The site that was using it before seemed somewhat neglected so I reached out with an offer to buy the name which the owner, after some negotiating, agreed to.
I think it was about 2 weeks. We communicated via email and once we agreed on a price we used Escrow.com for the transaction.
The way it works is that the buyer (me) wires the money to Escrow. Once they have confirmed they received the money, the seller transfers the domain to the buyer (me) and once I confirm I have received the domain Escrow releases the funds to the seller.
It's a pretty safe way of doing business. I believe Escrow also verifies the identity of all parties involved.