We've always told our clients that the closing date is a “target date” because things can sometimes come up at the last minute that can delay the closing a day, or a week, or sometimes even longer. It seems like it’s RARE to close on time nowadays.
The reasons for the delay are many. Sometimes there is a small change to the buyer’s closing costs, so the buyer HAS to be given another few days to review the new figures. This is according to a relatively new federal law that was put in place to eliminate “surprises” at the closing table for the buyer. Other times the buyer’s lender needs more documentation from the buyer about their finances or a letter to explain something. But more often than not, what I’m seeing right now is the lenders are just swamped with volume. With interest rates back down, the refinance market is big again. This means more loans are trying to get made and closed than the system can handle. They used to make purchase loans a priority, but even if they are, they are still just too busy to get everything done.
So what to do about it? First, agents may need to stop writing 30 day close of escrow dates on their contracts unless they are REALLY sure it will happen or the buyer is paying cash. Better to shoot for 40-45 days in some cases. Second, sellers need to not make hard and fast plans assuming the transaction will close on time. Be sure to leave wiggle-room in moving plans regarding moving trucks and if you need these funds to purchase another property. Asking for possession of the home after closing would be a good idea if that can be negotiated. This means you don’t move out until the deal is DONE and the money is in your account