When should you start the house hunting process if you want to move in by June?

Asked by Trulia Denver, Denver, CO Tue Apr 2, 2013

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Ron Rovtar, Agent, Boulder, CO
Wed Apr 3, 2013
It almost is never too early to start the process. But, this year in particular a buyer who wants to mover in June should already have an agent and be talking to at least one mortgage broker. A pre-approval letter should be in hand. It takes a while to get used to the current market, which is very different from the Denver area market just a short time ago. Even buyers who have previously purchased homes will find much is new and different.

Today, we are in a seller's market throughout the Denver area, mainly because there are too few homes being offered. This can make the buying process much longer because buyers new to the market usually do not want to move as quickly as is necessary to get the best new listings under contract. This is a good instinct when buyers are just starting because it takes a while to understand what one can get for one's money, but eventually the buyers who get the best homes have learned to move very quickly when those homes appear. Waiting for those really good homes to appear can take quite a while.

So, starting now in hopes of move in June is already too late for many buyers. Even if these buyers start now, they will need to be under contract in May in order to close in June and that is asking a lot of the current market.

Ron Rovtar.
1 vote
Suz A, Agent, Longmont, CO
Fri May 10, 2013

Maybe early July.

"Yikes," I know! I've already spoken to a number of frustrated buyers. I've been there myself.

Your post was in April, however. The harsh reality: Anyone looking in May likely has missed the boat for a good part of June.

In the current market, flexibility will be key to quickly finding a suitable home. If you're only finding one or two homes from the listings the Realtor pulls up, you might have to bend. In a seller's market, mindset is critical. The choices are few.

The good news: Buyers looking at homes in the 200s are finding homes. They may take a run at several before becoming successful. Hang in there.

Best regards,
0 votes
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Wed May 1, 2013
Good afternoon,

First steps:

Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140

*If you thought my answer was helpful, please give me a “Thumbs Up” or “Best Answer.” Thanks!
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Tue Apr 30, 2013

Homes are moving fast these days...

Get pre approved for your mortgage loan

Get a realtor, and get to work!!

I wish you the very best!!!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Skeeter Wils…, Agent, Westminster, CO
Tue Apr 30, 2013
You should have started long ago. A lender will take at least 30-45 days to get a loan done once you get all the information to them and an offer has been submitted. With our home inventory being so low it is difficult for buyers to find something suitable for them. You may have to write multiple offers before one gets accepted. And this could take months depending on what you are looking for.
0 votes
Ethan Besser, Agent, Englewood, CO
Tue Apr 30, 2013
Start your home search at least 90 days in advance.
0 votes
Kelly Miller, Home Owner, Santa Ana, CA
Sun Apr 7, 2013
Start looking now and take help and advice from a top agent who can help you in this process. You have to balance the need to make a quick decision with the need to make sure the home will be right for you. Don't neglect important steps like making sure the neighborhood feels safe at night as well as during the day.
0 votes
cindilakes, Home Owner, Denver, CO
Sat Apr 6, 2013
2 years ago!! I started looking last August and am still trying to get something, Denvers real estate market is the worst and the agents I have found are not much better. I just lost another property because the seller's agent had a buyer of their own and wanted both commissions so tried to talk my agent out of putting my offer through as she was waiting on signatures. He sent it anyway for more than the purchase price, she was being cagey and answering no questions. Amazingly an hour and a half later she had an accepted offer and would not even answer if she had shown the seller's my offer. I have had so much of this crap go on. Property is sold 45 minutes after it is put on the MLS-pre-arranged, by the agent. This time, a complaint ws filed to the ethics board, but that still doesn't get you a property. I live in Ohio and have never heard of this going on here. Good luck
0 votes
Pre-listing sales are not uncommon in a market like this. Others may want to comment on the ethics. The practice has a purpose. Friends and family may be transferring property and the owner is not interested in attracting competing offers. There are abuses. I don't track it. But painting an entire city ... I encourage you to speak with the Broker at that selling agent's office.
Flag Fri May 10, 2013
Robert McGui…, Agent, Denver, CO
Sat Apr 6, 2013
Trulia Denver,

Good question. This is a good time to start the search process. That way the buyer will start to get a feel for the market and what to expect. The buyer should sit down with the Buyer's Agent and have a heart to heart about the process that is different than the past and more intense than I can ever remember.

It is definitely time to get 'pre-approved' and completely ready and prepared to start searching for homes. It is likely to be a fast process with lots of competition. Especially the the months of May and June. It is never too early to start. One of the most helpful services we provide is Listing Alerts. You can get a list and info on all homes available in your desired areas and price ranges and then a daily update when new listings come up or properties have a change of status.

Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
Direct - 303-669-1246
0 votes
Skeeter Wils…, Agent, Westminster, CO
Wed Apr 3, 2013
It should have been before now, but if you haven't started I would immediately. The inventory of homes out there is limited and depending on your price range it may be hard to find something. When something good comes on the market there are usually massive showings in the first day or two and multiple offers. I had to write 13 offers for one of my clients before we got one accepted. I'd be glad to help you with the process if you do not have a REALTOR already. Good luck.

