mortgage process timeline

The Mortgage Process Timeline

Buying a home is really exciting! You decided now is the time you want to buy a home and you’re ready to build a plan. While there are a lot of fun parts of buying a home, the mortgage aspect can be tricky and complex. Let’s take a look at the mortgage process timeline and how long each phase generally lasts.


Getting a pre-approval letter is very important because it gives you an estimate of the amount of loan you can qualify for. Getting pre-qualified can also reveal any red flags with credit or debt that could interfere with buying a home. Showing a pre-approval letter to a real estate agent also helps show them that you are serious to buy. Realtor can then narrow down the house hunt to specific houses that fit in your budget.

Length: 1-3 days 

Look for Homes and Submit Offer

This is the part of the mortgage process timeline that generally takes the longest. Once you have an idea of house traits that are 100% non-negotiable and traits that are “nice to haves” you can start looking for homes that match your desires. It’s generally a good idea to choose the most important two things about a home (i.e., location and price) and then mark other features as nice to haves. If you have too many “non-negotiables” the house search can be very difficult and may only show you houses you aren’t thrilled about.

Length: 1-4 months

Finalize Loan Application

This is the part of the mortgage process timeline that requires your documentation. These papers can include job history, bank statements, W’s, proof of identification, and so on. It’s best to get these documents into your lender as soon as possible, that way if the lender has any questions regarding the documents you sent, you aren’t delaying the process too much.

Length: 1-3 days

Process Loan

In this area of the mortgage process timeline, your lender will assign a processor to your loan who packages your file and monitors progress. In this phase, they will ask you to correct any mistakes on your loan paperwork, if what you say does not match the documentation. This section of the mortgage process timeline can also be delayed if there are sudden changes in occupation or large activity regarding your credit score. So hold off on buying a car or large appliances until after you move into your new home. If it’s an emergency and you have to take out a loan, talk to your lender and they can advise you on the best course of action.

Length: 5-15 days


During underwriting, an underwriter verifies that the loan fits all guidelines and issues mortgage commitment. In underwriting, the lender or other specified underwriter, assesses the creditworthiness or risk of the potential customer. Most risks that underwriters consider are credit, capacity, and collateral.

Length: 5-20 days


In this stage of the mortgage process timeline, your lender will finalize any last details regarding your loan like title rundown and title insurance. This is also the step where any credit promised by the lender of realtor get added to the paperwork.

Length: 3-5 days


Closing can take anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on questions from the buyer. It is important that you remember to bring your state ID, so you are granted access to the closing paperwork. The last thing you want is to go through all of the mortgage process, and then have to delay closing because you don’t have an up to date ID. Additionally, during the closing, an attorney finalizes paperwork, issues closing disclosure and you sign and take ownership!

Length: 5-7 days

You might also like: 10 Road Blocks When Closing Your Mortgage

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