Mar 4, 2010

Closing delays slow home sales

Its happening to me and dozens of agents selling higher priced homes. And its creating havoc with buyers and sellers. Delays in closings caused by mortgage companies are happening in the majority of our transactions right now.
In the past, when a contract was written to purchase a home the typical time to schedule closing in Texas was 30 days. Texas real estate contracts stipulate an exact date to complete the transaction. Buyers and sellers alike start planning their lives, hire movers, schedule utility transfers, contract to move in and out of their new and previous residences, etc.
However, recently closings are going beyond the contracted date due to delays in funding. The mortgage companies are taking so long to approve jumbo loans that closing dates are being moved back 7 to 14 days. Sellers have their things on a moving van and the utilities off at their home waiting for the underwriters to give approval. They can't close on the next house they are buying because they don't have the current one completed. They are likely incurring additional costs for carrying the current home and delaying purchasing the next home. And no amount of begging, bribing or threatening will speed up the buyer's lender. Meanwhile, the buyer can't take possession of the property and also can't do anything to speed up the lender.
I don't know how to fix this nightmare, but something needs to be done. Our government has such control over the mortgage industry right now that layers of red tape have made things worse. We've gone from too lax lending to unreasonably difficult lending. Banks have been forced to delay foreclosures and collections of default mortgages to help 'keep people in their homes'. As a result they are a bit gun shy about making mortgage loans. And who could blame them?

However, when you've got a ready, willing and able seller paired with a ready, willing and able buyer - who is well qualified for the loan - it shouldn't be this hard. The entire issue is long and complicated. I only hope that, like the short sale process, they get it together and figure out how to make it more manageable. Meanwhile, Realtors and Title Companies have upset sellers, upset buyers and need a prescription for Valium.
[where: 75230]

1 comment:

Jeff Duffey said...

Amen to this. I don't foresee it getting any better any time soon. Talking with banks and expecting the underwriters to do their jobs in a timely manner is the equivalent of banging your head against a brick wall.