Author Topic: Colorado home purchase timeline?  (Read 957 times)

popcornflying

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Colorado home purchase timeline?
« on: February 25, 2018, 02:04:45 AM »
Could someone please correct my general timeline for buying a house in Colorado, say the Denver suburbs? I'm currently living in the New York suburbs now, and considering buying remotely. My past home buying experiences in New York were a decade ago, and took 3 months from offer to closing, but during a recent vacation to Colorado, a listing agent I talked to said that it takes 1 month because Coloradans often don't use lawyers, and the seller's agent transfers the title. Then he asked if I wanted to hire him as a buyer broker. The process sounded different what I'm used to, so I thought I'd vet this information first with our forum members!

Here's a timeline of my past home buying experiences in New York, and how long things took - around 3 months from offer to closing (#1-4):

0) Buyer prepares lawyer, mortgage pre-approval, home inspector, and hires buyer broker
1) Buyer finds a property and makes an offer, seller evaluates or counters until acceptance - A FEW DAYS
2) Buyer drafts contract with lawyer's help. Buyer and seller negotiate price and terms, and sign contract. Earnest money is deposited - TWO WEEKS
3) Bank evaluates mortgage application, orders home appraisal. Buyer inspects property. Buyer's lawyer does title search and orders land survey. Contract is renegotiated if necessary (e.g. bank appraisal is low or problems appear during inspection)  - TWO MONTHS
4) Buyer, seller, their attorneys and brokers, and banker's attorney agree on a closing date. Final walk-through and closing - UP TO TWO WEEKS


Would appreciate any insight Coloradans can give on the home buying process, and where their experiences differed from the timeline above. Thanks!

waltworks

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Re: Colorado home purchase timeline?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 02:05:09 PM »
It is relatively unusual (outside of NYC) for a closing to take more than 4-6 weeks from the time of the initial offer, but it can vary a lot. If you have your ducks in a row (and so does the seller) and there aren't big problems with contingencies, you can certainly close in 30 days or even less.

By "buying remotely" what do you mean? Just making offers on places you see on Zillow? Flying out when you see something you like? Making a weeklong trip to look at properties? If it's somewhere you plan to live, I would avoid just making offers sight unseen.

Really, if you're moving to a strange new place, the best thing to do is rent for a year and figure out what part of the city works for you. Then buy something.

-W

tralfamadorian

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Re: Colorado home purchase timeline?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2018, 07:11:00 PM »
0) Buyer prepares lawyer, mortgage pre-approval, home inspector, and hires buyer broker
1) Buyer finds a property and makes an offer, seller evaluates or counters until acceptance - A FEW DAYS
2) Buyer drafts contract with lawyer's help. Buyer and seller negotiate price and terms, and sign contract. Earnest money is deposited - TWO WEEKS
3) Bank evaluates mortgage application, orders home appraisal. Buyer inspects property. Buyer's lawyer does title search and orders land survey. Contract is renegotiated if necessary (e.g. bank appraisal is low or problems appear during inspection)  - TWO MONTHS
4) Buyer, seller, their attorneys and brokers, and banker's attorney agree on a closing date. Final walk-through and closing - UP TO TWO WEEKS

My experience:
1) Same- a few days is normal.
2) Bundled with #1. Zero days.
3) 2-6 weeks depending on terms decided in #1.
4) Bundled with #1 & #2. Zero days.
Total: 2-6.5 weeks.

popcornflying

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Re: Colorado home purchase timeline?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2018, 09:23:51 PM »
It is relatively unusual (outside of NYC) for a closing to take more than 4-6 weeks from the time of the initial offer, but it can vary a lot. If you have your ducks in a row (and so does the seller) and there aren't big problems with contingencies, you can certainly close in 30 days or even less.

By "buying remotely" what do you mean? Just making offers on places you see on Zillow? Flying out when you see something you like? Making a weeklong trip to look at properties? If it's somewhere you plan to live, I would avoid just making offers sight unseen.

Really, if you're moving to a strange new place, the best thing to do is rent for a year and figure out what part of the city works for you. Then buy something.

