Why Does Getting a Mortgage Take So Long

Feb 21, 2024 By Susan Kelly

Are you in the process of buying a home and feeling like the mortgage application process is taking forever? You may have already filled out countless forms, gone through several rounds of paperwork, and still feel no closer to getting approved for your loan than when you started.

To ease some of that frustration, it helps to understand why this lengthy procedure exists and what's involved in getting a mortgage.

In this blog post, we'll take an in-depth look at the ins and outs of home loan acquisition, from discussing common roadblocks to providing actionable tips on how to speed up the process so you can get into your dream home as soon as possible.

The average amount of time to close a home loan

The average amount of time to close a home loan can vary depending on various factors, including the complexity of the loan, the lender's efficiency, and the borrower's specific circumstances.

On average, the home loan closing process can take between 30 and 45 days from the time the purchase agreement is signed to the closing date. However, it's important to note that this is just an estimate, and the actual timeline can be shorter or longer based on several factors.

Here are some factors that can influence the duration of the home loan closing process:

Mortgage Pre-Approval

Suppose you have already obtained a mortgage pre-approval before finding a home. In that case, it can shorten the closing timeline, as some initial paperwork and verifications have already been completed.

Documentation and Information

The timely submission of required documentation and information by the borrower can significantly impact the closing timeline. It's important to promptly provide all the necessary financial documents, such as bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, and any additional paperwork requested by the lender.

Appraisal and Inspection

The completion of property appraisal and inspection can affect the closing timeline. If any issues are identified during these processes, additional time may be needed to address them and renegotiate the terms of the sale.

Loan Underwriting

The underwriting process can take time, where the lender evaluates the borrower's financial profile, creditworthiness, and property details. The lender may request additional documentation or clarifications during this stage, which can further extend the closing timeline.

Title Search and Insurance

A thorough title search and obtaining title insurance are crucial steps in closing. Any title issues that arise during the search, such as liens or ownership disputes, may need to be resolved before the loan can close.

Closing Disclosure and Loan Documents

Finalizing the Closing Disclosure, which outlines the loan terms, costs, and closing details, and preparing loan documents for signature can take some time. It's important to carefully review the documents and promptly sign and return them to avoid delays.

While the average closing time is often around 30 to 45 days, it's essential to communicate with your lender and real estate agent for a more accurate estimate based on your specific situation. They can provide you with updates and guidance throughout the process, helping to ensure a smooth and timely closing.

Why does it take so long to close my loan

The home loan closing process involves several parties and numerous steps, which can contribute to the time it takes to close a loan.

Here are some factors that can contribute to the duration:

Verification and Documentation

Lenders must verify the borrower's financial information, such as income, assets, employment, and credit history. Gathering and reviewing the required documentation, including bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, and other financial records, takes time.

Appraisal and Inspections

An appraisal is typically conducted to determine the value of the financed property. Additionally, inspections may be performed to identify potential issues or concerns with the property. Scheduling these processes and waiting for their completion can extend the timeline.

Loan Underwriting

Loan underwriting is a critical step where the lender evaluates the borrower's financial profile, creditworthiness, and property details to assess the risk of granting the loan. This process involves reviewing all the documentation, conducting additional verifications if necessary, and ensuring compliance with lending guidelines. It requires careful analysis and can take time.

Title Search and Insurance

A title search examines the property's ownership history and identifies any liens, encumbrances, or legal issues that may affect the title. Obtaining title insurance to protect against any unforeseen title-related problems is also part of the process.

These steps require coordination with title companies or attorneys and may involve additional time if any title issues arise.

Loan Approval and Closing Document Preparation

Once the loan has been underwritten and approved, the lender prepares the final documents, including the Closing Disclosure and loan agreement. These documents must be carefully reviewed, signed by the borrower, and returned to the lender.

Any changes or revisions to the documents can further extend the timeline.

Coordination among Parties

Closing a home loan involves coordination among multiple parties, including the borrower, lender, real estate agents, attorneys, and possibly other professionals involved in the transaction. Scheduling and aligning the availability and requirements of all parties involved can introduce potential delays.

Volume and Workload

The overall volume of loan applications and the workload of the lender or mortgage company can also affect the closing timeline. During busy periods or high-demand markets, lenders may experience increased processing times due to the higher number of loan applications they handle.

Ways to speed up your loan closing

Securing a home loan can be a lengthy process, but there are several steps you can take to help speed up the timeline.

Obtain Pre-Approval

Getting pre-approved before finding a home can save time as it eliminates the need to go through the entire mortgage application and underwriting process again. Pre-approval also shows sellers that you are a serious and qualified buyer.

Gather Documentation Early

Ensure to promptly provide all the necessary financial documents when the lender requests. This will help avoid delays due to missing or incomplete information.

Schedule Appraisals and Inspections Quickly

If required, schedule your property appraisal and inspections as soon as possible. Waiting to be completed can add days or weeks to the timeline.

Stay in Touch with Your Lender

Communicating frequently and promptly with your lender can ensure that you stay informed of any updates regarding your loan application. This will help you identify potential delays early and take action if needed.

These tips help streamline the home loan closing process, allowing you to get to the closing table faster. As a borrower, it's important to remain aware of your loan status throughout the process and work closely with your lender or real estate agent to ensure a timely closing.


Why does it take so long for a bank to approve a mortgage?

The process of getting a mortgage approval can be lengthy for several reasons. The bank must thoroughly review your financial situation and credit history and verify information such as income, assets, employment status, etc.

Is it getting more difficult to get a mortgage?

Yes, getting a mortgage in recent years has become more difficult. Banks have stricter requirements and are looking for applicants with excellent credit scores and a good history of timely payments. They also want to verify that you can afford the monthly payments before approving the loan.

Can you speed up a mortgage?

Yes, there are several things you can do to speed up the mortgage process. First, make sure all of your paperwork is accurate and up-to-date. This includes proof of income, bank statements, tax returns, and other documents the lender may request.


Getting a mortgage can be long and arduous, but understanding what to expect and staying proactive can help ensure a smooth experience.

By effectively preparing all the necessary documents from the start, maintaining excellent communication with your lender, and being patient with the sometimes lengthy timeline involved in Mortgage approval, you'll be one step closer to obtaining your dream home. Taking action today is the key to making those aspirations come true tomorrow.

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