Mortgage Timeline [What to expect!]

What does the mortgage timeline look like when you apply for a home loan?

In this video I explain the home buying process from start to finish, breaking down each step of the timeline for you to see how long it takes.

Whether you are refinancing or applying for a new mortgage, make sure you understand how long each step will take, or you could end up losing time, money, and your new home!

Watch on YouTube:


What if you need that extension, the seller says, no? They don't have to extend because they now have another offer. You just lost that house. That's time, money, energy, thousands of dollars, heartbreak, heartache. Timelines are important, and knowledge is also important. 

Hi, I hope you enjoy watching these videos as much as I enjoy doing them. Today's topic is on mortgage timeline. By the end of this video, you will have a realistic expectation of how long it can take, possibly, to close on your mortgage, whether that's a purchase or a refinance. So stick around. 

This is your one-stop shop for anything and everything, mortgage education, and hopefully mortgage peace. I drop new videos every Tuesday and Saturday.

My name is Stephanie Weeks. I have been a loan officer for 17 years. There are over 300,000 loan officers in the nation. And in the last several years in a row, I've been recognized in the top 1% of loan officers for production. For the first year, for me in 2019, I was also recognized in the Scotsman Guide for Top Originators. So I do know a little bit about mortgage loans, after helping thousands and thousands and thousands of clients with their financing. 

I know that time is so valuable. So you're probably wondering, why should I bother watching this whole video? Why do I care? Why does this matter to me? 

The reason that you want to watch it, and the reason that you care is because projecting an inaccurate close date and not have realistic expectations, it could maybe cause you to lose your interest rate. It could maybe cause you to lose the house you're trying to purchase because the seller won't give you an extension and you didn't write it long enough contract. Maybe it's because you don't realize how you are an intricate part of that timeline. It is so, so, so, so, so up to you, how fast everything can transpire on your mortgage process and how fast you can possibly close. 

So if you don't want to lose your interest rate, if you don't want to lose the house that you love, if you don't want to potentially waste thousands and thousands of dollars, then stick around, give me five minutes of your time and let me give you all the scoop. 

Sometimes when I'm explaining to people how long it takes to close a mortgage, I make a joke and say, it's like I'm orchestrating a circus. Or maybe I'm trying to herd cats. Why is that? I am trying to deal with one or more borrowers, one or more real estate agents, the title company, the clerk of court, the tax assessor, the appraiser, the abstractor that's behind the scenes with the title company, the underwriter, the processor, the closer, hmmm, oh, and the insurance company as well. And I'm trying to get all of those people on the same page to get me what I need, when I need it, so that we can all get to the right place at the right time. That's a lot of people to try to control as to how, when, where, why that they do their job and double check that their jobs are done correctly. 

Why do you care about this? It's because I want you to understand how much goes into it, but I also want you to understand some of the different timelines. Pre-COVID, it's our new thing right? Forever ago it used to be pre-Katrina cause I live in the South, but pre-COVID for so many years, I've been closing mortgage loans in an average of two weeks.

Before TRID came into effect, which is a bunch of new compliance and regulations, before then my fastest mortgage loan that I closed was in four hours. Yes, took a completed package from another lender that was a denial, was able to get the whole entire process done in four hours. The title was done, the appraisal was done, the insurance, like all the stuff was done. 

Now by law, you can't close sometimes in less than eight days or 12 days, all depending upon a number of factors. Even besides that in the past few years, I've been closing loans on average, about two weeks, which is great. You're in out, the customers are happy. They're not taking up and losing a lot of their time. So it goes really well. 

Well, during COVID, then that two weeks went up to around 60 days on average because the industry got completely bombarded. And now I say since COVID, even though it's not totally done yet, but we're kind of rebounding and getting a little bit better, everybody's getting a little bit less backed up, shall I say? And I would say that most of the loans now on average are closing between 30 and 45 days. 

We've talked about the average timeline in the past and now, let's talk about when the timeline starts. Let's say that you write a purchase contract for 45 days, okay? And then you want to do home inspections, which are not a requirement, but they are so strongly suggested, and I would do the same thing. Maybe now you're down to 43, 42, 40 days. Who knows? Let's just call it 43 days 'cause the inspector is so insanely fast. 

Now we're down to 43 days. You get the inspection, you wait for the report. Now we're down to 41 days. Get the report, review the report. Then go through that with your agent, then decide that you want some things remedied or fixed from the seller, so then you go to the seller. Then they have time to respond. 

Now you're down to maybe 37 days. Most people are gonna say don't order title and don't order appraisal. And I don't want to get started until we're past inspections. That makes complete sense, and I totally get that. Remember you just wrote a 45 day contract, and now you probably just lost 10 days on inspections so that the lender can finally get started doing loan disclosures, order a title, order appraisal and all these other pieces and parts. Even if they issue loan disclosures super quickly, you still might take days to sign them. Even if they give you loan disclosures as soon as you do that contract, you might not want to sign them until you’re past inspections. 

So the timeline starts when you tell your lender that you're ready to get started, you're willing to sign your loan disclosures and go ahead and order title and appraisal. Even then, if you don't get all your documents turned in immediately, you could hold up that timeline. If loans are on average right now taking 30 to 45 days to close, what do you think is gonna happen if you write a 45 day contract, and you lose 10 days on inspections? You've given yourself a very, very, very tight window. 

Let's say you need an extension. Heaven forbid. I mean, if I ever need an extension, which happens 'cause it's not all in my control completely, thank God it's rare because it literally kills my soul to extend a purchase contract past the scheduled date. 

Make sure that you understand how all this works, and you're setting your lender up for success and not failure because, what if you need them that extension, the seller says, no? They don't have to extend because they now have another offer. You just lost that house. That's time, money, energy, thousands of dollars, heartbreak, heartache. Timelines are important, and knowledge is also important. 

As I mentioned, there are so many people involved in a mortgage transaction, whether it be a purchase or refinance: Realtors if applicable, title company, clerk of court, processor, underwriter, closer, funder, insurance company, the company that does the flood cert, possibly the IRS rep for validations, possibly the employer to do verifications, and then of course the borrower as well. These people getting through their parts of the process quickly, has a huge impact on the timeline of the mortgage. 

Where do you fit into that? Because you are a crucial, crucial, intricate part and have an enormous effect on how fast or slow your mortgage goes. What you need to do is when these people need items, you need to jump insanely fast and get them what they need. If the loan officer has questions or needs information, answer it. The title company has questions, wants to validate information, yes, they're gonna ask you a lot of the same questions you've already given your lender, there's reasons for that, for audit and things like that. So they'll have questions for you. 

They'll need paperwork. The lender's gonna need paperwork. The insurance company needs you to call them back to verify the coverages. When you have your loan disclosures or there's a document to sign, you've got to sign it immediately. 

When you delay signing, delay paperwork, delay phone calls, delay responses, you are delaying your closing. You have such an impact. I hope all this makes sense, I really do. I know it's a lot for this morning, but I think it's very, very helpful to give you a really good idea of where timelines have been, where they are now, we don't know where they're going, but also how you have an effect on that, and also who all is involved in that as well. It is a loaded question when you ask, "How long does it take to close a mortgage loan?" 

Type "win" in the comments below, if you think this video has helped you have a better idea of a timeline when it comes to getting a mortgage, whether that's a purchase or a refinance. 

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October 15, 2020
Mortgage Tips