Closing is the final step in executing a property transaction. Closing dates are usually set during the negotiation and tend to be a few weeks after an offer has been accepted. The closing also marks the date that the ownership of the property is officially transferred to the buyer. In general, most buyers will want to understand how long it will take for the home to close after an offer has been accepted.
How long does it take to close a house on average?
Depending on your conditions, closing could take between 45 and 60 days. Realtor mag noted that in 2016, closing times averaged 50 days. Closing times can vary depending on market conditions. In bull markets, you may find that closing periods are longer simply because lenders, appraisers and other real estate professionals are in peak season and have a large influx of work to complete. On the other hand, bear markets facilitate shorter closing times due to the availability of these professionals.
What can add to home closing delays?
Closing times may not always be shorter in bear markets. There may be other factors that could impact the closing time, such as:
–Late payments or collection accounts noted on the buyer’s credit report which can cause delays in the buyer’s mortgage approval.
–Missing documentation or documentation problems, ie. issues involving the title, that can delay the legal handover.
–Incomplete loan applications.
–Pre-purchase conditions not having been met, such as contingencies and repairs. If a seller needs to buy a new home before handing over, this could also delay the closing date.
On the other hand, there are also conditions that can help speed up the closing process. Both sides of the transaction can do their part in speeding up the process:
-Buyers who have received loan pre-approval are also often in a position to close sooner.
-Sellers can address any repairs that need to be resolved before closing. Alternatively, sellers can save time by reducing the price of the home in lieu of completing the repairs.
–Good communication can speed up the process. Delays can be exaggerated by poor communication that adds time lags to an already tedious process.
How long does it take across different regions of the U.S?
The closing period is generally similar across the country. However, the closing process and conditions may vary by state. Generic conditions based on California and Texas home closing requirements, for example, may include:
-Fully executed offer and accepted agreement.
-Deposit of a mortgage deposit and a loan approval.
-Fulfillment of buyer due diligence and seller obligations such as pest inspections, roof certifications, and title policies.
-Signing of the notarized deed by both buyer and seller to signify the transfer of the title.
While these are generic closing conditions in the United States, it is worth noting that different states may include more conditions, or waive the requirement for certain conditions to close the home, such as verified insurance.
What are the steps in the home closing process?
We mentioned earlier that closing is the final step in executing a property transaction. Before closing, there is a process that a home undergoes before it gets to closure. At a high level, the selling process will generally involve:
Appraisal (3-10 days)
Before a home can be sold, it needs to be valued. Overpricing a home is often a seller’s biggest mistake, while underpricing means you lose out on the potential value of your home. In general, it is a good idea to look at market analysis reports and compare home values in your area.
Preparation (10-45 days)
To maximize the value of the home, there are a number of steps that can enhance the home’s curb appeal. If you decide to refurbish and renovate the house, it could take much longer before you put the home on market. At the very least, the house should be thoroughly cleaned and prepared for visitors, which could take several days or weeks.
Listing (3-5 days)
After preparation, it’s time for your real estate agent to list the home and begin marketing the property. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, 89 percent of sellers and 87 percent of buyers reported working with a real estate agent or broker.
Shopping for Offers (1-75+ days)
Currently, the average amount of time a property sits on the market is 65 days. This number is highly dependent on location, time of year, and whether or not the market is good for real estate. After a certain period, offers will start to come in for the home, and negotiations may happen before an offer can be accepted. Some sellers are fortunate and could experience a bidding war, whereas others may have to be patient and wait until the right buyer comes along.
Under Contract (15-50 days)
Once a home is under contract, there are more steps that need to be taken before closing. This includes inspection, repairs, the buyer’s bank financing, an agreed closing date, and other contingencies and conditions. According to Realtor.com, this can take up to 50 days depending on how motivated the buyers and sellers are.
Closing (from one day to several weeks)
Closing is the period between offer acceptance and the actual transfer of ownership. During this time, both sides can be settling paperwork, and the house will be prepared for the new owner to move in. The buyer and lender will also need to work out mortgage payments if the house is to be used as security. On closing day, the property will be transferred from the seller to the buyer.
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