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Day-by-Day Mortgage Process Schedule

Harry Jensen, Trusted Mortgage Expert with 45+ Years of Experience
, Trusted Mortgage Expert with 45+ Years of Experience

    The schedule below outlines the mortgage process from when the seller accepts a buyer's Offer to Purchase through mortgage closing.  There is no set timetable for the mortgage process and there are numerous factors that influence how long it takes to process and close a mortgage including the following:

    • Real estate and mortgage market conditions which will dictate how busy your lender and other third-party service providers are
    • The amount of time and work required to address any contingencies included in the offer to pruchase, inlcuding potential repairs to the property
    • Lender underwriting process and follow-up lender requests
    • The length of time required to complete the appraisal report

    The schedule below shows an approximately one month timetable which is typically the shortest amount of time required to process and close a mortgage.  In some cases it can take two months or longer to close a mortgage and borrowers should be prepared for delays in the process.  Without a doubt, unanticipated issues come up when you get a mortgage and the process almost always takes longer than expected.

    Because of the uncertain timeframe, may borrowers elect to lock their mortgage.  When you lock a mortgage, all key terms such as interest rate and closing costs are agreed to by you and the lender at the start of the process and remain unchanged through the closing of your mortgage.  This eliminates the risk that your interest rate increases during the time it takes to process your mortgage.  If you decide to lock your mortgage, make sure that the length of your mortgage lock period is long enough to process and close your mortgage.  The length of your mortgage lock period should also match the length of time for which the offer to purchase for the property you are buying is valid.

  • Mortgage Closing Schedule
    Process Step Day Comments FREEandCLEAR Resources
    Seller Accepts Offer to Purchase with Contingencies
    (if any)
    1 The offer to purchase accepted by the seller may contain contigencies such as performing a home inspection that the buyer requires before completing the property purchase Offer to Purchase
    Submit Property Information to Lender 2 The lender uses the property information to order to open escrow and order the appraisal report Offer to Purchase
    Finalize Mortgage Application 2 The borrower provides the necessary personal information and financial documentation (pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns) to complete the mortgage application Mortgage Application Overview
    Consider Locking your Mortgage 2 Depending on the interest rate environment, the buyer should consider locking the interest rate on his or her mortgage. Consult your lender to determine if it makes sense to lock your mortgage Should You Lock Your Mortgage?
    Settlement Agent Opens Escrow 2 The mortgage closing process is administered by a settlement agent who opens an escrow or trust account Settlement Agent Opens Escrow
    Deposit Earnest Money / Deposit with Escrow 2 The buyer funds the deposit or earnest money, as specified in the offer to purchase, into the escrow or trust account Settlement Agent Opens Escrow
    Realtor or Buyer Orders Home Inspection Report 2 The buyer typically orders a home inspection report to identify any major issues with the property. Addressing any issues identified in the report may be one of the contingencies listed on the offer to purchase Home Inspection Report
    Lender Orders Appraisal Report 2 The lender orders an appraisal, a comprehensive analysis of the value of the home you are buying Appraisal Report
    Settlement Agent Orders Title Report 3 The settlement agent orders a title report, sometimes referred to as a title search or title abstract, from a title company. A title company or attorney examines county records to determine the legal ownership of the property and identify any recorded property liens or easements that could interfere with your ability to purchase the property Title Report & Title Insurance
    Review Loan Estimate 5 The lender must provide the borrower a Loan Estimate that outlines the key terms of the mortgage including interest rate, closing costs and mortgage features within three business days of the borrower submitting a loan application Review Loan Estimate
    Review and Sign Escrow Instructions 7 The settlement agent provides escrow instructions that outline the funds or property parties receive when the property purchase and mortgage close Settlement Agent Opens Escrow
    Buyer Clears Contingencies by Deadline 14 The property buyer and seller resolve any contingencies listed in the offer to purchase, such as any issues identified in the home inspection report. For example, the buyer may request that the seller pay to repair significant items identified in the report Home Inspection Report
    Accept or Clear Preliminary Title Exceptions 15 All parties work to resolve any issues (also called exceptions) that are identified in the title report such as an easement or unpaid property tax bill Title Report & Title Insurance
    Lender and Buyer Review Appraisal 17 The lender uses the appraised property value to determine the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, or the ratio of the mortgage amount to the value of the property. If the appraised property value is significantly lower than the property purchase price this can make it challenging to obtain a mortgage Appraisal Report
    Receive Lender Underwriting Approval 21 Your complete mortgage application is reviewed by a lender underwriter. In some cases the application is approved but is subject to certain conditions that must be fulfilled before the mortgage closes Lender Underwriting Approval
    Settlement Agent Orders Loan Documents 24 The loan documents outline the key aspects of your mortgage and property purchase Loan Documents
    Review the Closing Disclosure (CD) 26 The lender must provide a Closing Disclosure (CD) to the borrower that outlines the final, actual terms of the mortgage including interest rate, closing costs and mortgage features at least three business days prior to the close of the mortgage. Borrowers should take into account the three day CD waiting period when determining how long it will take to close their loans Review Closing Disclosure (CD)
    Record Documents and Fund Mortgage 29 The settlement agent manages all of the logistics that are required to record documents and fund your mortgage. In short, the documents address the transfer of property and funds related to your property purchase Record Docs & Close Mortgage
    Closing! 30 The property seller receives his or her money and the buyer receives title / ownerhsip of the property. Your mortgage closes and you have bought a new home. Congratulations!!! Record Docs & Close Mortgage
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    Data provided by Informa Research Services. Payments do not include amounts for taxes and insurance premiums. Click for more information on rates and product details.
  • Sources

    Mortgage Closing Schedule:

About the author

Harry Jensen, Mortgage Expert

Harry is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. He is a mortgage expert with over 45 years of industry experience. Over his career, Harry has closed thousands of loans for satisfied borrowers and now offers his advice and insights on FREEandCLEAR. More about Harry


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