For real estate agents and homebuyers alike, a “clear to close” is a sweet, sweet, sound. But what about when the closing process is stalled, delayed by unforeseen circumstances or other factors? Though some delays are beyond anyone’s control, there are a few things homebuyers can do to minimize barriers to the settlement process. Before we take a look at those, let’s first review the more common reasons behind delayed closings.
Common Causes of Closing Delays
- Appraisal Concerns: Overlooked or undervalued repairs missed by the appraiser may need to be addressed before closing, as required by the mortgage lender. Such concerns might include heating or air conditioning problems, roof leaks or cracks, and issues with exterior or interior paint.
- Title Defects: Clouds on title, or problems surrounding the transfer of property ownership from one party to another, often slow the closing process. A title search is performed to screen for title defects like liens, unpaid taxes, unknown heirs and recording errors. Some title defects are simple to resolve, whereas others require more work.
- Incomplete Documentation: Pertinent paperwork, such as homeowner’s insurance and inspection documentation and verification, is required by the lender in order to proceed with funding the loan. Any delay or missing information will slow the closing process.
- Communication Issues: To facilitate a successful closing and minimize roadblocks, maintaining transparency in actions and full disclosure in communication is paramount. The importance of communicating with the right party as soon as possible to resolve any potential or concrete concerns cannot be overemphasized. Checking emails and responding to requests for information can go far to keeping the closing process on track.
Stay in the Know
The best way homebuyers (and agents) can foster a smooth, efficient closing is to stay abreast of how the loan application process is progressing, and provide any requested information or documentation as quickly as possible. Communication is key, and keeping the lines open between all parties involved can help minimize delays in the closing process. The following are additional tips for expediting closing procedures:
- Be sure to complete mortgage pre-approval and loan application paperwork promptly, accurately and thoroughly.
- Gather all necessary documentation, such pay stubs, tax returns, asset statements and other related information, in one central location and have it ready to submit when requested by the lender.
- Call for a home appraisal as early as possible.
- Review and sign your Closing Disclosure (CD) Form three business days prior to your closing date.
Our team at Linear Title & Escrow works diligently and efficiently to streamline your closing process. If you have questions about factors that delay closing, please contact us today.