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Joyce Santiago

How long does it take to buy a house? Here are 2 things that can delay closing

by Jocelyn Santiago 06/18/2024

When facing such a long and complicated process, many would-be homeowners are left to wonder: how long does it take to buy a house? While it’s possible to estimate the amount of time needed for various steps, there are several factors that can delay the home buying process and create an even longer wait.

To help you prepare for any potential issues, here are two of the most common reasons closing on a home is delayed:

Loan approval falls through at the last minute

The mortgage process is a long one in itself, and even with a significant down payment, it can delay your purchase if your approval falls through. One of the most common reasons homebuyers have closing day finance issues is they didn’t get full preapproval from a mortgage lender before making an offer.

The other common scenario is a major financial change has caused a mortgage lender to rescind their approval. This can happen if, for example, a buyer takes on a significant amount of credit card debt right before they buy a house.

The best way to avoid delays caused by financing is to get full mortgage preapproval from a lender before making an offer, and to avoid any behavior that could adversely affect your credit report before the closing process is complete.

Home inspection reveals serious issues

The home inspection is another potential cause of delay when buying a house. Most purchase contracts include a clause requiring a professional inspection of the property to identify any major issues. If the inspection comes back with bad news, the buyer can either walk away from the sale or make an agreement with the seller about how to solve the problem.

Unfortunately, inspection reports are not always perfect. However, clarifying seller concessions and being flexible with negotiation can help you mitigate potential delays caused by unpleasant surprises. Investigate what repairs the seller is willing to make or include in closing costs beforehand.

These are only a couple of reasons it may take a longer time to buy a house. While every step of the process has potential for delay, the more you know about your options, the better you’ll be able to handle them if they arise.