According to a recent survey by JD Power and Associates, The average time between mortgage application and closing rose to about 52 days last year, three weeks longer than in 2008. There are some reasons for this. Lenders are probably "overcompensating" for the risk they face from soured mortgages, said Robert C. Ryan, a senior adviser to the head of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the FHA. "Documentation standards are getting more and more onerous because no one wants to manufacture an imperfect loan, even if the imperfection is really insignificant," said Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson.
What to take from this? Ask for longer escrows! Go for 60 days in your original offer and fall back to 45 days if you get a counter. It's better to ask for it in advance then have to go back requesting extensions. That way your not giving the clients false hopes of closing a transaction in 30 days or less.