At a glance the mortgage approval process only takes a few days. This is a “best case” scenario where there are no blemishes in your credit or setbacks in the paperwork. Of course, we’re not counting the time it takes to choose and compare lenders. That’s a whole other story.
At most, however, expect it to take several weeks. Here’s why.
We’re sure you don’t have proof of income just sitting around the house, which is why you should take a few days to gather needed paperwork. This will save you some frustrations down the line. Missing paperwork is a common reason for an approval slowdown.
These documents support your financial status and show that you are financially responsible and able to pay back the loans. Keep in mind assets, retirement accounts, and if there are derogatory items from your credit report, you must be able to address those in a timely fashion.
Sometimes the underwriter of the loan issues what’s called a conditional approval. You’re still expected to be approved for the funds, but the lender needs to first clear up certain questions about paperwork. For instance, you might get asked to submit a Letter of Explanation (LOX) about a bank deposit. Then the process can move forward.
Property appraisal is another required process which lasts at least a few days. This report is used by lenders to verify the standing value of a home. Make an appointment as soon as you can, because they might not be able to inspect the property immediately.
Lenders give priority to purchases, but they still need to take the time to verify your information. A useful tip is to check your credit score beforehand to understand how lenders view you from a financial standpoint.
In a perfect world, the whole journey from beginning to end shouldn’t take long at all as long as you’re prepared. Allow yourself a little time and don’t wait until the last minute!