30 Day closings: What, are you kidding me?

Mortgage and Lending with Sunstreet Mortgage LLC. Licensed Mortgage Professional NMLS# 222004

"You can't get a close done in 30 days" I've been told. This statement has been made to me time and again from some of my friends at some of the larger bank owned mortgage companies. I want to share some quick tips that can help move things along smoothly and eliminate heartburn at the closing for your clients, real estate partners and you.

I know that getting a loan done in 30 days or less can sometimes be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider as to why the lending process can get bogged down. I'm a mortgage lender in Tucson Arizona and thus have been in one of the five or so states with the highest numbers of foreclosures and short sales. Those aren't normally 30 day transactions are they? Although Tucson suffers from the same ailments troubling many other cities it's not hard to speed up the process on the loans that are not shorts and REO's.

These steps may seem redundant but like anything else worthwhile in life, repetition becomes practice.

1. Take a complete and I mean complete application. Get phone numbers, addresses, two year work and residence histories, REO section complete, child support etc.

2. Documentation: If you have been an LO for a while, you know what you need, GET IT FROM THE BORROWER. When in doubt get it anyway. In this market of extreme documentation, get what you know you will need, don't push it off till down the line. That's when problems can happen.

2. Make note of any special circumstances as soon as you know about them. Don't pass it off and hope your processor will catch them. Handle them up front.

3. Develop an excellent rapport with your clients. Be up front with them and let them know that through the process we will most likely need a few items that may not be known up front and that you'll let them know as soon as you know what else is needed.

4. Inform your Realtor partners when you see red flags on a file up front at the pre-qual. This is not a popular one because some of our agents don't like to know the details, they just want it done. Truth is times have changed and if your agents are like that, you can get in some hot water by trying to please them, leaving the details out then getting that one condition that bites you near closing. Your agent would have rather known before that moment I can assure you. Point out the problems.

5. Make it easier for your underwriter to get comfortable with your file. Supply all your explanations that you know you will need, derog credit, job gap, credit inquiries, special job circumstances, special pay circumstances, etc. as fast as you can. Whether a mortgage broker or banker, underwriters like complete files. The more complete on their first look the more likely they are to give you a favorable decision assuming your file merits one.

 The Realtors I work with know that I am a little cautious. Maybe that's not a good thing to some but at the end of the day I only work with agents that understand that I can't just plow a loan through with wreck-less practices, be a yes man and cross my fingers that my 579 score borrower with the 5 jobs in two years, an 8 month job gap in between, a gift for down and $5 in the bank is a no brain er. We gotta talk! 

With tighter practices we can still close loans in 14 days to 30 days for clean complete files. More is required of us than ever before but the end game is completing what is asked in the most timely way possible for our clients, referal partners and ultimately us.

Good Luck out there,

For information on how I can help your buyers or sellers contact me:

Michael A. Rohde

SR. Loan Officer

Sunstreet Mortgage LLC

520-971-6353 Cell


Comments (14)

Nicholas Goraczkowski
Aurora, CO
Your Mortgage Resource - (720) 83-RATES

I agree Michael, there are still plenty of ways to close a loan in less than 30 days, if you have your stuff in order. Know what you are doing and work proactively

Sep 04, 2009 06:38 AM
Patrick Randles
Nova Home Loans - Tucson, AZ

Rock on. When the agent is more involved, the process is definitely easier. I would also agree with address the problems from the get go. Lately, I have been asking the agents to try to get through inspections ASAP so the appraisal can be ordered.

Sep 04, 2009 11:17 AM
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Mike - I don't know, I still think it's challenging.  I rececently submitted a file that should have been a slam dunk, strong buyers, clean property, complete file but there were still hiccups.  Fortunately, we were proactive and asked for a 45 day escrow and if all goes well for the rest of the transaction with no more hiccups, we could close in 40 days.

I'm faulting underwriters on power trips and ridiculous lender overlays and conditions; things being asked for that are not necessary. 

Sep 05, 2009 03:54 AM
Jane Penttinen
V.I.P. Mortgage - Tucson, AZ
NMLS #222178

Very good post, Mike.  You and I think alike!  It all starts on day 1 with setting the proper expectations right up front.  As for underwriting, it IS all in the packaging.  The more complete the "puzzle" the quicker the approval.  You and I are blessed to have incredible uderwriters at Sunstreet.

