Planning Your Home Buying Timeline


Most people need help with their home buying timeline, so here are my recommendations.

Buying a Resale Home

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.

Buying a New Construction Home

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. Keep in mind that there are sometimes material shortages and supply-chain issues, and some home builders have delays. Rainy weather can also delay a Closing date for new construction homes.


Real estate agents don’t “just” sell houses; we sell a SERVICE to guide home buyers and sellers through the entire real estate transaction, which usually takes several months. We are more like real estate consultants than we are salespeople. That’s probably why 86 percent of all home buyers and sellers choose to hire a real estate agent when buying or selling a home!

Buying or selling a home is not like buying or selling a TV, a computer, or a car. You can’t buy/sell a home in one day…even if the buyer is paying cash. There are MANY legal aspects, deadlines, and requirements that most people are not trained to handle. What’s more…mistakes along the way can cost you thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The financial risk is much greater than just about anything else you may buy.

That’s why you need your own dedicated, experienced real estate agent
looking out for YOUR best interests.

Please read the list of my value-added services for home buyers


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Why You Should Hire Me

sheila cox five star realtor5Candid 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…I point them out to you! 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 Pricing 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. (Also see Pricing a Home Correctly)

Premium Customized 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 Premium Customized Home Search)

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 the garage…as well as the entire home. This gives you a complete picture of the house (unlike those silly Matterports). I also point out any potential defects or deferred maintenance that I see. (view sample video walkthrough)

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. (Get Details of My Value-Added Services)


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