When Can I Sign My Loan Documents?

Escrow is a time of very high activity for buyers and sellers alike. The pace of being in escrow can be quite surprising! Most participants find themselves with a sizeable ‘To Do’ list. For example, forms need to be completed and signed, reports need to be studied, and statements of account need to be read. Still, as the target close date approaches, most buyers are focused on that final hurdle: signing loan documents.

The Loan Process: A Waiting Game

Indeed, the loan process is the most demanding aspect of the purchase transaction. Buyers must furnish proof of income, tax records, and information about their bank accounts and other assets. In addition, there is new terminology to learn and estimates to be acknowledge. Who wouldn’t be a bit anxious waiting weeks for verifications to be collected, and to finally receive confirmation that the underwriter has approved the loan? 

At this stage of the process, the loan file moves from the underwriter’s desk to the department that will prepare the signing document package:

  • Another round of final verifications will be performed.
  • The document team carefully selects all of the items to be executed.
  • Any additional records the borrower must furnish will be identified.

While it may seem that the waiting has finally ended, the buyer must endure another brief waiting period. The document package is finalized and dispatched to the escrow office where more tasks are completed in accordance with the lender’s instructions.

All lenders have different procedures, and so the timing in this final stage of the process can vary. On the bright side, this critical phase is given high priority. The documents are submitted to the escrow holder and typically within a couple of business hours the escrow officer will contact the buyer to set up a signing appointment. The days of waiting days or weeks have ended! A signing appointment usually runs about an hour. It can often be scheduled for the same business day depending upon the time of day the documents are delivered.

Quick Tips

The time of the month can influence access to a signing agent. There is an increase of signing activity at the end of each month. Many transactions target closing for this time and the calendars of Notaries Public tend to fill quickly. 

The most successful buyers are those who:

  • Respond quickly to the requests of their lender.
  • Remain flexible during the last few days of their purchase transaction.

More reading: Closing the Deal