How Much Time Should I Give A Buyer To Get A Mortgage?

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: Gerald, I’m under contract to sell my home and it seems like I’ve been waiting forever for the buyer to finalize his mortgage. How much time should I give a buyer to get a mortgage? Claudio, Chicago, IL.

A: That’s a great question, Claudio.  As the saying goes, time is money–the longer you have to wait for your buyer, the more mortgage interest you have to pay on your own mortgage and the more you’ll be forced to pay in property taxes and other expenses associated with the property you are selling.  For starters, you should vet any buyer you choose to sell to by making sure they provide a written mortgage pre-approval before you sign a contract.

The purchase contract you sign with any buyer should also specify a deadline date when the buyer’s lender provides a written mortgage commitment–these are intermediate steps that you should monitor as the seller of a property to make sure your buyer is advancing toward closing.  In most cases, a buyer’s mortgage can be approved within 30-45 days of application.

Unexpected delay after unexpected delay is often a sign that the lender just doesn’t want to approve and lend to the buyer in question, so at some point, it’s best to cut your losses and find yourself another buyer.

Thanks for your question, Claudio, good luck!

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