Why does verifyElementPresent take so long to find element?

I’m stepping through each line of code on a simple site where the page has fully loaded well before the verifyElementPresent is executed. However, it still takes several seconds to complete after it is called when the element is NOT present. Is this normal? Can’t it tell the page has fully loaded? It can’t take very long to search the HTML for the element. Why so long?

By default the verifyElementPresent/assertElementPresent commands wait for the element to appear. The maximum wait time (in seconds) is set by the !timeout_wait internal variable. The default value is 10 seconds. Likewise the verifyElementNOTPresent command waits for the element to disappear.

=> If you want to avoid the waiting use store | 1 | !timeout_wait. In the example script below we use this method, too.