The last step in buying or selling a home is the closing process. During this process, everything becomes final and the title transfers to the new owner. For this to happen, there must be a clean title, a solid agreement and secure funding. If any problems come up, it can delay the closing process.
HomeLight explains that issues during closing are not uncommon, especially if both parties are trying to handle all the details on their own.
In some cases, the buyer is unable to secure financing in time to close. This may be due to missing documentation, delays from the bank or other matters that hold up the approval of the mortgage. If this happens, then the sale cannot close. Financing must be in place before the buyer and seller sign the papers to absolve the seller of financial responsibility and ensure he or she receives the money for the home.
Another common problem occurs during the final walkthrough. Buyers who see something amiss may stall the process. For example, new damage to the home or something missing that was to be a part of the sale may prompt the buyer to delay closing until the seller addresses the issue. Other changes may happen that alter the original agreement and that the buyer does not find favorable. The buyer may decide not to buy the home as a result.
Title research typically occurs later in the process. The seller must have a clean title or the buyer’s lender will not finalize the mortgage. Furthermore, title issues can be quite complex. For example, a tax lien on the property could indicate local taxes that the seller did not pay. Until he or she resolves the matter, the sale cannot go through. Alternately, the seller could have received the property in an inheritance, and a sibling could be a co-owner. Without the permission of the sibling, the owner may not be able to sell.