Skeeter Wilson
Exit One Realty
303-809-0100 - cell
0 votes
Kasha Songer, Agent, Denver, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013

Today, but I really want to say January. The Denver inventory of homes on the market is at a 23 year low. A Realtor with the right level of hustle and networking will help you get the job done in time, but really you don't have time to delay.

If I can be of help, let me know, I have a fantastic and fast lender as well.

Kasha Songer, CRS GRI
303-587-4015 mobile/text
Top Producer 2010 and 2008
Preferred Properties, Inc. Opportunity knocks. Experience opens the door.
1041 S Gaylord St. in Washington Park
Denver, CO 80209
303-778-8222 x107
0 votes
Lance Smith, Agent, Westminster, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
I would get in touch with a Realtor ASAP. You still have time but not much at all. I would love to work with you to find something if you are looking in the Denver Metro area. Please give me a call 303-809-5804
0 votes
Chuck Strau…, Agent, Denver, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
Depending on where you are looking and at what price point, as stated below, it may already be too late. Inventory is so low that, in many areas, it is taking a long time just to find the right home, not to mention all the steps necessary to close the transaction. I would get with a Realtor just as soon as you can and get the ball rolling.
Best of luck
Chuck Strauss SRES®, CDPE®, SFR®
Your Castle Real Estate
0 votes
Tony & Karen…, Agent, Denver, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
There is definitely no time to waste. If you want to be in your new place on or near the first, it's usually best cash-flow wise to close towards the end of the previous month. Let's say May 29th or 30th. 45 days is a reasonable amount of time from contract to closing, assuming no glitches and your financing goes smoothly. With the market being as tight as it is, you'll have to be pretty aggressive as a buyer to land the home you want - inventory is very low, and there's a lot of competition. So be prepared to move very quickly, or else factor in some extra time looking since you'll probably miss out on some choices. So, like others have said, you should start seriously looking right now.

Start researching places online, get together with an agent so he or she can get the ball rolling, and get in touch with a lender or mortgage broker immediately if you haven't already. Realistically, financing is going to take the most time, so the quicker you get going on that the better. You will probably need to have your taxes done as well. :-( Of course if you're in a position to pay cash you won't have as many problems!

Let us know if we can be of assistance - email, call or text any time with your wish list and we can help you start looking.

Tony & Karen
0 votes
Julie Reddin…, , Highlands Ranch, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
My contracts have been closing in 30 days, so if you work back, assuming you want to close by May 31st, you would need to write by April 30th. However this might be close should there be a need to extend for a reason. A comfortable period to have a contract accepted by mid April. Its possible to find the right property the first time you are out, but its a very fast paced, aggressive market so make sure you and your agent have a strategy in place. Let me know if you are interested in learning mine.

720 226 4168
0 votes
Jim Hendry, Agent, CO, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
Yesterday, The market is heating up in Denver and across the country. The more time you leave yourself the better decision you make when the time is ready to buy.
0 votes
John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Tue Apr 2, 2013
It may be too late!

Let’s assume that you are fully approved, have your financial house in order and are ready to get into your Realtor’s car and start looking.

Inventory is incredibly low and there are many other buyers with whom you must compete in order to buy the one house that fits your needs. Buy the time that you find what you want and make an offer that is accepted – after writing numerous offers that go unaccepted – you may not have enough time to work through the ensuing escrow period in order to close and move in by June.

It is very challenging to be a home buyer these days.
0 votes
You sir may be the only one with a realistic answer!
Flag Sat Apr 6, 2013
Ray, , Denver, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
Now! Make sure your loan pre-approval is in order and you understand the options available to you and you are leaning towards. Also, ask your lender to explain personal banking and impacts to loan approvals. When a listing agent calls me right now to help their seller decide whose contract to take, it is critical that your lender has reviewed all your financials and has you set up for success. This can make or break your offer being reviewed by the seller.

A good lender can get your loan closed in 30 days, so that shouldn't be the problem.

The timing challenge you will find is in the lack of supply which is causing buyer's to have their heads spin. Make sure to talk to your agent about the market and what to expect.

Ray Williams
Summit Mortgage Denver
Denver's 203K Lender
0 votes
Yolanda Vare…, Agent, Denver, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
If you paying cash you can start whenever you want, even a week before move in as long as seller is an individual and not corporate or bank. Most financed transactions take at least 45 days to close, so that is something to consider.
0 votes
Kris Shuter, Agent, Denver, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
As others have said, there is no time to waste. Find an agent your like and start looking.
0 votes
Michael Glist, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
I would say right away as the process may only take 30-45 days from when you submit your offer but it is not likely that you will find the perfect home right away. The process starts with being pre-approved so you know the range of home prices to look at. If you decide to start now and would like to get pre-approved let me know as I am a local lender here in Colorado.
0 votes
Valerie Klei…, Agent, Littleton, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
As soon as possible as it could take up to 45 days to get your loan finished with the new regulations, plus time to find your new home.
0 votes
Joetta Fort, , Arvada, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
Now! And have your finances lined up, be familiar with the contract so you can submit one quickly.
0 votes
John Keene, Agent, Denver, CO
Tue Apr 2, 2013
Now. Inventory is so low it may take a while to find the right place an then another 30-days to close

John Keene
0 votes
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