Applying overview -> Process and timelines

Process and timelines

Consult   >  Gather  >  Submit  >  Review  >  Sign  >  Close

Below is an outline of the usual mortgage process, from start to finish.
However, I am often reminded of the old English proverb “There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip” that may have been written by a medieval loan officer. It implies that even when the outcome of an event seems certain, things can still change unexpectedly, often true in the real estate world. This list will give you a clear idea of how the mortgage process generally moves, but there may be a twist or two along the way.



Talk with your lender, either on the phone or in person; this generally takes 20 minutes to an hour. Your lender listens to what you want to accomplish, and gives you options and ideas, and discusses qualifying, the intricacies of your financial situation, types of loans, rates, loan fees and other costs, and your credit report. There should be info provided about ordering the appraisal, and when to lock in a rate.


Gather information, review initial disclosures. After the consult your lender should provide you with a comprehensive list of everything needed to process your application, and then prepare the required disclosures around the loan costs and other issues and go over them with you. All of this should take one to three days.


Your application and all of the supporting documentation is given to an experienced loan processor who carefully reviews it in order to prepare your loan package for underwriting. Additional information may be requested. For a purchase this will take one or two days; for refinances, the time varies depending on market conditions.


All of that information you have provided will be organized by the loan processor and then reviewed by an underwriter to make sure that it conforms exactly to the detailed requirements of the loan program you have chosen. This can take three to seven days on a purchase; on a refinance it can be longer, again, depending on how busy the market is.

Request for additional info: The underwriter may request additional supporting documentation after reviewing your file. Once you get that info back to us, you will receive a final loan approval. Two to five days on a purchase, longer on a refinance.

Review closing statement and mortgage note: Within two to three days of getting your final loan approval for a purchase (longer for a refinance) your loan documents will be sent to the escrow officer, and an estimated closing statement will be prepared. Your lender should go over this with you to make sure that it is correct, and also review the mortgage note to confirm the interest rate and terms match the lock and then arrange the appointment for you to sign the loan documents; all of this should take less than 30 minutes.


Loan documents can be signed at the escrow company, or if it is more convenient, a mobile notary can come to your home or office for the signing. Signing rarely takes more than an hour.


After you have signed the loan documents they will go back to the lender for a final review, which normally takes one to three days for a purchase. At that point, the lender will send the funds to escrow, and recording at the county will take place the following business day.