It’s important to understand that there is not an exact time frame until your holding the keys to your new home. The home buying process is different for everyone but generally once you have a sales contract, you can expect to close anywhere from 30-45 days.

The first step in the home buying process is to analyze your finances to determine your budget. You will work with your mortgage lender on getting pre-approved for a mortgage which will let you know the loan amount you qualify for based on your credit and income. This is the first step towards financing your home and you can get preapproved within 24 hours.

Once you have your budget in place with the pre-approval you can begin house hunting. This process will be different for everyone but if you have a good idea of what you are looking for, including must haves and deal breakers, it will be easier. Some people may find their perfect home within a few days or weeks of looking and others may take several months to find the right home. This is not always an easy process but with the help of a real estate agent’s professional guidance, you will be in good hands.

Once you have found a home and have an offer accepted you are ready to start the mortgage process. As stated previously this process typically takes 30-45 days but every situation is different. You can speed up the loan process by having all of your financial documents ready for the lender including identification, employment info, income documents (such as pay stubs, W2s, and Tax Returns), as well as asset information (including recent statements from all bank accounts). Having all this information organized ahead will speed up the time it takes to process your file.

Additionally, make yourself available during this time to promptly answer any calls regarding your loan and be prepared to provide any additional documents that may be needed. Another tip to make this process go faster is to accurately fill out the mortgage application so there are no questions that come up later, holding up the loan.

Once your loan moves from processing to underwriting and is approved you are headed to the closing table to sign the final documents and get the keys to your new home. Remember, there is no pre-determined time frame for buying a home and it will be different for everyone. The best thing you can do to help the process run smoothly is be prepared, do some research, and know what is needed from you along the way.