Closing Time: Navigating the Journey from Dream Home to Reality

by | Jun 12, 2024 | Blog, Buying a Home, First Time Buyer tips, Real Estate, Working with Real Estate Agents | 0 comments

You’ve finally found it: a perfect home that checks all your boxes and captures your heart. But how long will it take before you can officially call it yours? Once your offer has been accepted on a home, there are still many steps to be completed before you officially close. The process is quicker if you are buying a home with cash, but if you are financing the purchase, expect a general timeframe of three to seven weeks from going under contract to closing. CNBC Select reported that the average closing time for a house financed with a mortgage was 42 days in April 2024.

Here are a few of the elements that work into this closing timeline:

Title Search: An attorney or a title company will do a title search. U.S. News & World Report helps define this: “During a title search, public records are examined to make sure that there are no claims, liens or other issues with the property. Any problems could prevent the seller from legally transferring ownership of the property to the buyer, while a title contingency protects the buyer against this occurrence.” This takes between one to two weeks. Additionally, when an HOA is applicable, the association review also takes place during this period.  

Inspection: A home inspection also typically takes one to two weeks, resulting in a report that indicates any issues found on the property. Following this, you can work with the seller to negotiate on what should be fixed prior to closing. CNBC Select notes, “Keep in mind that the home inspector’s job is to look for areas that need repair, not address whether the home is worth the purchase price.”

Appraisal: If you’re financing your home purchase, your lender will require an appraisal, which ensures the home is worth its purchase price. “The appraiser determines the fair market value of the home, based on its age and location, square footage and acreage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and if any upgrades or renovations were made. They’ll compare the asking price to the sale price of similar properties in the neighborhood,” says CNBC Select. An appraisal is done within two to three weeks following your offer being accepted.

Mortgage Underwriting: The lending process can take three to five weeks where the lender reviews all paperwork, as well as your credit score, income, assets and liabilities, undergoing an underwriting process that often involves a bit of back and forth.

The biggest tip? Give yourself the gift of time by starting your process as early as possible. Consult with your real estate agent about your ideal timeline and how many months you’ll need to tour homes, plus what this means based on the season in which you’re house hunting – e.g., is there ample inventory? And, once you’ve found your dream home and your offer is accepted, your buyer’s agent will ensure every step is completed within the necessary deadlines so your closing is a smooth one!

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