How Long Does a Home Closing Take?

Mortgage Dove

How Long Does a Home Closing Take?

Closing on a house is a significant milestone, but the duration of the process can vary. The closing period involves several stages, from application to funding. To speed up the process, meticulous organization and clear communication are essential. 

Understanding the steps involved and potential delays can help you navigate the closing process more smoothly. Ultimately, preparation is critical to a successful and stress-free closing day. Now, let's delve into how long the closing process takes, what happens on the closing day, what factors might cause delays, and some tips for a swift closing.


How Long Does It Take?

Closing on a house generally takes 30 to 45 days, with the average home purchase closing time recorded at 50 days in September 2021. The duration can vary based on the loan type and the housing market conditions. Achieving a 30-day closing is possible with smooth financial readiness from the buyer and no issues found during the home appraisal and inspection. 

On average, standard mortgage loans closed in about 49 days, while Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans took the longest at 52 days. Clear communication and organized efforts among the buyer, seller, and lender are crucial to speeding up the process, potentially saving both parties money and reducing unnecessary stress.


How Long Does the Closing Day Itself Take?

Closing day involves a meeting with various parties, including sellers, lenders, and real estate attorneys, to complete paperwork and settle closing costs. This process entails reviewing documents, initialing, writing checks, and signing on the dotted line. On average, if everything goes smoothly, anticipate spending at least two hours on this crucial day.

During the closing day, you'll need to complete these tasks:


Sign Documents

On closing day, you'll encounter a stack of crucial documents requiring your signature. Many of these are legally binding, so carefully reading through them is vital to ensure accuracy and a complete understanding of the terms. These documents include:

  • Promissory Note: To outline the financial terms, it serves as your commitment to repay the entire loan amount.
  • Mortgage Note: Similar to the promissory note, it details mortgage terms such as the down payment and total loan amount.
  • Escrow Disclosure: Providing details about the escrow account, including monthly payments covering taxes and insurance fees.
  • Deed of Trust: Also known as a security instrument, this agreement transfers the property's legal title to a trustee on behalf of the lender, holding it until the mortgage is paid off.


Pay Closing Costs

When closing on a home, you'll encounter closing costs – fees owed to your lender for processing your mortgage. These costs vary, but your Closing Disclosure will likely include:

  • Application fees for processing your loan
  • Closing fees for the lender's representative's time
  • A loan origination fee for processing your application
  • One year of homeowners insurance fees
  • Home inspection fees
  • Title insurance coverage


Transfer the Home Title

At the end of closing, the home title is transferred to your name, officially making you the new homeowner. A house title encompasses all the legal rights regarding ownership and use of a residential property. Remember that these rights may be subject to various laws, easements, liens, or homeowners association (HOA) rules.


The House Closing Process

Closing a house involves several stages, usually over business days and excluding weekends. Here's a concise breakdown:

  • Application (1 day): Complete your loan application accurately, including personal details, income, property information, and desired mortgage amount.
  • Disclosure (under 1 week): The lender provides the loan terms, including estimated payments and closing costs, typically taking a few days.
  • Documentation (under 1 week): Promptly submit required income and asset documents. Clear communication with your lender about complex assets, like multiple income sources, expedites this stage.
  • Appraisal (1 – 2 weeks): Your lender orders a home appraisal to determine its value, distinct from a home inspection focusing on potential damages.
  • Underwriting (1 – 3 days): Underwriters assess your financial information, verify your loan eligibility and confirm property details.
  • Conditional Approval (1 – 2 weeks): Even after confirmation, additional document requests may occur. Be prepared and communicate promptly for a smoother process.
  • Cleared to Close (3 days): After final clearance, a mandatory 3-day waiting period ensues before signing the final paperwork. Use this time for a thorough review.
  • Closing and Funding (1 day): A final review by your lender occurs after signing, and your mortgage is officially recorded with the county.


What Might Cause Delays?

After the seller accepts your offer, a few factors might slow the home closing process. A common issue is the home appraisal, where the property's value is assessed to ensure it's enough to secure the mortgage. If the appraisal falls short of the loan amount, the buyer may need to pay extra. Another potential delay is if the lender discovers issues with the buyer's finances, leading to a possible denial of the mortgage application. 

It could jeopardize the deal, and finding a new lender will extend the timeline. Title issues, such as a lien on the home, might be less familiar but require resolution before ownership can transfer. Additionally, problems identified during home inspections, especially major ones, may prompt the buyer to request repairs or even reconsider the purchase, causing further delays.


Tips for a Swift Home Closing

For a speedy homebuying experience, consider these tips:

  • Get Pre-Approved: Streamline your official mortgage application by using the same lender from pre-approval. It defines your budget and enhances your credibility as a serious buyer.
  • Trustworthy Agent: A local agent familiar with the market can prevent and manage issues efficiently, making the process smoother.
  • Choose a Reliable Lender: Research and select a lender offering the best rates and terms for your mortgage.
  • Prompt Home Inspection: Schedule an inspection soon after going into a contract to address potential issues swiftly and promptly negotiate repairs or credits.
  • Monitor Your Credit: Keep a close eye on your credit score until the closing is complete, avoiding significant life changes that might impact your creditworthiness and cause delays.


The Bottom Line: It Pays Off to Prepare for Closing Day

When closing on a home, the usual timeline is about 30 to 45 days. Yet, a savvy homeowner aims for efficiency, trying to wrap things up quickly. Although some delays are inevitable, there are proactive steps you can take for a smoother closing experience. 

Boost the speed of the process by reducing debts promptly, responding swiftly to the lender's questions, preparing all necessary documents carefully, and ensuring your down payment is deposited on time. By being proactive in these areas, you play a big part in making your home closing journey smoother and faster.

"Mortgage Dove makes home financing convenient for every American. You can count on us to provide a home buying experience tailored to your personal needs and financial situation. We strive to give you the peace of mind that your home financing goals can be achieved.”


Other Related Articles you may be interested in