Closing on a Home – FAST

Getting a Mortgage Shouldn’t Take Forever

Your mission: Get to closing day, sign off on everything, and pick up the keys to your new home!

Your timeline: Typically, it’ll take between 30 days and two months from the day you sign a purchase contract to the closing day.

Can you do it in one month? Faster?

Your readiness does affect the timeline. Yet some parts of the timeline aren’t within a buyer’s control. Many other people and many moving parts come together to make a “done deal.” So, let’s take a look at the steps that bring them all together, and how to expedite closing.

Get Back to the Mortgage Pro Right Away, Every Time

A good mortgage representative can make a big difference. Get recommendations. Also, ask your agent about lenders that do 21-day mortgages. This could be an available option for you. In some rare cases, buyers have made it to closing in under 21 days.

Once you have your mortgage lender, you have to show that you’re good at saving, and that you have a steady source of income and the ability to make monthly payments. To be prove all of this to your mortgage specialist quickly, get the documents ready in advance.

Being chased down for account statements and pay stubs adds time to the approval process. Know the documentation you’ll need for a mortgage.

What else takes time? When you sign a contract with a seller, the lender gets your future home (loan collateral!) appraised. The underwriter reviews every entry on your loan application, looks at the documentation, and sends follow-up questions to your mortgage specialist. Anticipate the questions. Know what’s on your credit report. Be prepared to explain anything before you are asked.

Avert glitches and questions. Answer everything on your mortgage application truthfully and fully.  

Why does the mortgage specialist keep calling for copies of this or that document, checking up on your job, and so forth? Be assured everybody goes through this. And know that nothing is repetitive. The lender needs to see that nothing has changed in your accounts, job, wages, etc. Always send your most recent pay stub to your mortgage rep; don’t wait to be asked. If you can respond to all calls quickly, with correct and complete information, you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel faster. 

Leave your phone on; be sure the mortgage rep can get hold of you. Always submit requested documentation within one day. The faster you respond, the faster the underwriter works.

Touch base with the homeowner’s insurance provider for your new home. Be sure the company is ready to start your policy at the right time. Keep the mortgage company in the loop on the timing and other important details.

Finally, don’t apply for new credit or make significant, irregular withdrawals or deposits until you have the keys. That’s how to expedite a mortgage closing. You might have received an approval, but your loan won’t close unless the underwriter finds nothing has changed since then.  

Be Available and Flexible in Negotiations With the Seller

First, you’ll be shopping for your new home. You’ll want to make yourself available to take calls from your agent and tour the homes.  

Once you have a purchase agreement — your agent will receive a signed copy from the seller’s side —you’ll have your closing date. Agree to the first date proposed, if possible. It will, of course, be subject to any contingencies that seller and buyer agree to meet. In the due diligence period, the parties take care of those contingencies.

 How will you vest your home’s title? If you’re a co-buyer, decide how you’d like to vest the property in advance of the deed transfer. If you vest your title without survivorship rights, you and your co-buyer(s) must let the mortgage company know you’re owning 50% each, or some other percentage. Remember, the home is collateral. Avoid leaving surprises for the lender.

When your agent set up the inspection, take the first date you can. Nudge for the appraiser’s and inspectors’ reports if they don’t come when expected.  

To move things along and keep your closing date, avoid thinking you have to bargain over minor issues in the professional reports. Not sure whether something is minor or major? Lean on your agent’s advice.

Some sellers are not the easiest people to deal with. There’s not a lot you can do about the other side’s personality, except to stay on an even keel yourself. Getting to “yes” as quickly as possible may hinge on having chosen a real estate agent with excellent people skills.

Congratulations, You’ve Done It! Closing Day Has Come

Your mortgage company’s closing disclosure sets forth your closing costs and terms. You’ll also get instructions: bring ID, your checkbook, and other necessities to the table. Have everything ready to go in advance.

Don’t get slowed down by a fraudulent wire transfer! Read this before closing.

In the final days leading up to closing, be ready and available for your last home walkthrough before you sit down to sign the paperwork.

The home buyer is the star of the show at closing. You’ll be asked for your autograph on a hefty stack of papers. A pen that flows well for signing all those papers could be surprisingly helpful.

Yet your closing shouldn’t be hurried. It typically takes two hours for each and every document to be identified and explained to you before you review it and sign it.

Don’t get thrown for a loop when closing day arrives, and it’s time to start a title insurance policy. See: Buying a Home? Should You Pick Your Own Title Insurance Policy?

Your closing is complete after all the professionals are paid, the finances are settled, and you pick up the keys to your home.

Good Preparation Can Help Smash Speed Records

There are many moving parts in a home purchase. As they come together, it’s normal to feel somewhat anxious. Ultimately, it’s the seller who hands over the deed and the keys, so it’s impossible to control every part of the process.

Staying prepared and being one step ahead of every call can keep you confident, though, and it will speed up your journey.

Will a gift of funds go into your down payment? Say so up front. Mysterious deposits into your accounts will delay closing. Read more about how to apply gifts and gift letters when buying a home.

So, communicate and respond like a champion to all involved. Check in with your mortgage consultant if you haven’t heard any requests for more than a day or two. Keep tabs on what anyone might need from you.

Best wishes on a safe and speedy journey! Please note that the articles on this and any other website are great for getting started, but case-specific advice can only be provided by the real estate professionals working on your behalf.  

Looking for more tips? Here’s our Guide to Closing Like a Pro!

For Further Reference

Chase Bank (JPMorgan Chase & Co.) Media Center: What You’ll Need for a Mortgage Application.

And as linked.

Photo credits: Kelly and Andrea Piacquadio, via Pexels.