Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland

Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland

LOVELAND – Closing delays are often one of the most stressful issues in the home buying and selling process. According to the National Association of Realtors®, most problems are related to the mortgage process. However, they are not exclusive to mortgages. Here’s a look at some of the most common reasons for closing delays and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Buyer missing paperwork
When you apply for a mortgage, your financial information is submitted to an underwriter for review. That underwriter may request additional documentation or explanation on any number of things. Taking too long to gather information is one of the leading causes of mortgage approval delays. It is extremely important for buyers to quickly respond to lender requests. Each day that goes by is a day by which the closing could be delayed.

2. Appraisal delays
An appraisal is a critical element to the mortgage approval process. During busy seasons like the spring and summer, it can take over a week to obtain an appraisal appointment and an additional one to two weeks to receive the final report. Thus, it’s important to submit the request (and make payment for your appraisal) as soon as possible.   

3. Loan processing timeframes
Lenders are extremely busy at this time of year, so naturally, everything will take longer. When you submit any new paperwork to your lender, it goes into a queue. It may not get reviewed right away. It’s not uncommon for several days to pass before your information gets reviewed or re-reviewed. To minimize the number of times that your file must go into a queue, it’s best to submit information all at once and as quickly as possible.

4. Title review or issues
Another essential step in mortgage processing is the title review. This is often completed by an attorney or a title company and aims to identify any title issues with a property. Delays in completing this step or any issues that may be uncovered could delay your closing.

5. Repairs
After a home inspection, you may end up negotiating repairs to be completed before closing. Some repairs may take longer to complete than others, so be sure to allow for enough time before closing. Anything that involves hiring a contractor may take longer for scheduling purposes. For quick closings, it may be best to negotiate a seller concession so that you can complete repairs on your own. That also gives you the opportunity to select your own contractor and ensure quality repair work.

6. Final readings
If your home uses any municipal services such as public water and sewer, a final reading and invoice will be required for the closing. Failure to obtain and pay such charges could result in a lien on a property. Lenders aim to avoid such liens since it would supercede their own lien. Some cities and towns require advanced scheduling for that final reading. Sellers who fail to plan accordingly may inadvertently delay their closing.

7. Contingencies not cleared
Another extremely common delay involves contingencies. Examples include:

  • A sale is contingent upon a seller finding suitable housing but they have difficulty finding a new home due to limited inventory.
  • A buyer’s purchase is contingent upon the sale of their existing home but there is a problem with that other transaction.

Avoiding home closing delays
Some issues, such as title defects, may be unpredictable. However, most of the common delays noted above are preventable. By being proactive, diligent, and aware, you can avoid closing delays. Your agent can help you stay on top of these potential issues and work towards closing your home purchase on time.

By Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance. Suzanne Plewes is a broker associate at RE/MAX Alliance. Write to 750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537, call 970.290.0373 or e-mail