There is no ‘right’ amount of time to spend, or ‘correct’ number of homes to view before finding the one for you. Some buyers view homes weekly for a year before making an offer, and others fly in, view five homes in three days, pick one, and fly out. Year-to-date, the buyers I’ve worked with have viewed an average of 16 homes over 48 days before signing a purchase contract. They’ve waited an average of 88 days between contract signing and closing, for an average time span between viewing their first home, and closing on their hew home, of 4.5 months. This includes a buyer who had to exercise their financing contingency, and another whose home under-appraised, so these are good indicators of how long even a search with issues might take. A clean search contingent on financing would take about 90 days.
Upsizing? Start Early and List first
For current owners looking to purchase a larger home, there are several items we can tackle ahead of time to make sure the process runs smoothly. First, I’ll give you real-time data on the sub-market you’re selling out of versus the one you’re buying into. If you’re selling a one bed and purchasing a three-bed, or selling in Manhattan and purchasing in the suburbs, average days-on-market, average negotiability, and year-over-year price metrics can vary greatly between the market you’re buying into and the market you’re selling out of. We should be familiar with these figures! Second- and this can be counter-intuitive- you’ll want to list your home for sale before making offers on homes you wish to buy. You have a fair amount of leverage as a seller on timeline, and far less as a buyer. Additionally, you’ll be much more competitive as a purchaser once the sale of your current home is in contract. Working with your agent to streamline the management of two simultaneous real estate transactions can save you the hassle of moving into a rental for the interim, an extra move that can be avoided with good agent representation.
In a Rental? Your Landlord can be Our Partner
As a first time home-buyer currently living in a rental, timing of your lease renewal need not be a factor in your new home search. If your lease is coming up for renewal soon, your landlord will likely agree to add a clause giving opportunity to cancel the lease with 60 days notice in the event of a purchase, or transition to a month-to-month lease. If your lease has recently renewed, your landlord will likely agree to allow you to sublet the remainder of your lease after you vacate, a process I’ll help you with once you close. If you’re in a rent-stabilized apartment (about two thirds of rentals in New York City are stabilized) your landlord is required to work with you to sublet the remainder of your lease.