION REQUESTS ARE MADE
Immediately after you receive the home inspection, you can request that the sellers make certain repairs, or you can request a dollar amount to be credited from the sellers to you at settlement (in lieu of making any noted repairs).

HOME APPRAISAL
After the contract has been executed, your lender will order your home appraisal. The appraiser will then conduct an inspection and issue the report. Typically, inspectors have these reports complete within ten days of the appraisal.

LOAN APPLICATION
You will coordinate with your already chosen lender to finalize the loan with the property’s specifics and final sales price. This process typically takes 30 days.

If you are not obtaining a loan, you can often close quicker than 30 days – sometimes even as quickly as just one week! However, the seller might not be ready to move that quickly. For vacant properties, it is best to assume 30 days (and then to be pleasantly surprised if the process goes quicker than anticipated). For occupied properties, we will check with the seller on their preferred home buying timeline. This is something we often do during the process of writing an offer (if, for example, you’re in a competitive situation, a preferred settlement date can potentially tip the scales in your favor).

FINAL WALK-THROUGH
Average Time-frame: 30-60 Minutes

Before you fully close on the property, we will do a final walk-through of the house to ensure that it is in “the same condition” as it was when you decided to purchase it. This is also the time to double-check that any repairs that the seller agreed to cover during the home inspection negotiation were completed.

SETTLEMENT
Average Time-frame:  1 Hour

At settlement, which will take place at the title company, all documents will be discussed and signed. After signing, you’ll be almost there! Shortly thereafter, funds will be received via cash or payment from the lender. The title company will then record the deed with the county. After which you will receive that much anticipated call that you are “funded and recorded”. Keys can be picked up from the title company and the home is yours!

THE BOTTOM LINE
 
We’ve never seen two real estate transactions unfold in the exact same manner. Every single real estate transaction is unique – and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our trustworthy and experienced team at Jonna Weber Real Estate would be honored to orchestrate a smooth and successful home purchase for you. To get started searching for your new home or property, click here – or to schedule your personalized, no-obligation, initial buyer consultation contact us directly.
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