Closing on a Home: How Long it Takes and What to Expect

Written by Posted On Monday, 28 June 2021 08:04
What to Expect With a Home Closing What to Expect With a Home Closing

What to Know About Closing on a House

Are you going to be purchasing your first home? Whenever you want to purchase a new house, you will have to get through an extended process. Most real estate agents will warn that there are two crucial moments. The first instance that might provoke anxiety in buyers is the pre-approval of the mortgage.

The second similar moment occurs when you close on the house. Many fear both of these times during a real estate transaction. These are normal feelings when you're going to have an enormous financial burden placed in your lap. You've worked hard to come up with down payment funds, and now you'll be expected to be making substantial monthly payments.  No doubt you will get through it with flying colors!

But what can you actually expect with the home buying process? How long do all these stages take when buying a home? Here is all the information you need to follow the home purchase process with confidence and ease.

The Average Time for Closing on a House

After you have signed your real estate contract, you'll be moving onto the home inspection stage. At this point, you will do all of your due diligence to ensure you really want to buy the property. A professional home inspector should be hired to ensure you're not buying a lemon.

Once you are past the home inspection stage, you'll move onto getting your mortgage financing squared away. Getting your loan approved is a critical stage in the home buying process. You can try getting a loan from more than one lender to expand your options. It is advisable to speak with at least a few to compare rates and terms.

From the moment you choose the most suitable lending offer, the underwriting process of your loan starts. Home buyers and sellers ask all the time how long it takes to close on a house. The time frame to close can vary on a few different factors, but you can expect it to be in the range of 45 to 60 days from start to finish.

The time it takes to get your loan processed is actually quicker, but there will be some time after that happens before you'll be sitting at the closing table signing all of the documents. Along the way, the lender will be sending a real estate appraiser to ensure the property is worth what you're paying.

The Two Stages to Close on a House

We present you here with the details of each stage of home closing. As you already saw, you need to get through two stages, which will last around one and a half months on average. It is not a fixed interval. You could expect more or less, so prepare yourself with patience and faith.

  • The interval between the loan application and the actual closing moment. This is the waiting period. As we mentioned before, it usually takes around 30 – 45 days. If it sounds too long, we have good news. Due to the online procedures, this processing period tends to get shorter. Your awaiting period also depends on the number of applications that are forwarded. Keep in mind that the average waiting can go up by a few days to a week during the busy times of the year. The data of average time frames comes from Ellie Mae, a technology specialized company providing useful information to lenders.
  • The time to review and sign all loan documents. This stage requires the presence of all parties involved. Either all at once or separately. It will not take long if everybody gathers at the same time. Verification and signing of documents shouldn’t take more than one hour or so. If the parties sign documents in different moments and locations, this interval might extend to a couple of days. The final purpose is to gather legal signatures from all parties involved, even if it is made personally or online. This part of home closing is almost nothing compared to the first stage.

Tips When Closing on a House

  • Carefully review all the legal documents before signing the final closure.
  • Make sure you have your home insurance binder in place.
  • Check that everything takes place as legally required, including the transfer of property from the former owner to you.

All Documents that Need Reviewing on Home Closing

  • The promissory note. This is the official document that commits you to repay all the loaned money.
  • The mortgage. It is a document that ensures the lender the right to foreclosure on the house in case you don’t honor your payment installments. It is also called a Deed of Trust.
  • The escrow disclosure. This document describes in detail all your monthly payment obligations towards the lender.
  • The right-to-cancel form. This document allows you to change your mind during the first three days after signing. It means if something seems wrong, you still have a chance to call off the entire deal without losing the house or the money.
  • You will also have to check and sign numerous disclaimers, disclosures, and government documents. Your lawyer should go over these documents and help you review them.

The Documents You Need to Bring When Signing the Home Closing

Check with your attorney or agent everything that you need to bring at the signing moment. Here is what you will most likely need to have on you:

  • The identification document, a passport, driver’s license, etc.
  • The Closing Disclosure that you have received three days before the signing moment. This must be compared to the final documents.
  • Receipt of transfer or a check proves that you have paid the amount required to close on the house.

Final Thoughts

The home closing is the last stop on your journey to becoming a homeowner. Once you have reached this stage, you're probably going to be all smiles. Most people look forward to moving into their new home and making it exactly how they want it. Either you will be watching the professional moving company you hired or doing the packing or unpacking yourself. Whatever the case might be, soon enough, you'll be meeting your neighbors.

Best of luck with the process!

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Bill Gassett

One of the top RE/MAX agents in New England over the last decade plus. Providing exceptional real estate services to buyers and sellers in the Metrowest Massachusetts area including the following communities: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.

See my real estate website at Maximum Real Estate Exposure - one of the most visited real estate sites in Massachusetts.

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