One of the casualties of the market collapse has been the knee-jerk reaction making financing more complicated for home buyers. Almost half of all deals aren’t closing on time and about a third don’t close the first time they are in contract. If you’re buying a home, it pays to recognize this fact and not diminish the complications. Even if you’re a strong buyer and think you’re golden, problems or hurdles can arise. Reduce the stress in your life and anticipate them. The following are some suggestions putting you more in control and increasing your chances of closing on time the first time:

  • Get pre-approved. This is, by far, one of the best things you can do to help flush out any problems. Having this conversation with a mortgage professional is important before you start the house hunt so you know exactly where you stand as a buyer.
  • Go local and reputable. Lenders nearby who have been successful and will be responsive to you will definitely help you in the long run versus looking for that online deal. That human element is important.
  • Stay organized. Keep all your documents in order and make sure you have everything you need. 
  • Allow yourself time. Make sure you’ve negotiated enough time in the deal so you will not be rushed through and everything can get done right the first time.
  • Lower expectations. Keep in mind that problems will arise no matter what you do and they can be worked out as long as you keep expectations at a fair level. This includes being careful about planning your move in case delays should occur.

I had a good buyer who had several job changes in the last few years. The lender was using an outside firm to verify previous employment. Now, what are the chances an old boss will be motivated to help you by filling out a form about your previous work experience? My buyer’s closing was being held up by one last form from his boss of two years ago. Fortunately we were able to use a local lender whose originator was able to work the system so we closed on time, but this is a good example of a problem you might not think of going into the process, but could hold up the transaction closing altogether.