In today's hot seller market, it may be challenging to find and buy a home as quickly as you would like. As of February 2022, the average mortgage loan took 60 days to complete from start to finish. (The good news is Southpoint Financial isn't average. We just closed a VA loan in 11 days. 😊) But the average industry time to close a loan is 60 days
If you add in time for property search and making offers, buyers are averaging about four months to find and buy a home. While all factors are not within your control, there are several things you can do to speed the process along and avoid major home-buying delays.
In a competitive housing market, no seller will take you seriously unless you are already pre-approved for funding. You can get a pre-approval letter from SouthPoint Financial by simply calling one of our seasoned loan officers. We will just need to take a look at your credit as well as a few other pieces of financial data. That letter will not only give you the green light with sellers but also give you a good idea of how much house you can afford.
Pick an Experienced Agent
Bidding wars are a common occurrence in a seller's market. You may see yourself outbid on several properties before an offer is accepted. That's why it's important in this situation to choose an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent who knows how to negotiate hard for you. This type of market is not the best time to take a chance on your neighbor's son who just got his agent license or your aunt who only works part-time as an agent. Do your research and ask for referrals to find an agent who knows how to win bidding wars and close deals. Ask your SouthPoint Financial loan officers to pair you with one of their Preferred Partners.
Prepare All Your Documentation
Once you have an offer accepted on a house, your mortgage company will need additional paperwork. You can speed up the underwriting process by having all of this ready to go. Your loan officer will have much of this on hand from the pre-approval process. Items like updated paystubs and bank statements may be needed.
Expect to Negotiate After Inspections
Often, one of the biggest home-buying delays is issues that turn up in inspections. These cannot be anticipated but you can strategize ways to keep the process flowing even if problems arise. If the reports turn up repairs to be completed, you could negotiate for a lower price or money back at closing to have them done later instead of waiting for the seller to complete the repairs.
While you may not be able to speed up every part of the home-buying process, you can help it go faster and smoother by being prepared as much as possible by following the steps listed above.
Written by: Patricia Eubanks, Vice President