Ten Factors that can Delay a Real Estate Closing

Legal Article

Ten Factors that can Delay a Real Estate Closing

The real estate closing is the last step you must take to officially become a homeowner. In most cases, the closing will take place about 30 days after the buyer submits a formal offer. However, as the buyer and seller must agree on a date, this timeframe could potentially change. While some of the reasons are outside of either party’s control, there are certain steps that both the buyer and seller can take to lower the chance that the real estate closing is delayed. Below is a list of the ten most common factors that can delay a real estate closing.

Lack of Communication with your Realtor

Your realtor will be one of your biggest and most important supporters throughout the home-buying process—especially when you consider the difficulties that escrow can bring. During escrow, you will need an enormous amount of information and just as much documentation to ensure that this process goes smoothly. Thus, if you do not commonly and openly communicate with your real estate agent, you could risk stalling the closing procedures associated with the property you are buying or selling.

Property Location

Each state has different laws that govern real estate. One example of this is that there are certain states that do not require an attorney to be present during home closings. In these states, closings typically take 30 – 40 days to happen where states that require real estate attorneys to review transactions take 40 – 50 days to close.


Almost every real estate contract contains some sort of contingency. In real estate, a contingency is a condition in the agreement of sale that must happen for the transaction to continue moving forward. There are many different contingencies that one can use in a real estate contract. However, the most common contingencies included in real estate contracts include inspection contingencies, financing contingencies, appraisal contingency, title contingency, and a home sale contingency.

Financing Doesn’t go Through

Before searching for a home, it is a must to receive a pre-approval letter from a lender. Common to popular belief, this letter does not guarantee you a home loan. However, it does show realtors and sellers that you are serious about purchasing a property.

During the pre-approval process, lenders will normally ask for the loan type, amount, and interest rate. By stating this information early on in the process, you signal to property sellers how much money you can comfortably spend. If you wait to go through this pre-approval process until you have found a home you would like to purchase, you could significantly delay your real estate closing.

Changes to your Credit Report

When negotiating on a property, it can be extremely risky to make any large financial moves. The reason for this is that if you make any mistakes or add a substantial amount of debt to your credit card, this can send a red flag to potential lenders. Further, make sure that you pay all of your bills on time and cut down your debt as much as possible before starting your home buying process.

Lack of Title Insurance

Certain lenders require title insurance in order to sell your home. Title insurance basically protects the lender in the event that the escrow process falls apart. Without securing this insurance policy, the lender can refuse you a mortgage, potentially pushing back the final closing date.

Failure to Secure Homeowners Insurance

You will also need to secure homeowners insurance before closing on a property. Thus, 2 – 3 weeks before the date of closing, start looking around for homeowners insurance. One important note is that you should not start this search before the home inspection and appraisal is complete.

Problems in the Final Walkthrough

In most cases, a buyer will typically do a final walkthrough 3 – 7 days prior to closing. As a seller, it is vital to make sure the house is clean and without issues during this walkthrough. Additionally, if you had to make repairs on the property, you will want to ensure that these repairs have been properly made. Finally, you will also want to double-check that everything listed in the sale is in the home such as the refrigerator, washer, dryer, and other appliances.

Issues with Closing Costs

As your closing date gets closer, large sums of money will begin to start changing hands. If something goes wrong with a wire transfer or verification of account information, this could delay your purchase and also leave you tied up financially. To lower the chance of issues occurring, make sure that the bank you are wiring money to can accept these transfers in the timeframe you need. Additionally, make sure that the amount of money you are wiring is the amount both parties agreed upon.

Seller has Second Thoughts

Buying a home is usually the largest purchase someone will make during their life. This fact can make some people extremely nervous and ultimately lead to the deal being shut down. Unfortunately, a buyer backing out of the deal is largely out of the seller’s hands. However, the seller has certain legal rights if this occurs. On the other hand, the seller of the property can back out of the sale under two circumstances. The first case this may occur is if the final contract has not been signed. The second way a seller can back out is during the five-day review period. After this period passes, the chances of a seller backing out of a deal are extremely low.

Final Thoughts

With over 20 years of experience, Antonoplos & Associates real estate attorneys have the knowledge and experience required to assist clients with real estate litigation in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Furthermore, our attorneys have a strong background in real estate, construction law, and business law. Because of this experience, we are can assist clients with most aspects of real estate litigation. Finally, we are able to help you before, during, and after your real estate litigation. This is true whether you need assistance with personal or commercial legal issues.

Contact Our DC Law Office for More Information

Finally, for more information on ten factors that can delay a real estate closing, contact us at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. Additionally, for general information regarding real estate law, check out our blog.