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One consistent question every homebuyer has is how long does home settlement take? Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, home settlement timeframes have taken longer than they ever have in recent history. March 2021 saw the average home settlement wait time up 60 days from the date of a buyer offer.

Understanding why timeframes are longer will give you an impetus to be ready for the home settlement process. Executing the steps needed efficiently in house selling and buying will help prepare you for anything. Being prepared and ready will also help you effectively navigate some of these extended wait times.

Please continue to read if you want to learn more about the details of how long the home settlement process takes. Helpful criteria are useful to learn for your next home buying or selling experience.

How Long Does Home Settlement Take? 

Home settlement is the point at which the buyer receives the keys to their new home. Concurrent to the key exchange with a buyer, the seller has their home purchase price funds. The result of a home settlement occurs when the title to the house, and any liens or other legal conditions with it, transfer into a buyer’s name upon settlement.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time homebuyer or this is your 20th time purchasing a home. The settlement process can still be confusing as new real estate laws or obligations update over time. There are many different processes involved in settling a property. 

State Law and Home Settlement

State law can govern some processes. Pennsylvania has several real estate laws that can impact buyers and sellers during the home settlement process. An example of this is in the case of Pennsylvania’s Disclosure Law. Your lender governs other legal mandates. 

The more you understand, the more prepared you will be on your long-awaited settlement day. 

Home Settlement

Preparation is essential as you move through the settlement process for both buyers and sellers. Buyers and sellers need to be successful in completing their pre-settlement obligations. Steps taken beginning with pre-settlement obligations continue as you move towards your settlement day.

Sequential steps have always been representative of the process since almost the beginning of the home settlement experience in the United States. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted most expectations in the real estate settlement process. Navigating a new way to proceed may take some new ways of thinking or process application, but you need to learn it, know it and review any changes in your geographical area. 

Settlement Process

When the settlement process is successful, the process includes an offer, a closing, and a home settlement. The first step may be the toughest one as it’s where a buyer’s financial offer goes through an evaluation. After the offer is made, providing the extensive documentation requested is evaluated.

The next step as a buyer is to ensure no defects within the house you’re purchasing. As part of the COVID-19 response to help halt the spread of disease, no homes can have open construction defects. If there are open construction defects documented during the inspection, the settlement process stops while repairs are made.

Finance Options

Finance options are then put together once a home’s appraisal is approved and verified. Documents are evaluated which are representative of your offer and the best home loan structure for you. Sometimes home buyers find out there is something extensive that needs to be fixed.

That can have a large impact on settlement costs and the timeframe of your home closing process. This is also a good time to segway into your home insurance needs. Determining your home insurance and arranging any coverage approval helps get you closer to your final settlement date. 

Home Insurance 

Homeowner insurance is not mandatory in Pennsylvania. But most banks or lenders do require you to cover your home for at least the mortgage amount. If you are looking for a homeowners insurance policy, always shop around and compare policy coverage and prices. 

Standard homeowner’s insurance policy for your new home will include property coverage and personal liability coverage. One must-have a homeowner wants to be sure they have negotiating homeowner insurance is that they are purchasing a home within their budget. Buyers want to have homeowners insurance while making sure their new home is in a good location.

Buyers want to be thinking ahead about any of their new home maintenance needs and any projected or associated costs. 

Settlement Day  

Buyers may have had more than one loan provider involved in their pre-closing process. Loan providers are the ones that pull together all relevant financing documentation. The documentation includes the scheduling and preparation of all necessary documents.

Lenders control the amount of time it takes to process and close the loan unless the buyer is paying all cash. A buyer and seller can agree to a faster closing, but the lender decides the schedule. Unfortunately, that schedule isn’t always in the timeframe you want.

Settlement day does not happen if the lender isn’t ready.

Tax Bills

One thing that will delay your settlement day is an outstanding tax bill. Never put off your tax bill and think you’ll be able to take care of it before your home settlement date as a buyer or seller. Tax bills have numerous must-haves for any settlement day.

When you purchase a home, even before you move in, your first property tax bill is on its way to you. Being active in your role as a buyer or seller is always beneficial. The time your settlement takes depends on your lender and the title company.

Monitor what information they expect from you and make sure you provide it.

The Way Forward

How long does home settlement take? Reach out to the Tri-County Team when you are ready yo find out how long it takes. The best home settlement team is waiting for you at the top real estate agency in Bucks County.

The Tri-County Team are top real estate agents because they provide financial integrity if you’re a home seller. They also provide you with the best financial options if you’re a home buyer.

We understand this past year was anything but normal. Surround yourself with an additional layer of knowledge and experience by using the Tri-County Team for your home settlement process.

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