You’ve hunted all over Mid-Michigan for the right house, found the one you wanted, negotiated a price and--finally--your offer is accepted. But the home of your dreams isn’t yours yet. Now it’s time to close. So how long do you have to wait? How long does it take to close on a house in Michigan?
Your final closing date will be written into your contract, as well as deadlines for each activity in between, but these are not necessarily written in stone. Buyers, sellers or lenders can ask for more time for a variety of reasons, and often do. Though you can’t foresee these delays, you can make an educated estimate on closing times. Your realtor will help you to stay on top of deadlines and keep all parties up-to-date.
How Long Does it Really Take to Close on a Home in Michigan?
Fannie Mae puts average closing time at about 46 days nationwide, and this is generally the case for Michigan as well. So what actually goes on in this 46 days?
After The Offer is Accepted
Earnest Money and Title Search
The buyer signs the initial contract and solidifies it with a deposit, known as an “earnest money” deposit. The seller’s attorney or title company conducts a title search. In Michigan, title insurance and proof of a ‘clear title’ are required, meaning the property has no liens, levies, or other infringements. This is generally done within 7 days.
Disclosures and Inspections
In Michigan, the seller is required to provide a disclosure form detailing any flaws, repairs, or environmental hazards of the property. Within 3 days, the buyer must sign and accept this or back out. Michigan law also requires, in many cases, septic and well inspections, among others. The buyer can perform or demand additional inspections and, based on the results, closing cost credits may be negotiated. Depending on the inspections, this may go quickly or drag out.
Getting the Mortgage
The mortgage process is often the longest and most complicated part, and causes the most delays. To expedite closing and get a good rate, it is best to shop around, decide on a lender and obtain pre-approval before ever submitting an offer on the home.
Appraisal and Insurance
After loan approval, the lender will require an appraisal and proof of homeowner's insurance. With these completed, the ‘mortgage contingency’ will be removed and the buying process can continue. Make sure this process isn’t delayed too long; if the mortgage isn’t finalized by the closing date set in the contract, the purchase may fall through.
Walkthrough, Payment, and signing
You’re almost there! Before closing the deal, the buyers and sellers will usually take a final walkthrough of the property. On closing day, final closing costs and the remaining down payment must be paid. All paperwork must be signed. For this step the buyer, seller, lender, attorneys, realtors and other stakeholders are all present at one table, on one day.
Deed transfer and keys
With the papers signed and payments made, the buyer takes possession of the property. The title company or attorney will report to the municipal government to transfer the deed. With this done, the home is yours and you will, at last, receive your keys. Time to move in!
Keep in mind that how long it takes to close a home in Michigan is not always under your control. With cooperative sellers, organized buyers, and experienced lenders, this process can go fast. If there are contract disagreements or delays in mortgage approval, the process can drag out or fall through. An experienced realtor will help you streamline the process and work through any problems that come up.
How long did it take to close on your house in Michigan? Did the process go fast, or did it drag out? What would you do differently? Leave a comment and let us know.
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