Home sales have heated up, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
More homes are going under contract this summer than went during the winter or spring seasons. Many of these homes are scheduled for late-August/early-September closings.
If your home is among them, plan ahead.
Like for the rest of the U.S. workforce, Labor Day is a popular vacation time in the real estate, title and mortgage industries. Closings come together more slowly when the parties involved are on holiday. In addition, when issues arise, they are often slower to resolve because not everyone is "present".
Therefore, if you're under contract to buy or sell your home, or have a refinance in-process with a lender, get proactive with your home and your loan. Finalize your approval as quickly as possible.
Here are some tips to help your loan clear faster:
- Prepay your first year of homeowners insurance, effective your closing date. Provide proof of payment to your lender.
- Document and deposit all gifts and retirement withdrawals to be used at your closing as early in the process as possible.
- Get Power of Attorney forms signed by all parties, and lender-approved, if applicable.
- When your lender makes a paperwork request, fulfill the request within 24 hours.
There are steps you can take to make your closing go more smoothly, too.
First, if your transaction is purchase, don't leave your walk-through for the last-minute. Schedule it for as early as reasonable. This way, if there's an issue, there's ample time to resolve it. Remember, it's harder to solve problems when one or more parties to the transaction is away on vacation.
Second, if you have planned time off between now and your closing, make it known, and be reachable in the event of emergency by phone, email or both.
Lastly, if possible, avoid scheduling your closing for the Friday before Labor Day or the Tuesday after. Real estate, title and lender offices are notoriously short-staffed and overworked on these two days. Routine tasks take longer than usual.
You can't stop people from going on vacation, but you can plan for it. It would be foolish not to.