If running a race was a metaphor for buying a home, closing would be the final stretch. Of course, there are actually two types of closing to consider. To continue the metaphor, the first type of closing, sometimes referred to as either the closing process or escrow, would be the final sprint. The final type of closing, which takes place on the actual closing day, would be the equivalent of crossing the finish line. How long does closing on a house take?
How Long Does Closing on a House Take?
Whether the home that you’re buying is your first home or merely your first in a while, waiting to call it yours can be incredibly hard. After you learn what’s involved in the different versions of closing, you can create a timeline for getting them done. Knowing how long it takes to complete each stage of the process can help you prepare and ease the nerves that can leave you feeling rattled.
The Closing Process
How long does closing on a house take? MillionAcres reports that closings can take as little as a week or more than 60 days. As of August 2020, the average time for closing on a home purchase was 45 days, according to the Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report.
What to Expect During the Closing Process
What can you expect to happen during the closing process? Every buyer’s experience is unique, and some steps will vary in their order or duration; they may also happen concurrently. Zillow offers a rough outline of the timeline:
- Sign the sales contract. This should include a closing date.
- Open an escrow account. This generally takes a few days.
- Put in inspection and repair requests. Expect this to take one to two weeks.
- Complete the mortgage application and underwriting. This typically takes up to 20 days.
- Wait for the appraisal. This takes up to two weeks.
- Arrange for homeowners and title insurance. This normally requires one day.
- Get the formal loan approval. This generally requires one day.
- Complete the final walk-through. If all goes well, this takes one day.
- Attend closing. This takes one day.
Tips to Keep the Closing Process from Dragging
When things go wrong, the closing process can take longer. Unfortunately, some of the issues that cause delays are beyond your control, but there are steps that you can take to help keep the closing process moving along. HomeLight offers some simple but sage advice:
- Get your financing lined up before you make your offer. In other words, get preapproved* for a mortgage before you go shopping for a home. Doing so can help you spot any difficulties in your finances early and give you a chance to fix them before they sink your purchase.
- Be responsive to requests. If your lender or real estate agent reaches out because they need additional information or documentation from you, don’t hesitate. Get things done as quickly as possible to avoid delays.
- Be decisive. You’ll face some important decisions along the way to the closing table. While you don’t want to rush into something that you’ll regret, don’t linger unnecessarily.
When closing day finally arrives, you’ll sign all the necessary paperwork and become the official owner of your new home. As Zillow explains, the actual closing appointment normally takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. Be sure to bring your identification, proof of insurance, and your copy of the contract. If you’re using a cashier’s check to pay your deposit, make sure that you have it with you as well. Be prepared to do a lot of signing. Buyers typically sign several documents, including the following:
- Deed of trust
- Promissory note
- Signature affidavit
- Escrow disclosure
- Appraisal acknowledgment
- Initial mortgage payment
- Truth-in-Lending disclosure
- Equal Credit Opportunity Act disclosure
When you’re ready to reach for your housing goals, turn to the team at PrimeLending Dallas. With our loan expertise and commitment to delivering friendly, personalized service, you’ll get the customized guidance that can help you discover the best loan product for your unique situation. Contact us today to learn more.
*All loans subject to credit approval and identification of an acceptable property. Conditions and restrictions may apply.