1.  The search process can go very quickly.  We have written many successful offers after only showing homes one day.  On the other hand, it can take a number of days.  This will depend on how many homes are available that meet your requirements and price range.  In general, we find that a buyer’s requirements will rule out most available homes on the basis of age, size, condition, location, or price.  We are left (hopefully) with a dozen or more homes that are right on target.  Typically we will find two or three homes that you really like.  We usually go back to these favorites for a second look before deciding to place an offer on the very best one.
  2. Writing an “offer to purchase” normally only takes 45 minutes or so.  We are happy to go over contracts carefully so you are totally comfortable with the offer.  If you are not familiar with closing costs, we go over them carefully so there are no surprises at closing.
  3. Written offers are presented promptly to the seller’s agent.  Normally we get a response within one to two days.  Negotiation of price and terms is usually wrapped up within another day or two.  Obviously, there exceptions, but we are normally under contract within a few days with everything signed and initialed—unless you and the seller cannot agree on the price.  In this case, we have to move on to another home.  An exception to this rule is in the case where the home is owned by a bank (a foreclosed property).  With foreclosures, it can take a week or two to get everything signed by the seller’s representative.
  4. As soon as the contract is signed by all parties, we can schedule home inspections (which may include termite inspections, mold inspections, etc.).  These can normally be completed within ten days.
  5. Within five days after the contract is signed by all parties, you must make full application to a lender for a mortgage (unless you are paying cash).  You will, also, have to present a check for the deposit amount either at the time you sign the offer or within three days after the offer is accepted.
  6. The lender will order an appraisal for the property.  This will normally be presented to the lender within two weeks.  The lender’s loan officer will provide you with a copy of the appraisal.  (If the appraisal comes up short, we may have to renegotiate the contract.)
  7. We (or the seller’s agent—depending on who is paying for title) will send a copy of the signed contract to an attorney or title company who will provide title insurance and prepare closing documents.  They will, also, order a new survey of the property for the benefit of the lender and buyer.
  8. This entire process can take as little as 30 days (or less) if the transaction is a cash sale.  If you are getting a mortgage, 45-60 days is the normal time required for closing.