Day-by-Day Mortgage Process Schedule

Harry Jensen, Trusted Mortgage Expert with 45+ Years of Experience
By , Trusted Mortgage Expert with 45+ Years of Experience
Edited by Michael Jensen

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:

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
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Seller Accepts Offer to Purchase with Contingencies
(if any)
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
Submit Property Information to Lender
The lender uses the property information to order to open escrow and order the appraisal report
Offer to Purchase
Finalize Mortgage Application
The borrower provides the necessary personal information and financial documentation (pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns) to complete the mortgage application
Consider Locking your Mortgage
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
Settlement Agent Opens Escrow
The mortgage closing process is administered by a settlement agent who opens an escrow or trust account
Deposit Earnest Money / Deposit with Escrow
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
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
Lender Orders Appraisal Report
The lender orders an appraisal, a comprehensive analysis of the value of the home you are buying
Settlement Agent Orders Title Report
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
Review Loan Estimate
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 and Sign Escrow Instructions
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
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
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
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
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
Settlement Agent Orders Loan Documents
The loan documents outline the key aspects of your mortgage and property purchase
Review the Closing Disclosure (CD)
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
Record Documents and Fund Mortgage
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
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
Current Mortgage Rates in Ashburn, Virginia as of June 15, 2024
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Rate data provided by Displayed by ICB, a division of Mortgage Research Center, NMLS #1907, Equal Housing Opportunity. Payments do not include taxes, insurance premiums or private mortgage insurance if applicable. Actual payments will be greater with taxes and insurance included. Read through our lender table disclaimer for more information on rates and product details.


"Preparing for Closing."  My Home by Freddie Mac.  Freddie Mac, 2019.  Web.

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.  Harry is a licensed mortgage professional (NMLS #236752). More about Harry

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