Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Closing a Real Estate Transaction in 2012: Patience Please

If you have either bought or sold property during the past couple of years, then you know that the timing of real estate closings can be quite difficult.

One reason that timing is so tricky is the vagaries of closing a loan after the real estate crash. 


After the crash, lenders are (institutionally) reluctant to approve loans, and their reluctance often extends until the actual day of closing -- sometimes until literally minutes before the borrower/purchaser is scheduled to meet with his or her closing agent or attorney.

This comes as a surprise to some borrowers (and to the sellers on the other side of their transactions), who assume that a lender's issuance of the loan commitment letter is the end-point of the lender's review process.  It is not


In light of the probability of delay, it is important for both buyers and sellers to build flexibility into their closing schedules.


Build flexibility into your closing schedule, and also choose a Realtor, an attorney or settlement agent, and a lender whom you trust to work diligently -- and in your best interest -- to bring the transaction to a successful and timely close.

The good news is that the vast majority of transactions do close successfully, notwithstanding the timing hiccups along the way. The key is for the various parties to work together to address questions that arise -- and to be patient so long as reason will allow.

For more about the realities of the lending process in 2012, I point you to Jim Duncan's excellent post , here.