Is it normal for settlement to be postponed? [Real NEastate]

Q: I just sold my house in Lawncrest and settlement was pushed back four days! Apparently, the buyers’ mortgage company, a well-know company with commercials on TV, could not get it together in time. As a result, I had to push back buying my home and that seller was unhappy as well. It was very stressful, as I had to reschedule the movers and I was going to unpack over the weekend but had to wait. My agent told me this happens all the time. Is this type of thing really normal or was he just trying to make me feel better?

A: I wouldn’t call it “normal,” however it is not unheard of, or even uncommon. It’s especially true at the end of the month or when lenders are extremely busy, like this time of year. In fact, I have experienced moments when sellers have had the contents of their home on moving trucks, and at the very last minute, a settlement got pushed back.

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

This type of problem creates a chain reaction. The first buyer’s mortgage company is unable to close on time so the seller, aka the second buyer, is unable to close on their new home, and as a result, the third party’s settlement is postponed as well. Be thankful that you were able to close four days later and the settlement wasn’t pushed into the next week or next month! Moving is a stressful event on its own but changing plans at the last minute and money worries can make an otherwise happy occasion very unpleasant.

I recommend, when shopping for mortgage rates, that buyers also look for reputable lenders that can get the job done. It’s not a bargain when your rate-lock expires because your mortgage company can’t get your loan closed in time. And it’s not always the big box company you would think would produce a smooth transaction. Sometimes it’s the clients of independent mortgage brokers who enjoy the best results. Get recommendations!

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others hereRead other NEast Philly columns here.

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