It might seem as though once your home has an accepted offer that the selling process is complete. Not only is it not over yet, but some of the most complex aspects of a real estate transaction now begin. Through automation, closings can occur within a week in some cases, at least in theory. In practice, it takes time to arrange financing, conduct inspections, obtain appraisals, locate replacement housing, contact movers, pack and actually move.

While instant closings may not be practical, neither are closings too far in the future. The problem with closings that are set up much past 60 days from the acceptance of the offer is that loan rates are difficult to lock in. If mortgage rates go up, it’s possible that the buyer will not be able to afford the home and thus the transaction may fall through. Here are some additional items to think about regarding your closing:

  • Contracts routinely depend on the ability of a buyer to obtain financing, which is why most sellers prefer buyers with pre-approval letters from lenders.
  • A growing percentage of transactions involve a home inspection, or a physical review of the home by a licensed home inspector.
  • Lenders may establish numerous conditions before granting a loan. They typically will want title insurance to protect against title errors, surveys and an appraisal to assure that the home has sufficient value to secure the loan.