Length of Time to Close

For four years in a row, the time it took to go from contract to close was 30 days for a normal transaction between 2005 and 2008 according to C.A.R.’s Annual Housing Market Survey. In the last two years, with the current tough underwriting standards for mortgage loans, escrow is taking a bit longer—about 40 days. But actually the length of time it takes to close escrow is the same as it was in 2003 (just prior to the mortgage frenzy of ’04, ’05, and ‘06). This shows the market returning to somewhat normal conditions as escrow companies are taking their time to review, document, and close the transaction.

For distressed sales, the length of time to close escrow is about 5 days longer than for non-distressed home sales. And because we know that not all distressed sales are created equal, the problems in closing are largely with short sales as it takes these transactions about 50 days to close escrow, versus 35 days for REO or foreclosure sales.

Note – all numbers are based on medians.  Article, graphs, and information are entirely from CAR.org.

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