The Home buying Process Timeline

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’re also a follower of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This series was originally set to be a trilogy, it’s being rumored there will in fact be five films, not three with the first release coming out this next November. This much anticipated fantasy flick mostly takes place in New York City back in 1926 as the cast searches for and documents a world of magical creatures. Like we said, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, this spinoff is sure to please. Yet the process comes with no shortage of surprises, most of which hijacks the star named Jacob as some of the magical beasts escape. The process of documenting and discovering did not go as planned. But the process of buying a home should be without wrinkles, at least if you know what to expect and when. Here is a primer on the home buying process and a typical timeline.

Most sales contracts will have a settlement date set at the escrow company 30 days from the date the contract is executed by the seller and buyer. That gives the lender and other third parties time to gather the remaining documenting needed to close the loan. But before the contract is signed, the buyers should already have their preapproval letter in hand. This letter documents the buyers have applied for and documented their loan application and all that is needed is a property address. Once that address is found, the clock begins to tick.

Once the loan application and sales contract is delivered to the lender, the lender orders various third party services needed. While the lender orders these services, the buyer should immediately order a property inspection. The inspection should arrive within a couple of days, maybe three. Should the inspection show any major defect or issue that is unresolvable, the buyers can cancel their offer and get a refund of their earnest money check. If the inspection comes back clean, the process continues.

The appraisal will probably arrive within about a week, depending upon local market conditions. In a market where home sales are humming, an appraisal might take a little longer. The lender orders title insurance as well as a flood certificate. Ideally, within 10 days to 2 weeks, the loan is ready for the underwriter.

The loan is reviewed by the underwriter to make sure the loan and the documentation included conform to the guidelines set forth by the mortgage program. If it does, then closing papers are ordered. If there are still some questions about the application or additional information is needed, the loan processor or loan officer is contacted to resolve any issues. The loan papers are electronically delivered to the escrow agent and the buyers scheduled a day and time to sign their closing papers. The sellers also schedule a time. Once signed, the documents are sent back to the lender to make sure the escrow officer properly followed the lender’s instructions. If so, the lender provides the escrow agent with a special number that releases the mortgage funds. The loan is then recorded as a sale at the county courthouse.