It is common for real estate closings to take a longer time than you expect. After the acceptance of a purchase offer, buyers want to know how long it will take for the home to close. But who determines the length of time a closing will take?

Unless you decide to purchase the property with cash, it is the lender that plays the most critical role in a real estate closing. You may get into an agreement with the seller to close during a specific time on your purchase contract. However, your lender needs to fulfill their part within that timeframe for the closing to happen.

According to the balance, if the lender does not act within the stipulated time, the closing will not happen regardless of the date set. Another factor that may determine your real estate closing time may be whether you receive a loan approval or qualification.

By getting a loan pre-approval, you are able to close sooner than those with a loan prequalification. By pre-approval, it means that all the items necessary are verified upfront, and the purchase contract is signed.

The lender needs to verify your credit details, employment, and bank account reports before underwriters process your paperwork and give a review of the appraisal. Usually, it can take a week or two. It is at the underwriter stage that the most significant problems can occur because there are stringent guidelines that make it hard to predict their response.

Sometimes, dealing with an institutional lender may cause more delays than with a mortgage broker. Large institutions may lack the sense of urgency of their counterparts, probably due to the many procedures that they have to follow.

Either way, you should always include a provision in your purchase contract that ascertains that the closing will only happen after the loan approval. By doing so, you will prevent the loss of your deposit whenever the home closing fails to mature.