I don't like to think that I have neglected buyers in these posts, but I want to set the record straight - you are important to me too!
A lot of times, a new buyer comes into my life with no experience with the process of buying a home. I love to answer questions, and discuss what this process entails, but I want to do it justice through a general, but concise blog post about some of the ins and the outs. Keep in mind, this is meant for all buyers, as it is a dissection of the process of purchasing a home. Also know that there are many other aspects to this process, so I will do my best to write additional posts in more detail in the future.
The timeline of purchasing a home varies depending on a number of factors such as type of financing (cash or mortgage?), buyer and seller motivations, and more.
However, there is a general state of affairs that can be followed - it looks like this:
Where (and When) To Start
I suggest you begin the buying process 6 months to 1 year before you even look at a single home. This is ideal, and not often the case. Getting your ducks in a row is essential, and this extra time might help you flesh out credit issues, debt issues, and get acclimated to the market, to really understand the price point you will enter.
Otherwise, I would give between 3 and 4 months to find and close on a home, and 5 to 6 months if you have a home to sell. This also depends on your price point and market: If you are buying in a competitive market, more time will be required. For example, in the sub 500k market around lower Fairfield County, give yourself about 6 months for your search, unless you are hyper-realistic with what you want in your future home.
What to Seek In a Realtor
Before you get locked into a contract with a family member, a friend, or someone who claims to be able to competently assist you in your purchase, ask questions. Don't blindly trust someone just because they are a friend or family member. I have seen countless, disappointed buyers leave their original family member to work with me, because their expectations weren't managed.
Tricks and Tips
I may continue to add points to this article, but remember that this process varies greatly in each state, county, and town. Work with a local Realtor. Don't hire someone without first asking questions about their success and process. Don't just work with your family member because you feel bad. This is business, they need to provide the best service, or else you will end up losing money, and having more stress.
Call me with questions, I am here to be your guide - your resource.
We (Joe and Chris Balestriere) are Realtors in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Our blog is meant to educate buyers and sellers and equip them with tools to get the most out of their Realtor, whether it is us or someone else. We focus on technology and how it enhances the work we do for our clients--we are not top CT Realtors by accident.