The Home Closing Process: What to Expect

Closing is the final step in your home-buying journey. On the closing date, the keys to your new home are handed to you, and you become a proud and legal owner of the home. But if you are not careful, the process can be a nightmare by dragging out too long. As much as a buyer and seller can settle on a closing date, the lender determines the actual closing date. The lender and title agency must be available and ready for closing to go through.

How Long Does the Closing Process Take?

On average, the closing process takes about 41 days. This is because 32% of all the transactions stall or experience some delay. Pre-approved loans are also said to close sooner than pre-qualified loans. With pre-approval, certain items are verified upfront before signing the contract.

If the lender already verifies a borrower's credit reports, bank accounts, and employment, the rest is left to the underwriter and can take less than two weeks. However, missing documents can delay the process. Here are the factors that affect closing.

Loan problems

Making an offer before pre-approval is among the most significant mistakes homebuyers make. You need to start by getting pre-approved, then you can go shopping. One you're pre-approved, you know your price range and will not gamble on homes you cannot afford. Ultimately, this will avoid closing delays.


These are conditions that a buyer and seller agree on and should be achieved before the transaction. Some of them include a home inspection, appraisal, and the title contingency. If these are not done, they could delay or completely stop the closing process.

Additional Debt

While awaiting a potential closing, the homebuyer must avoid debt at all costs. Roughly 46% of home-closing deals in 2016 were stalled by financing issues, the most common being additional debt. If you’re considering a house, it is not the time to buy new furniture or cars on debt.

Changes in Credit Report

These are not only caused by additional debt but are also caused by not paying your bills on time and any mistakes found on your updated credit report. If your credit report drops, you risk losing your financing.

Lack of Homeowner's Insurance

After home inspection and appraisal is done on the property, begin searching for your homeowner's insurance. Have it before the closing date to avoid potential setbacks.

The Last Property Check

A week or so before the closing, you are allowed to perform a final walkthrough. During this time, you should ensure that everything you require is included. Any problems during this walkthrough could take some time to fix and hence delay the process.

The Homeowners

Potential homeowners may cause delays if they do not provide all the documents required by the lender to complete the closing. It is discouraged to rush through any of the mortgage processes. Take your time to fill applications correctly and upload documents on time to ensure that there are no hiccups. Also, do not forget to carry all the necessary documents on the closing day.


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