What Factors Affect the Home Closing Timeline?

The real estate transaction begins with the acceptance and ratification of a sales contract and ends with closing or settlement. Throughout the process, a variety of steps must occur in order to move the mortgage approval proceedings along and prepare to transfer the title (ownership rights) of the property from the seller to the buyer.

On average, real estate transactions take about 45 days to close, but this timeline can be affected by a number of factors. Read on to learn what some of these factors might be and how to minimize barriers to closing while fostering the best possible scenario for settlement.

Home Appraisal

Home appraisals are third-party assessments of a home’s value and an integral part of the mortgage process. Delays related to a home appraisal may occur if any noted repairs need to be satisfied prior to closing or if a home appraises for less than expected and the contract terms must be renegotiated.

Title Defects

Title defects are issues that affect the proper and legal transfer of property ownership from the buyer to the seller. A title agent or attorney will conduct a title search to detect any problems with the title that may prevent this ownership transfer. Any title issues will likely need to be resolved before closing can occur. While there are a broad array of title defects that can arise, some of the most common include:

• Recording errors

• Unknown easements or other encumbrances

• Boundary disputes

• Judgments or liens

• Unpaid taxes

• Undiscovered heirs

• Improper probation of wills

Responsiveness to Information Requests

Throughout the contract-to-closing timeline, the lender will typically request various types of information. In addition to paperwork needed to process, approve, and prepare the loan, this documentation may include proof of homeowner’s insurance and home inspection verification, among others. Providing any requested documents or information and completing any required forms promptly can help reduce the chance of closing delays.

Funding of the Loan

To further reinstate the importance of promptly responding to any information requests, any delayed or incomplete paperwork will stall the funding of the home loan. This, in turn, can extend the real estate settlement process and cause a delay in closing. It is also essential to ensure proper wiring instructions are submitted to facilitate the disbursement of funds.

To learn more about the closing process, please contact the experienced team at Linear Title & Escrow today.


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