The Realtor.com timeline starts on March 1, but there are some ways you can speed through the steps even if you jump in now. You can, for example, pick a lender in one week rather than two. Ask friends and family for referrals, just as you would if you were looking for a real estate agent. The most important thing to remember is to work closely with your lender; make sure your appraisal is ordered the minute the contract is signed. These things take time...sometimes lots of time.