Navigating the Home Closing Journey

By sharon-leach November 17, 2023

Closing the chapter on your home-buying journey involves a distinct timeline tailored to each buyer and seller, especially given diverse financing options. While cash transactions swiftly wrap up within a week, traditional mortgages, which dominate the home sales landscape, generally unfold over approximately fifty days post-accepted offers. Let’s delve into the intricacies influencing the closing duration, providing a detailed overview.

  1. Purchase Agreement (Up to 14 days): Formalizing the agreement kicks off the process. Buyers and sellers sign the purchase agreement or contract of sale, delineating contingencies like financing, inspection, title, and appraisal. This step, allowing up to two weeks for signatures, often concludes in one to three days with minimal negotiations.

  2. Inspection (Up to 15 days): Buyers with inspection contingencies typically have five to fifteen business days. While the inspection itself is brief, potential delays may arise in scheduling an available inspector, and report compilation might extend the timeframe.

  3. Appraisal (7–14 days): Post-inspection, the appraisal gauges the home’s value and the fairness of the selling price. Delays may occur due to the appraiser’s schedule and report preparation. If the appraisal falls below the selling price, negotiations may cause closing delays.

  4. Title Search (7-14 days): Executed by a real estate attorney or title company, a title search confirms the property has no claims, liens, or legal issues, affirming the seller’s right to sell.

  5. Mortgage Processing and Underwriting (30–60 days): Lender-dependent, the mortgage process spans one to two months. Larger lenders may extend the timeline for risk mitigation. Scrutiny involves the buyer’s financials, credit score, income, debts, and savings.

  6. Final Walk-Through (1 day): Preceding closing, a final walk-through ensures completion of requested repairs and checks for new damages since the purchase agreement.

  7. Signing Day (1 day): The climax occurs on closing day as buyers and sellers sign documents, transfer funds, and finalize the sale. Though typically a few hours, scheduling conflicts and last-minute issues may cause minor delays.

Understanding these pivotal steps and potential influencers empowers both buyers and sellers in their real estate transactions. Collaborating with a trusted real estate agent further streamlines the process for all parties involved.