What Factors Can Stall the Closing Process?

Perhaps nothing equates to the excitement of moving into a new house, whether it is your very first abode or your dream home. If you are in the process of purchasing a home, you are likely counting the minutes until your closing day. On average, the real estate settlement process takes about 45 – 60 days, barring any snags on the path to closing. To gain a realistic expectation of the time it takes to go from contract to close, it is prudent to be aware of factors that could potentially stall the closing process. Read on to learn about possible closing hiccups of which to be aware.

Title Defects

Title defects are issues that have the potential to delay closing proceedings. There are a range of title defects, or glitches in the proper transfer of property from one party to the next, which can most certainly slow the process. Your title agent will run a thorough title search on the property to screen for and identify any concerns that may interfere with this ownership transfer and work to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. Some of the most common title defects include:

– Unpaid taxes

– Liens or judgments

– Unknown heirs

– Boundary disputes

– Recording errors

– Improperly probated wills

– Unknown encumbrances/easements

Communication Roadblocks

Maintaining open lines of communication and transparency throughout the entire settlement process is imperative for all parties involved and to the common goal of keeping the closing process on track. Communicating with the appropriate person as quickly as possible to address any concerns is essential. Responding to information requests or other needs can help streamline the proceedings and work toward meeting that target closing date.

Appraisal Delays

Any repairs that are inadvertently undervalued or overlooked by home appraisers may need to be satisfied prior to closing on the loan, as enforced by the lender. Some of these issues may include cracks or leaks in the roof, interior or exterior painting needs, or problems with the HVAC unit.

Incomplete Paperwork

Missing, incomplete, or delayed paperwork will slow the funding of the loan – and ultimately the real estate settlement process. Such necessary documents may include home inspection verification, homeowner’s insurance, and other loan approval information and paperwork.

How You Can Help

As a potential homeowner, you may be wondering what you can do to facilitate the closing process and help to zero-in on that targeted settlement date. Apart from submitting all information/documentation requested by your lender as quickly and thoroughly as possible, it is important to remain in close contact with your real estate agent and title agent. These professionals can help you navigate the process and keep you apprised of any snags that may require your attention. Be sure to review your Closing Disclosure (CD) form in detail upon receipt, which should be remitted to you no later than three business days before your closing date. Any questions or discrepancies concerning this essential document should be addressed prior to the day of settlement. By remaining abreast of the settlement procedure, you can help to foster an efficient, smooth closing process.

Do you have other questions about the closing process? Reach out to the Linear Title & Escrow team today!


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