When you buy a home, you will go through several processes. In our region, once you write a contract and your offer is accepted, the house you are buying will usually go into a state called “Active Under Contract” until all inspection issues are completed and any repair negotiations are completed.

Once inspection contingencies, the house you are buying will then usually go into a state called “Pending Sale.” During this stage, the principals involved perform all the remainder elements of the contract, and once complete, the title is transferred to the new owner. 

Sounds simple, but these stages can become incredibly stressful if the contract milestones are not met on time, or if problems are uncovered. Typically, a home sale outlines the term for closing of 30-60 days. During this time, inspections are completed and reviewed, the appraisal is ordered, and final loan approval is obtained. If there are no delays, the closing will take place on time and the buyer gets the keys to their new home. 

Unfortunately, there are occasionally delays in this process, which can cause the sale to drag on. Some common hiccups include negotiated repairs, financing or credit issues, appraisal problems, missing paperwork, and title issues. 

On a rare occasion, delays become excessive and either buyer or seller may be ready to move on. All contracts have milestones and benchmarks which outline by what date each step in the process must be completed. When these dates are passed, then the other party can make a demand to perform, cancel the contract or close. Working with an experienced real estate agent can help ensure you are protected from unnecessary delays during the "Active Under Contract" and “Pending Sale" stages.

Have you ever had a delayed closing? How did you work through it?