How to Close on a Home Quickly

August 22, 2011

in Home Buying Guide

Congratulations! You’ve finally found the house of your dreams and submitted an offer. Now on to the tricky part – getting your loan approved.

How Long Should it Take from Purchase to Closing on a Home?

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Once your offer is accepted by the seller, your loan application will be submitted to an underwriter for approval or disapproval based on your financial and credit standing. This process, which can take as short as two weeks or as long as two months, is often the most stressful time for a new homebuyer.

It is common for a new buyer to be excited about their home purchase only to hear horror stories that their loan may be denied or the offer may fall through. This anxiety or uncertainty can also be heightened if the buyer needs to move quickly, and has to consider a temporary rental until the house closes. While this situation is never ideal, there are certain steps that can help move the closing process along. Here are a few tips and quick close solutions:

  • Know what you can afford. Knowing how much house you can afford is a crucial part of getting approved for a home loan quickly. Consider your monthly bill obligations and income. What are you currently paying for rent and how much more could you afford or be willing to pay for a mortgage?
  • Know your credit score. Before deciding to purchase a new home, you should make sure your credit is in good standing. There are many free resources to pull your annual credit report without a fee, and you should do this before getting too far involved in a home purchase.
  • State all financial information upfront and truthfully. This may go without saying, but if there’s something with your work or credit history that may raise a red flag to a lender, it’s better for them to know ahead of time. Many buyers are given pre-approval to purchase only for a lender to overlook a detail in their employment or credit history which can cause their loan to be denied.
  • Provide paper and electronic copies of all financial documents. Make sure your lender has a copy of your recent tax returns, bank statements and other asset information. If you own any other property or vehicles outright, make copies of the titles for the lender to know what assets you have.
  • Ask the right questions and think ahead. Regularly ask your lender if there is anything else you can provide to help your portfolio. Chances are they are swamped with paperwork and may not have time to be thinking ahead about your underwriting and escrow. By politely asking, “What’s next?” you may help create a sense of urgency that can help speed the process and get you into your new home more quickly.

If you’ve done your buyer homework, crossed all your T’s and dotted your I’s, your home will be more likely to close in a desired time frame. However, if you’re still in escrow and need to move quickly due to a lease expiration or other unforeseen event, you may find yourself looking for a temporary rental. According to associates at the David Morris Group, the best advice in this situation is to plan for the short-term. If you have a lot of furniture and belongings, you may want to put them in storage for a month or two while you find a smaller month-to-month rental. If you’re unable to find a temporary living arrangement, you can also consider staying with family and friends during this time. This “moving to move” may cause an unneeded headache, but at the end of the day, you will be much happier you decided to wait out your loan when you’re able move into your new house and call it home.

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