4 Things that Could Go Awry Before a Closing

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Buying a home can be a stressful process, no matter how many times you’ve bought and sold properties.

Buying a home can be a stressful process, no matter how many times you’ve bought and sold properties. Unfortunately, many still believe that once there is a signed contract in hand it’s smooth sailing until move-in day. This couldn’t be further from the truth as loan documents, titles, and other legal issues are involved in the transfer of property ownership. Here are just four things that could go wrong and derail your much-anticipated closing.

Funding Issues

Pre-approval for a mortgage is not the same as a commitment or a guarantee from a mortgage lender. Once a purchaser has been pre-approved, it’s important that they don’t make any major changes to their financial situation before closing that could affect final approval. This includes switching jobs, buying a new car, or opening other new lines of credit. Major purchases or changes that impact the buyer’s financial position could cause the mortgage company to withdraw its approval just before closing.

Cloudy Titles

One of the most common reasons for delayed closings are property title issues. When the title company is assigned the closing, they are supposed to immediately order a property lien search to determine if there is a clear title. Once these reports are returned, they often reveal that the property’s title is clouded by a lien, which is an unpaid debt using the home as collateral. Until these liens are cleared, the closing cannot move forward. One of the best ways to track the resolution of this and give all parties peace of mind is through the use of release tracking and reporting services.

Final Inspections

While a detailed home inspection was likely completed at the time of contract, it is standard to undergo a final walkthrough inspection of the home just before closing. This is to ensure that there hasn’t been any damage done to the property in the meantime or that the home hasn’t been left in disrepair after move out. It’s also possible that items that were supposed to have been conveyed with the property, such as appliances, have disappeared since the agreement was made. If any of this has occurred, the sellers will need to remedy the situation before closing can take place.

Document Errors

Simple document errors are responsible for many closing delays. These can be as easy to fix as a misspelled name or as complicated and confusing as a set of incorrect figures on the final settlement statement. Depending on the error, the delay could take several hours to several days to correct, as multiple parties are often involved.

There are many people involved in a home closing and a lot of potential elements that could go wrong. While not all issues are avoidable, some are with proper planning and doing such things as ordering a thorough property lien search. Contact us to learn more about our release tracking and reporting services or with any questions about avoiding delays at closing.

About the Author

Linda Aparo
Linda has more than 25 years of experience in the title insurance and real estate industry working both with underwriters and agencies in different states. She worked as a closer before becoming a leading sales person in the title industry working for several national underwriters. Linda was the Founder and CEO of Final Trac, a national release tracking company before its acquisition by reQuire. She participates on the Real Property Committee for ALTA and has an outstanding record of success in identifying business opportunities, developing strategies, and implementing actions to boost business performance. When Linda is not traveling for business she loves to explore new places with her husband. Together they have four children and two grandchildren. On the very few sunny warm days in New England, you can find her most often in the garden she created with her husband or sitting on a beach in Rhode Island.


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