How Long Does It Take to Flip a House

Posted by Hannah Lapin on Mar 5, 2024 1:42:07 PM

How Long Does it Take to Flip a House

Many people think that flipping a house is a speedy process completed in 3–6 months. However, this is only true of experienced house flippers with a dedicated process and a strong network of other professionals.

In reality, a new house flipper should budget for 12–18 months of work. We'll take a closer look at each of the steps involved in flipping homes based on an ideal schedule, but keep in mind that your actual timeframe may vary significantly. 

How Long Does It Take to Flip a House by Stage

Each stage of a house flip has a different average time, with the renovation process taking the lion’s share of the time expenditure. It also depends on your familiarity with the local market, the breadth of your professional network, and the property's condition upon buying.

Market Research: 4–10 Weeks

Market research includes finding statistics on the best neighborhoods where you can get more money for the deal. You want to look for locations adjacent to a hot neighborhood, as the prices will be more affordable. You’ll also be able to market to buyers who want the advantages of those nicer areas but want lower property taxes and lower asking prices. However, it also involves getting to know the key players in the area, such as real estate agents, general contractors, and insurance companies.

Market Analysis: 2–4 Weeks

Here, you’ll be looking at comparable properties that have sold in your target area within the last three months; if you are in a slower market, you may expand this all the way to 12 months. Examine the average trends in house sales by both volume and price to see where values are going up, as this is where you’ll want to invest when the prices are still good.

You will also need to examine what properties sell well here: a residential area where people want to settle down in a 3-4 bedroom house, or are most people interested in a small condo that they will live in for only a few years? Use these metrics to guide you to a good target property that you’ll then bid on.

Networking: 2–6 Weeks

Next, you want to set everything up so you’ll have a good team to help you when you’re ready to buy, renovate, and sell. Talk to other real estate investors and house flippers in the area who are familiar with the process and can lead you to good professionals for your needs, particularly general contractors and agents.  

Getting Financing: 1 Week

Few people have enough money to flip a house all on their own, so they need to secure good financing. It’s important to consider exactly what kind of loan is right for you. For example, some lenders expect the investment property to be in move-in condition already, so if you need to do a large amount of renovation, you may not be eligible for certain loans. 

Choosing a Lender and Getting Preapproved: 1–5 Days

Perform research and find a lender with the options you need. You may choose a hard money loan if you’re experienced at flipping houses and confident that you can quickly get the sale done.

Hard money lenders have very high interest rates, and though they are very good for short-term loans, there are also plenty of alternatives to hard money loans that may work better. Explore all your options with private money lenders, especially non-QM loans optimized for real estate investors. 

Buying the Property: 8–14 Weeks

Buying the property depends on the local real estate market and whether you can find a suitable house quickly, so times vary greatly based on the housing market in your area. 

Finding a Real Estate Agent: 1–7 Days

If you live in a very busy market, it won’t take long to find a good agent, but it may take longer in certain areas.

House Hunting: 2–4 Weeks

House flippers will work closely with their real estate agent to look at properties with a good return on investment and consider potential buyers.

Making an Offer: 1–3 Days

Making an offer is generally the fastest part of the process, particularly if you’re an experienced home buyer and know what the property is worth.

Appraisal: 1–3 Weeks

Appraisals are often lengthy, as the lender needs to be sure that the house is worth what they’re funding. A private lender will also take a bit more time, as funding a house flip is riskier than other loans. 

Underwriting and Close: 30–40 days

Overall, the underwriting to close process can take about 40 days, but this also includes the appraisal. The funds are generally released within 24 hours of the close. Visio Lending strives to be transparent, and you can review our current turn times to get an idea of what to expect. 

Renovation: Depending on the Property

This varies based on how much work the property needs. You may get it done in as little as one month, or it may take six months or more. On average, expect to spend about 90 days to get it to maximum curb appeal and attract motivated home buyers.

Selling the Property: 1–8 Weeks

The last part of a successful flip is selling the property. This also depends on how hot your market is, but it generally takes between 1 to 8 weeks. Home flippers want top dollar for their properties to warrant the original asking price.

To be able to sell the house quickly, you’ll need to have an excellent marketing plan in place. Also, do not underestimate the importance of working with a highly skilled real estate agent.

Factors Influencing the House Flipping Timeline

It’s important to be realistic about your timeline, which is why working with others skilled in house flipping will help you better understand what to expect in your area. Here are some of the most significant factors that can increase or reduce your time expenses.

Local Market Conditions

House flipping is generally done in a slightly slower market that's expected to rise soon, as you can buy houses cheaply, fix them up, and then turn around and market them to a potential buyer. If your whole market is sluggish, it will take more time than it would in a very hot market. Take a look at the average times to close in your area to get an idea.

The Condition of the Property

If you only need to do light renovations, you can sell your investment much faster than if you need to tear it down to the studs and rebuild. Unless you really love rehabs, you’ll want a house that is in fair to medium condition with a good structure. 

Contractor and Material Availability

The availability of contractors and, by extension, building materials will also influence how long it takes to get your property sold. Slow markets tend to also have long wait times for contractors. This is another reason why it’s important to get in touch with other investors: they can give you an idea of how long you’ll need to wait. 

Permit Approvals

Some municipalities are very picky about permit approvals, and there may be a long waiting period of weeks or more, while others have a very seamless process. It also depends on the extent of the work being done. While you can’t affect how fast municipality clerks work, you can help by having all your paperwork in order in advance.


It’s the nightmare of every flipper: not enough money. To fix this, you need to negotiate with lenders to ensure that you won’t run out before the flipping is done. Some lenders also won’t work with those flipping homes due to the high risk, so you may have to take a bit longer to find a company that will work with you.   

Topics: Real Estate Investing

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