Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How long does it take to close the home purchase in Florida?

How long does it take to close the home purchase in Florida?  I received this question from some out of town buyers just yesterday.  In this particular case they are cash buyers which has one answer while a buyer with a mortgage would get another response.

I will address the closing time for the cash buyer in Brevard County, Florida.

A cash transaction can be done in a matter of days if the seller owns a property mortgage free and the buyer is paying cash.  Still I recommend buyers proceed cautiously.

First of all,  I always recommend a property inspection be done with an appropriate inspection contingency (even if it is an "as is" purchase.)   Likewise a WDO/termite (wood destroying organism) inspection is recommended.  Also a survey is highly recommended.  Do not assume you know where the property lines are located.

And although it is a cash transaction buyers should consider having an appraisal performed (consider an appraisal contingency even for cash purchases).  The closing agent (title company) will conduct a title search which may take a day or more.

If the seller has a mortgage the title company will also need to obtain a payoff from the lender. If a homeowner association is involved then the closing agent will need to obtain an estoppel letter from them as well.

Still a cash closing can be done in a matter of a couple of weeks if all falls into place including the other participant's schedules.

Now lets consider the time for closing a transaction involving a buyer mortgage.

In this case buyers should expect a contract with limited contingencies to close in usually 30-45 days at most.   The assumption here is a normal standard sale.  Short sales and even foreclosures have their own idiosyncrasies which can stretch the time somewhat...OK for months!

Think about all that was discussed above and add 30-45 days for the mortgage lender to do their processing (underwriting, appraisals, etc).   Much of this can be dependent on the lender the buyer has chosen to handle the mortgage.

The above is provided as general guidelines based on my experience as a Florida real estate agent working with buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida.


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