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Timetable for Buying a House

Timeline for Buying a House

timeline for buying a house

When buying a house, the process can take time and understanding the timeline to buy a house will reduce stress and make sure you know what to expect.

Most of the time spent buying a house in the Boston area and specifically in the suburbs of Newton, Brookline, Wellesley or Needham will be spent searching for the right house. Below, is an explanation of what happens after you have made a decision and how that timeline works. As any real estate buyer agents and buyer realtors from Boston, Newton, and Wellesley Real Estate firms can tell you, sellers and buyers alike are usually much more relaxed about the buying process once they understand just how long a sale typically takes. Any experienced Realtor will explain that there is quite a bit to do before the buying process is complete and you can move in.  For any help with buying or selling your home in Brookline, Newton, Needham or the surrounding areas, call Osnat Levy.

Here is a timeline to help guide buyers through the process of buying a home:

Days One Through Three

  • Before day one, you should have decided how much you can spend on a home and gotten pre-approval for a mortgage
  • Once you have searched and found a home that is suitable to your needs and wants, the buying process begins. It makes good sense to have an experienced and trustworthy real estate agent who can help with this process.
  • On days one through three, you and your agent will make an offer on the home of your dreams, and give the seller an “earnest deposit” to show your sincere interest.
  • Once the offer is accepted, you and the seller will have agreed on the final purchase price of the home, and other terms of the sale such as inspections, contingencies, closing dates, etc.
    • The deposit will then be deposited into the escrow account which will have been set up for the sale (by the seller’s broker).
  • You should be making inquiries about an attorney and informing your mortgage broker that you have an accepted offer so things will be moving forward with the loan.
  • If that is part of the agreement (and we recommend it is), you will need to arrange for a home inspection to thoroughly check all aspects of the house you are buying and make sure there are no hidden problems.
    • We also recommend you do a Pest inspection for termites and a Radon test – some home inspection companies will include this.

Days Five Through Ten

  • By this point, the inspection should have been completed.
  • You are ready to hire an attorney. Osnat Levy will be able to provide referrals for these positions if you don’t have anyone lined up.
  • By day ten, you will have worked out any kinks that may have come up during the inspection, and made agreements with the seller for them to make any minor repairs done if needed, or reduce the purchase price to cover your cost of having to do the repairs yourself.

Days Ten Through Fourteen

  • The final Purchase and Sale is signed and the second deposit, often 5% of the purchase price, will be placed in the escrow account with the seller’s agent.
  • Communicate with the mortgage broker and make sure that the paperwork is moving along and that they have arranged an appraisal.
    • Check they have all the paperwork they need from you and from the seller.

Days Fourteen Through Forty-five

  • The bank will have already reviewed the appraisal and all additional forms and documents you provided and will inform you whether or not you will need any other paperwork.
  • Contact your insurance agent and setup home insurance for the new home.
  • At this point it is probably a good idea to get quotes and set up a moving company for the expected move date.
  • By day 45, your loans should have already been approved.
    • Get the Mortgage Commitment from the bank and confirm this to your lawyer and realtor.
  • Items that need to be done before closing by the seller:
    • Smoke detector compliance test
    • Get final water & sewer reading
    • Order oil, gas and electric services reading
    • Disconnect from cable/internet


  • In most cases, the entire buying process takes about 60 days. By day 60, you are ready to close on the deal.
  • The mortgage broker or bank and the attorneys will set up an appointment for the closing to take place. The morning of the closing you should do a walk through of the house with your realtor to check all repairs are completed, the house has been vacated and everything is as expected.
  • At the closing you will make all the final payments, receive the keys, sign all the mortgage paperwork and the attorneys will take care of all the registrations and transfers of deeds required.
  • Make a list of any items you need to receive later from the banks and the attorneys and remember to check you receive them in a few weeks.
  • After closing the buyer should:
    • Register for cable/internet hookup
    • Write down electric, gas and oil reading and call to set up ongoing service with the companies

If you have any questions about the timetable for buying a home, contact Real Estate agent Osnat Levy at 617-883-1055.


Congratulations on your Purchase

We hope this timeline for buying a house helped you.

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