How Long Does It Take To Close On A House?

Mortgage Dove

How Long Does It Take To Close On A House?

Before touring homes and submitting offers, educating yourself about the final stages of the home-buying process is essential. As a first-time borrower, you might think that preparing for closing is solely the responsibility of your mortgage lender, but that's not always the case.

For a smooth and timely closing process, it's essential to have a clear understanding of the following steps involved. Doing so lets you provide your closing agent with the necessary information and documents while anticipating what to expect on the closing day. Our guide will help you prepare for the closing day and avoid any possible roadblocks hindering your homeownership path.


House Closing Process Overview


The most rewarding part of the home-buying experience is closing on a house. Ideally, by the time you reach your closing day, all your questions will be answered, negotiations will have been settled, and your mortgage will be preapproved. On this day, you should be prepared to be the home's legal owner.

As the closing date draws near, there will still be a lot to do to ensure that you become the new homeowner and receive the keys to your new house. To help you prepare for this exciting journey, here is a guide that outlines all the steps you need to take before you find your dream home so you know what to expect along the way.

How Long Does It Take To Close A House?

The process of closing on a home generally takes around 30 to 45 days, from the time you apply for your mortgage loan to the day you sit at the closing table. On the day of closing, which typically lasts 1 to 2 hours, you will sign your final paperwork, provided everything goes smoothly.

Closing on a house can take varying amounts of time depending on factors such as your organizational skills, the loan officer's experience, and the seller's reliability. To better understand the process, it's helpful to review the following steps. This will give you an idea of what you and your lender must do before closing day to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

During the closing process, you can expect the same experience no matter which lender you choose for your mortgage.


Signing your purchase agreement (up to 14 days)


Once you and the seller have agreed on the purchase terms, you'll need to sign a purchase agreement, also known as a contract of sale. 

This process won't take much time, but if you have any contingencies or have waived any crucial aspects of the process, such as a home inspection, in exchange for a lower price, it's advisable to have an attorney review the contract to ensure that the legal language aligns with your expectations.

Typically, both parties have up to 14 days to sign the purchase agreement. However, under ideal conditions, this process can be completed in just a couple of days without any issues with the contract.


Complete and pass a home inspection (up to 15 days)


Suppose you decide not to waive your inspection as a contingency during home-buying. In that case, you must conduct one after signing the purchase agreement. During this phase, a home inspector will carefully examine the property for defects, such as faulty boilers or other issues, which will be documented in a report. Based on the report, the inspector will also identify which areas of the home require repairs.

To begin the inspection process, the first step is to find an available inspector and schedule a date for inspection. As a result of the high demand in a flourishing real estate market, it may take a few days to locate an available inspector. The inspection process usually takes a few hours, and the final report is typically ready within a few days following the inspection.


Conduct a home appraisal (7–14 days)


Before you can buy a home, you will need to have an appraisal done. An appraiser will assess the property's features and condition to determine its fair market value. The appraisal is crucial because it ensures that the price you have agreed to pay for the home is reasonable and appropriate based on its features and condition.

Assessing your property includes:

  • Evaluating several aspects, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Any upgrades or renovations.
  • Comparing the values of nearby homes.

The actual appraisal process is typically short, but scheduling the appraiser's visit can be time-consuming, especially when there's a high sales activity in your area.


Mortgage underwriting (30–60 days)


When closing on a home, the mortgage underwriting process takes the most time. This is because lenders need to assess the risk of lending you money, which means they must determine the likelihood of you repaying the loan you borrow for the home.

There are numerous requirements to complete the process, including identity verification and checks on credit history, income, investments, savings, and other financial information.

After you submit your application, you will receive one of three decisions - acceptance, denial, or suspension. If your application is denied, it is likely because the underwriter thinks you have a high debt-to-income ratio or your credit score needs improvement.

Your application may be suspended if the underwriter fails to verify some of your personal or financial information. Although you will have a chance to provide accurate information, it's important to remember that complete or precise data may lead to delays in the underwriting process.

An approved application requires signing the final paperwork on closing day.


Signing the paperwork (less than one day)


On closing, you will meet with your broker to sign all necessary paperwork and officially take ownership of the property. It would be best if you also came prepared to pay any fees owed at closing.

Bottom Line


Before beginning your journey to buy a new house, having prior knowledge about real estate closings can simplify the process. It is no longer necessary to be confused or overwhelmed by the home-buying process. 

Conducting thorough research from start to finish can assist you in navigating the difficulties of purchasing a new home and ultimately closing your mortgage. Knowing the information and documentation required by your lender and preparing for the closing day can prevent any potential delays and make the experience more pleasant.

"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