Sep 05, 2009 04:04 AM
Sandy McKee
Sunstreet Mortgage - Tucson, AZ

Hey Mike,

Having a partner type relationship with agents is essential in creating the expectation up front! I no longer get requests for 10 day closings on VA loans, LOL. Take care, Sandy

Sep 05, 2009 12:57 PM
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

GOOD MORNING MICHAEL!  This was really helpful for me!  I have a few questions: is it better to write 30 day or 45 day close on contracts?  Or does it then depend on the lender?  And if it's written on a 45 day close, everything is complete, could the date be pushed up sooner or does doing that bring on other issues?  Thanks for the info -- Gabrielle

Sep 06, 2009 01:12 AM
Michael Rohde
Sunstreet Mortgage LLC. Licensed Mortgage Professional - Tucson, AZ

Hi Nicholas, I agree that there are still ways of getting it done. Being proactive, up front and honest with the challenges will help to not over promise and underdeliver. Thank you for your comment.

Sep 06, 2009 06:41 AM
Michael Rohde
Sunstreet Mortgage LLC. Licensed Mortgage Professional - Tucson, AZ


Again the theme here is team. Lenders, our Realtor partners, title, home inspectors, our underwriters, funding we are all on the same team. Thank you for your comments and keep everyone involved.

Donne-- it still can be a challenge. Sometimes we get a stubborn underwriter or an unforeseen problem occurs. With some companies or loan officers that seems to be the norm. I think it could be the exception if we keep working at it. I have my share of problems too and I hear you loud and clear. Just keep chipping away. Thank you for your comments.

Jane, I learn a lot from you and I consider you to be a great source of knowledge. Thank you for your constant input and advice. We are blessed to have some great common sense underwriters at Sunstreet Mortgage. They really make a 30 day close or less feasible for us on a pretty consistent basis.

Sandy, Like you I don't like to get caught in a spot with my agents putting me in an unrealistic situation of closing with a very short time frame. There are too many potential pitfalls. I do however want to instill confidence that with a good file, 30 days or less is very doable.

Gabrielle, I sent an answer to you in an e-mail so as to make sure you receive them. I appreciate your question and to reiterate; the 45 day close with an on or before date is a great idea when you have time to do it. But if you are in a situation where you want to make your offer stronger it's great to be able to write your clients with a 30 day close and an on or before date. The key there is knowing your lender has your clients pre-approved and knowing in advance of any potential problems that can add time on that you are not accounting for. Great question and I appreciate the comment.

Sep 06, 2009 07:00 AM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Michael: I too like the idea of a 45 day close or sooner. We're still locking all our loans for 40 days (down from 55 earlier in the year). Some shops who are less busy may be able to close sooner. I'd personally rather err on the side of caution. If the time frame is well communicated there shouldn't be a problem. Thanks for the post!

Sep 07, 2009 04:43 AM
Michael Rohde
Sunstreet Mortgage LLC. Licensed Mortgage Professional - Tucson, AZ

Hi Paul, I like the idea of a 45 day lock just to cover myself because sometimes situations beyond our control can happen. The good thing for us is our UW, Processors and Funding Dept. are in office. It keeps the times down tremendously. Thanks for your comment.

Sep 07, 2009 12:23 PM
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Great content in this post!  Keep it up!

Mike in Tucson

Sep 07, 2009 10:08 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Thirty days was soooo "normal",,,,,not sure what normal means anymore...the big complaint I hear and have to remind lenders of over and over is to stay in touch with the buyer...they have a few things to do before they move too !

Sep 08, 2009 12:06 AM
Michael Rohde
Sunstreet Mortgage LLC. Licensed Mortgage Professional - Tucson, AZ

Hi Mike,

I am working on it. I watched some Brad Andersoln information but it takes time. I am not having as much trouble thinking of things to write as time to write them. For now I will do my best. Thanks for your comment and support.

Hi Sally and David,

I guess we all have our own normal or what the majority tells us is normal anyway. Staying touch with the buyer is super important. Lenders do need to stay up with that so they can prevent orphan syndrome. Thanks for your comments as always. Your posts are great.

Sep 09, 2009 10:05 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I also write offers 30 days or sooner( if a lender suggests 30 days). As you said, if the file is clean and complete, everything should be done on time. Yet, if there are any problems, we'll know it usually by 21st day and decide what to do.

Dec 11, 2013 05:10 PM