Timeline for Planning a Home Purchase

Resale Homes

Most people need help with the timeline for planning a home purchase, so here’s my recommendation.

Start with a Deadline. That’s the date you absolutely have to be out of your current home/apartment. This Deadline may be the end of a lease or a move-out date for an existing home that you are selling.

Begin Search. You should begin your search approximately 2.5 to 3 months before your deadline. Keep in mind that most home owners will want you to Close within 5-6 weeks of executing a contract because that’s the typical time it takes for a lender to process your loan. It may take several weeks before you find a home and get an accepted contract. Some people start their search even earlier, to have more cushion, but they must be prepared to Close early and pay two house payments until the end of their current lease or move out date on current home. (Actually, you don’t usually begin paying a new mortgage for at least one month after Closing. So if you Close in the middle of June, your first house payment may not be until August 1.)

Deadline for Executed Contract. You must be “under contract” on your new home at least 6 weeks before your deadline but 8 weeks is preferred. Again…this is to allow time for your lender to process the loan (usually 5-6 weeks). You should allow a 2 week gap between Closing on your new home and moving out of your current home in order to give yourself time to pack, move, and clean. NEVER plan to Close and move out on the same day. Closings don’t always happen on time, as scheduled. There can be delays caused by the lender. You do not want your belongings on a moving van before you have a definite place to put them!

Recommended Close Date. You should Close on your new home about 2 weeks before your Deadline to move out of your existing home. However, this will need to be negotiated with the Seller of the new home. If they have already vacated the property, they will want a quick/short Closing date. If they are still living in the home, they may want a longer date before Closing or they may want a Temporary Lease to live in the home, after Closing, to have time to pack and move.

timeline planning home purchase

New Construction Homes

This timeline is for purchasing a resale home. If you are buying new construction (home being built from “dirt”) then it will take 5-6 months or more. In 2022 there are shortages and supply-chain issues, and some home builders have delays. Rainy weather can also delay a Close date for new construction homes.



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Sheila Cox YouTube Channel

If You Think This Website is Great, Wait ’till You Get Me As Your Agent!

videos for home buyersCandid Advice—I promise to give you candid advice on all homes and areas so you can make the best decisions. I won’t ignore potential defects that can cost you money, or effect your resale value, in the future. My job is to protect you from defective homes as much as possible while helping you make a sound financial investment. (Read client testimonials)

Local Area Expertise—This isn’t just my business…it’s where I work and live (for 20 years) so I really know the area. I will help you narrow your options and find the best neighborhood for you based on your specifications. For long-term resale value, the neighborhood you choose is just as important as the home you buy. (Download my Ultimate Katy Guide)

Great Data—I will give you the most in-depth data you have ever seen…to help you make the wisest decisions. This includes a professional CMA when you are ready to purchase a specific home…so you don’t pay too much. Plus, my proprietary House Report (see sample) includes the data and information you need to ensure that you are making great home purchase. (Also see Pricing a Home Correctly)

Best Home Searches—Yes, you can search on your own, but no other home search available can filter down to the school level…and filter out the subdivisions that may be known to flood. Tell me exactly what you want, and I can narrow down your options better than any search you have access to. (Request a Custom Search)

Easier Process—Moving your family (and possibly changing jobs) is stressful enough. I’m your transaction manager and will guide you, step-by-step, through the process so you never miss an important deadline. I assist with inspections, repair negotiations, home warranties, HOA compliance inspections, hazard insurance, surveys, appraisals, title commitment, home warranties, title company, and more. (View helpful videos on my YouTube channel)

Video Walkthroughs—If you or your spouse lives out of the state or country, then you will enjoy my detailed video walkthroughs. I have sold multiple homes to out-of-area clients “sight unseen” by providing High Definition video walkthroughs of potential homes. My videos show front and back yards, closets, pantries, laundry rooms, and garage…as well as the entire home. (Sample)

Network of Experts—My network of experts can make your transition to the area as smooth as possible. Need a painter, electrician, mover, insurance company, etc.? I can help! 


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How I Work to Protect You

My job isn’t “just” helping you find a house to buy…I’m helping you buy a home. There are over 100 tasks that I perform for you during the purchasing process. I’m looking out for you every step of the way and keeping my eye on the listing agent, the seller, the builder (if applicable), the lender, the inspector, and the title company. I’m on your side because I’m YOUR agent. I help with price analysis and negotiations, legal paperwork, inspections, repair negotiations, home warranties, HOA compliance inspections, hazard insurance, surveys, appraisals, title commitment, home warranties, and more. I have the expertise to help solve complicated problems that often occur in the process. Real estate is a huge financial and legal commitment. Don’t you deserve to have a Five-Star real estate agent on your side? 

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⇒  Does My Agent Really Represent Me?

⇒  How Real Estate Commissions Are Paid

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