-W

Yeah, my previous buys took 3 months. Maybe related to coop boards, or slower mortgage approvals during the 2008 crisis.

By buying remotely, I mean we might not move and rent before buying. We've been to the area enough to know we'd be happy living there. We're working now, but would RE after moving so we wouldn't have to worry about jobs. If we buy without renting first, we avoid rental expenses and having to move twice. It could be wishful thinking, but I'm hoping we can do our viewings and inspections by flying out on weekends. So it sounds like when you moved, you rented first before buying? If yes, do you have any advice for how long to rent before buying, like how long a lease to sign?

I guess the thing we're most curious about is the no lawyer part, since we've found them very helpful. We'll probably use one anyway.

popcornflying

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Re: Colorado home purchase timeline?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2018, 09:28:02 PM »
0) Buyer prepares lawyer, mortgage pre-approval, home inspector, and hires buyer broker
1) Buyer finds a property and makes an offer, seller evaluates or counters until acceptance - A FEW DAYS
2) Buyer drafts contract with lawyer's help. Buyer and seller negotiate price and terms, and sign contract. Earnest money is deposited - TWO WEEKS
3) Bank evaluates mortgage application, orders home appraisal. Buyer inspects property. Buyer's lawyer does title search and orders land survey. Contract is renegotiated if necessary (e.g. bank appraisal is low or problems appear during inspection)  - TWO MONTHS
4) Buyer, seller, their attorneys and brokers, and banker's attorney agree on a closing date. Final walk-through and closing - UP TO TWO WEEKS

My experience:
1) Same- a few days is normal.
2) Bundled with #1. Zero days.
3) 2-6 weeks depending on terms decided in #1.
4) Bundled with #1 & #2. Zero days.
Total: 2-6.5 weeks.

Thanks tralfamadorian for the data point! Nice username also!

August26th

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Re: Colorado home purchase timeline?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 01:00:55 PM »
I am a Colorado lender (for 15 years now) and we generally close in about 3 weeks. This assumes the buyer is on top of things and responds promptly to requests for documentation, etc.

nedwin

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Re: Colorado home purchase timeline?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 03:22:33 PM »
In Colorado real estate agents use form contracts for the offer/counteroffer/acceptance stages of the transaction.  These forms are drafted by the Colorado Real Estate Commission in conjunction with the Real Estate section of the CO Bar Association.  All that is required is to fill in the blanks.  You can access the forms from the real estate commission's website.  Attorneys are rarely involved, unless a party wants to include an attorney or a dispute arises.  Closings are usually handled by the title insurance agency.  I've seen closings in a matter of days for cash transactions, and remote closings (by email and FedEx) are common.


waltworks

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Re: Colorado home purchase timeline?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 03:53:21 PM »
It could be wishful thinking, but I'm hoping we can do our viewings and inspections by flying out on weekends. So it sounds like when you moved, you rented first before buying? If yes, do you have any advice for how long to rent before buying, like how long a lease to sign?

I guess the thing we're most curious about is the no lawyer part, since we've found them very helpful. We'll probably use one anyway.

1. You don't need a lawyer. The contract will be just boilerplate standard for the state of CO. You could conceivably need a lawyer after the transaction if you feel the sellers lied on their disclosures or something, but for the actual purchase... waste of money/time. I'd put that money into:

2. Put your stuff in storage and do an extended vacation staying in Airbnb's all over Denver. Stay at each place for a week or two, figure out what's cool about the neighborhood and what isn't, meet some other people who live there, figure out how far it is to your preferred grocery store/mountain bike trail/ice rink/whatever. You'll have plenty of time to look at houses, too.

-W

the_fixer

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Re: Colorado home purchase timeline?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2018, 09:00:40 AM »
I have bought / sold 5 houses in Colorado and never used a lawyer. Everything is done with standard forms by the realtor, closing company, title company and the bank.

30 day closing is pretty much the standard for a normal sale.

They can take less time for cash deals or take a bit longer if there are complications.

As someone that has lived in Colorado most of my life I was surprised when we were looking at a relocation to upstate NY the home buying process is vastly different than here.

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