Timeline for Closing on a Home


ByNathan Paulus
Edited byAliha Strange
Contributions by3 experts
ByNathan Paulus
Edited byAliha Strange
Contributions by3 experts

Updated: May 22, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

According to ICE Mortgage Technology, the average timeline for closing on a house is 50 days. After the closing process, it can take less than two months to become a new homeowner. However, closing on a home is separate from closing on a loan, which can take an average of 47 days. Closing on a loan means your loan is finalized, and the funds can be distributed, often coinciding with closing on a home.

Fast Facts of Average Time to Close on a Home

 

Understanding how long it takes to close on a house can help you plan for the purchase of a home.

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It takes an average of 50 days to close on a home purchase.

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Closing a loan happens within 47 days, on average.

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If you’re on a time crunch, conventional loans are often more quickly approved than other loans — but not by much.

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Several aspects of purchasing a home can prolong the closing process, including appraisals and conditional approvals, which can take up to two weeks.


Average Time to Close on a Home by Loan Type

The average timeline for closing on a house can differ based on the type of loan you get. Some loan types you can opt for include a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, conventional loan or Veterans Affairs (VA) loan.

Across FHA, conventional and VA loans, it takes borrowers an average of 47 days to close on a loan. However, this timeframe has varied over the past few years. In May 2020, it took an average of 45 days to close on a loan, steadily increasing to a peak of 58 days in December 2020 before returning to 47 days in September 2021.

Average Time to Close on a Loan

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loan

An FHA loan, issued by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), is a mortgage insured by the FHA, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Generally, FHA loans originate from private lenders but are insured by the FHA, which often leads to more favorable rates as there is less risk on the lender’s part.

As of September 2021, FHA loans take about 52 days to close. However, between May 2020 and September 2021, 62 days peaked in December 2020, and the lowest was 46 days in July 2020.

Average Time to Close on an FHA Loan

Conventional Loan

Conventional loans are mortgages from private lenders, such as banks or credit unions. It’s the most common financing option for first-time homebuyers, where rates, terms and requirements vary based on the lender — affecting the closing timeframe.

The average timeline for closing on a house with a conventional loan stands at 46 days, which is the most recent data from September 2021. The average has risen and fallen tremendously between May 2020 and September 2021, reaching a high of 57 days in December 2020 and a low of 45 days in August 2021.

Average Time to Close on a Conventional Loan

Veterans Affairs (VA) Loan

A Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan is a mortgage meant solely for military members, veterans and surviving eligible spouses. Like FHA loans, a VA loan is issued by private lenders but insured by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. They have less stringent requirements, as they only serve a specific population.

VA loans take roughly 53 days to close, the longest amongst FHA and conventional loans. The average has steadily increased since May 2020, starting at 49 days. In January 2021, however, the average time to close on a VA loan was at an all-time high of 66 days — just over two months.

Average Time to Close on a Veterans Affairs Loan

Timeline of Closing on a Home

The timeline of closing on a home depends on each step of the process, including application and waiting for the release of the funds. If you’re interested in a home and others are interested in buying the same home, and making a higher offer, be prepared for a “bidding war,” which can also prolong closing. If applicable to you, this can take place before or after your application for a mortgage, as a pre-approval letter is not required to make an offer.

Understanding the process and having a gist of the timeline can help you plan for the home of your dreams.

Process
Estimated Completion Time
Description

Application

1 day

Begin by applying for a mortgage
with your desired lender, whether an
FHA, conventional lender or VA.

Disclosure

1 to 3 days

This step is completed by the
lender, detailing the terms of the
loan, such as the fees, monthly
payments and more.

Documentation

Less than 1 week

Submit documents requested by
your lender. In addition to
processing time, this step depends
on you, the applicant, meeting the
requirements promptly.

Home Inspection

5 days to 2 weeks

It’s important to hire an inspector to
determine any repairs the seller
would be obligated to complete
before closing.

Appraisal

1 to 2 weeks

An appraiser will determine the
estimated value of your desired
home by analysis of recent
comparable sales and their expert
opinion.

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ESTIMATED TIMES MAY STILL VARY

While MoneyGeek has provided a rough timeline of the closing process, the actual time it takes to complete each step will depend on several factors, such as the property, your credit, the lender, and even how long your loan term will be. To get a good idea of what you might need in terms of financing, use MoneyGeek’s mortgage calculator to determine a rough estimate of your payments over time.

Average Time to Close on a Home FAQ

Purchasing and closing on a home is an exciting endeavor. Knowing the timeline for closing on a home is crucial to help you plan and feel secure in your decision. Learn more with MoneyGeek’s answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about closing on a home.

What does it mean to close on a home loan?
How long does it take to close on a home?
What are the steps for closing on a home?
How long after closing is your first mortgage payment due?
How can you speed up the loan approval process?

Expert Insights on the Average Time to Close on a Home

Purchasing a home is a major life decision. Like any big purchase, it can take time. MoneyGeek reached out to several experts to help you gain more insight into the timeline of closing on a home.

  1. What are some ways buyers can speed up the loan approval process?
  2. How can buyers speed up the home purchase process?
  3. What should buyers do if they get into a bidding war?
Michael Branson
Michael BransonCEO of All Reverse Mortgage, Inc.
Nate Claire
Nate ClaireFounder of Buying Jax Homes
Tomas Satas
Tomas SatasFounder & CEO, Windy City HomeBuyer

Related Content

Learn more about the homebuying process through MoneyGeek’s other resources.

About Nathan Paulus


Nathan Paulus headshot

Nathan Paulus is the Head of Content Marketing at MoneyGeek, with nearly 10 years of experience researching and creating content related to personal finance and financial literacy.

Paulus has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of St. Thomas, Houston. He enjoys helping people from all walks of life build stronger financial foundations.


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