Rarely does the sun set in America without some homebuyer lying awake in bed wondering how long they’ll have to: a) keep bunking with their in-laws, b) keep paying the nightly rate for the all-suite hotel down the street from the place they’re buying, c) keep paying the daily fee for the moving truck which is parked outside containing everything they own, d) keep begging their landlord to please, please, please give them another 24 hours - and they swearing they’ll be out after that, e) keep pushing back the vacation days they took off work for the move that seems like it will never happen, or f) some combination or all of the above,
all because their escrow is not closing on the timeline they expected it to.
There are many reasons for late escrow closings: buyer’s loan underwriting is taking too long, seller’s short sale application is still being processed, appraisal is glitchy, bank-owned property asset manager is slow to produce the necessary signatures, and the list goes on.
More important than knowing the causes, though, is having the awareness that escrow closing dates are not set in stone until the end is very, very near - and that the problem of delayed closing comes up with ever-increasing frequency these days. Buyers who are trying to time their closing so that they move out of their apartment on the exact day they plan to close are likely to be disappointed - and temporarily homeless - in the current market climate.
Best practice is to plan on some overlapping days, weeks or even a month between the time you should be able to move into your next home, and the time you must be out of your current home, if you can afford it. Keep your moving plans flexible as long as possible - I’ve know a number of buyers who didn’t realize their move would be delayed until they were signing their closing docs!
When it comes to buying a home, realistic expectations will set you free. Stress-free, that is.