Most real estate agents want mortgage originators to close their home buyers’ mortgages in 30 days or less-50 percent faster than the national average closing time-according to a new national survey released today.
Real estate agents control or influence 45 percent of homebuyer decisions on lender choice, according to the “Home Purchase Mortgage Success Factors” survey, conducted in January and February 2013 by Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance, and time of closings, lend reliability and costs are some of the most significant factors that lead real estate agents to recommend a lender for a home purchase transaction.
Two-thirds of the nearly 2,000 real estate agents that responded to the study mortgage closings in 30 days or less. Yet the survey found that the average closing takes longer than that. Ellie Mae reports average closing time for purchase mortgages in February was 47 days and the average for 2012 was 46 days.
“Real estate agents consistently tell us that the unpredictability of mortgage closing dates is a major problem, in addition to timelines longer than 30 days,” commented Thomas Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys. “Lenders like to blame appraisers for delays, but our survey results tell us that underwriters often cause delays, particularly when underwriters do piecemeal and last-minute requests for borrower documentation.”
According to agents, the three most common reasons that mortgage closings are missed or delayed are mortgage underwriting, appraisal issues and changes in underwriting policies. Real estate agents noted that uncertain closing dates are disruptive and costly for borrowers, regardless of time required to close