What's the hold up?

Real Estate Agent with ERA Henley Real Estate

Government loans require a lot of documentation so don't allow yourself or your customer to become frustrated.  It is imperative for everyone to cooperate fully in order to have a smooth government transaction.  Here is just a list of some of the "hold up" items as well as some recommendations on making it a smoother transaction. 

  1. Tax returns must be SIGNED and DATED even if they were filed by an accountant or online  (Full return w/all schedules must be included)
  2. Bank statements must include NAME of the bank and the customer, Account number, and cover a 30 day history.  If they are online statements they must be printed directly from a secure website indicated by "https" at the bottom of the printout.  If they are provided by a bank employee, ALL pages must be signed, dated, and stamped.
  3. A pest inspection must ALWAYS be done for VA loans and submitted to the lender for approval.  If the inspector comments on items like rotted wood, be prepared to fix them in order to close the transaction.   
  4. Contract must be signed and dated by all parties, as well as all changes initialed/dated by all parties.  This can no longer be taken care of at closing.
  5. Do not put items in the contract such as "Seller to pay buyer $500 for repairs."  Anything the seller is paying to the buyer must be "Towards closing costs" or paid directly to a third party vendor.  (IE. Handy man, Home Warranty, etc.)
  6. Delays that are out of our control happen with government loans as all of you know.  Make it a less stressful process for you and your customer.   Advise your buyer not to set up appointments w/movers, contractors, parties, etc. for the day after closing.  The mortgage company understands and cares that our customers have obligations but sometimes delays are unavoidable.  Advise customers to schedule appointments a week after the closing date.
  7. Turn in the contract asap.  If there are changes required that must be initialed, sellers can get very irritated when they have to tend to the contract again a couple of days before closing.
  8. The worse the credit, the more documentation required.  Prepare yourself and your customer.
  9. All VA applicants must have their Certificate of Eligibility (COE).  If they have never used their VA benefits before we can generally obtain this online instantly.  If they have used their benefits before this process can take SEVERAL WEEKS!  Make sure this is taken care of before the customer finds a home so they can close on time.
  10. All FHA/VA applicants must have 2 years of work history.  School/College does count.  If the customer does not meet this requirement, they will have to provide a satisfactory letter of explanation telling us why.
  11. An offer letter is not sufficient to show income for FHA/VA loans.  The customer must provide a pay stub including 30 days history prior to closing, NO EXCEPTIONS!
  12. If the customer receives a gift for down payment and closing costs, they must show this transaction properly by way of a gift letter.  There should be a paper trail proving transfer of funds from the donor to the recipient (IE. Gift letter filled out by both parties as well as a copy of the cancelled check.  Sometimes donor will be asked for a bank statement to prove ability to gift funds.)  This is very important.

The above is a list sent to me via email from a friend(Bob Worthington of Coldwell Banker Mortgage) in the mortgage business.  I hope you all take advantage of this list and go into your Real Estate transaction more prepared and hopefully you will not be asking "What's the hold up".  Feel free to give us a call or email us if you have any questions.  Thanks for stopping by our blog!


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Dave Woodson
Dave Woodson - Chesterton, IN
Not the Average Agent

hey guys, thanks for sharing.  I am glad that you posted this for a lot of Realtors that don't take the time to learn this


Jul 14, 2008 09:36 AM #1
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

Dave-No problem, I figure this is a list that would benefit a lot of us as well as our clients/customers.  That is why I asked Bob if it was okay to repost.

Jul 14, 2008 09:41 AM #2
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

Great list and one that is needed by anyone and everyone buying a home with a FHA/VA loan. Thanks for sharing.

Jul 15, 2008 04:09 PM #3
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

Martha-I hope that everyone utilizes it.  I thought it was a good list myself.

Jul 17, 2008 12:51 AM #4
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA

A great reminder for much needed programs for today's Buyer....thank you for sharing.

Thanks for supporting my post as well....have a great night.

Jul 24, 2008 12:35 PM #5
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

I used to be in the mortgage business, I had one borrower that ask me if I needed his shoe size also. It was funny but almost true. Great list.

Jul 24, 2008 01:52 PM #6
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

Dan-No problem!

Donna-It seems that the requirements are tightening up a bit and I think that is a good thing.  In some cases though I have seen it go to far already.  The mortgage industry is scary right now.  I just hope things turn around soon.

Jul 28, 2008 07:18 AM #7
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

What does a self-employed person like me provide to show income? I get paid by the job, and each Client writes a check directly to me, so there is no pay stub.

Nov 14, 2008 02:18 PM #8
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