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Common Reasons for Closing Delays

Closing delays on a home are never fun, but they happen. There are a lot of moving parts from the initial housing contract to closing. Be aware of these common reasons for closing delays so you may  hopefully avoid them.

The #1 Offender

paperwork for obtaining a home loanThe #1 offender to delaying a closing is the loan process. There are so many aspects to obtaining a loan that this process is the most common delay to closing on a home.

One aspect of the loan process is the buyer needing to get all of their documents to their lender. Sometimes, buyers are sluggish in submitting all the necessary documentation, potentially causing a delay.

Another part of the loan process that sometimes delays closing is obtaining an appraisal. With the craziness of the market these days, appraisers are in high demand. So, their schedule is tight and it can take days to a couple of weeks to get an appraisal in. And then what if the appraisal comes in short of the sales price? This issue might cause another delay.

Underwriting can also be a culprit. They check everything! And then they double check! But don’t shoot the messenger because they’re just doing their job.

Buyer Beware

And speaking of underwriting, they catch changes to buyers’ situations that may also cause delays. Examples of things to avoid are changes in employment and job titles, changes to income, changes in marital status, etc. Watch for errors on your credit report too.

One word to the wise to buyers is keep your finances the same while trying to obtain a loan. Don’t go out and buy a car, furniture, new appliances. Don’t go out and open another credit card account. Any major change in your income to debt ratio might prevent you from obtaining a loan, and hence the property. So, save your money. You’ll need it for the down payment and closing costs.

Title Issues

Title companieshomes hanging on a wire to show chain of custody for title companies have their own unique set of issues that might cause closing delays.

If there are any issues around using a previous survey, a new survey will have to be ordered. Depending on surveyors’ availability, this could delay the closing.

Is there any active work currently being done to the property? If so, title might have to obtain appropriate lien waivers, which could delay closing.

Are there any hiccups in the chain of title? A death could delay a closing for weeks, especially if obtaining court orders is involved.

Is the seller a ‘foreign’ seller? If yes, this usually causes a delay for the seller has to go through a FIRPTA (Foreign Investor Real Property Tax Act) analysis, which takes time to process.


These are just some of the common reasons for closing delays. There are many pitfalls that can be avoided with a knowledgeable REALTOR®, like the agents at Baker Realty. Contact us today, so we may help you get from contract to close, successfully and on time.