Trudi Schuurhof


The Mortgage Approval Process in Detail

Our mortgage application and approval process is an organized and sequential procedure that helps you progress towards your goals with confidence and clarity. With a plan it helps us meet our objective of closing on the financing of your home and anticipate commonly encountered pitfalls. How long the mortgage approval process takes depends on how busy lenders are and how quickly you can provide the requested documents. We use checklists and diligent communication to keep things moving along. The approximate number of business days to complete each step are shown in brackets.

This is a complimentary 30 to 40 minute phone conversation.

During this time, we share with you what our services include as a brokerage - as there are some services that as a homeowner, you will most likely require (10 - 12 mins)

We then get down to business of discussing your loan and property objectives, borrowing capacity, and the appropriate next steps as it pertains to your situation. If you are looking for confidence, this is the correct first step. The goal is to quickly determine whether you can meet the requirements to qualify for a mortgage, how much money you can borrow, and whether you are ready to proceed with a formal application. We can even share our screen with you to go through some what-if calculations and scenarios. (20 - 38 mins)

After the call, we will email you a summary of our discussion and outline the best course of action to proceed.

Application and Documents (1 - 2Days)

Following our initial discussion, if it is likely that you can meet the requirements to qualify for a mortgage and would like to proceed with an application, we will send you a Mortgage Application, Privacy Consent Form, and a personalized Support Document Checklist as part of our Let's Get Started package, which will guide you through the application.

The necessary documents in the support document checklist are crucial to the application so take your time and make sure that you provide all the documents requested. It will take you time to locate, compile and electronically submit the documents to us, but once you are done, that is the heavy-lifting on your part.

Pre-Approval (2 or 3 days)

Upon receipt of your completed application and privacy consent, we open a file to store and organize the documents you are beginning to send. We reinforce your information by pulling your credit bureau report and confirming your debt profile.

With the file open, we wait for you to provide the mortgage support documents per the initial checklist.

As your file documentation comes together, we begin to further review your application and determine which of the lenders are the best fit with respect to rate, contract terms, and customer service for your situation. Our lenders are in constant contact with our office providing their latest in mortgage products, rates, terms and special deals. We also try to determine the lender's time-line for approval, as backlogs do occur.

Generally, we try to have several lenders in mind that we know will approve your file and advise you at this point that your file has been pre-approved (recommended for approval). This is a temporary conditional commitment for a certain amount of funding at a certain rate, provided that nothing changes in your financial situation.

A pre-approval provides the confidence to take action knowing that there is a strong likelihood of being approved for financing for your objective. It will also uncover any constraints you might face and we can suggest ways to deal with them.

To "go live" for an Approval, we require a target property evidenced by an Offer to Purchase or property details and a mortgage statement for a refinance. In the case of a purchase, the process will pause here while you shortlist properties and negotiate an offer.

Lender Underwriting (2 - 7 days from formal submission)

Once you have a property and we are ready to "go live", we update your electronic application with the property details and financing deadline and once again review the file with preferred lenders. A target lender is identified as having the best rate and terms for your situation. We then submit your loan application and property details to that lender via BOSS 360 and it enters their electronic queue.

Normal queue time for underwriting is around 24 hours. Sometimes during the busy spring season, there is a longer wait time in the queue (48-72+ hours) before an underwriter reviews your application which can slow an approval. A fast lender queue is definitely a factor in choosing who to submit to, but sometimes available rates and terms justify the wait. The best lenders are typically the busiest!

Mortgage underwriting is the process lenders use to determine whether the risk of lending to a particular borrower is acceptable. To assess the risk of lending to you, lenders will evaluate your application against their qualification guidelines. The 4 key factors that lenders take into consideration are your income (your ability to afford all of your monthly financial obligations plus the new mortgage), your credit (your reputation of how well you manage the financial obligations you take on), your down payment savings or equity (how much of your own resources you will invest in the deal), and the property being mortgaged (what is the condition and characteristics of the property being used as collateral).

Think of these 4 factors as the legs of a chair that has to support your application. If one of the legs is a bit weak the application still might stand, but multiple weak legs and the application can no longer be supported.

If a lender declines to provide a commitment or is taking too long, we can re-submit to the next best lender.

Conditional Commitment (1 - 4 days from Lender approval)

If your application meets the lender's underwriting guidelines, we will receive an electronic "commitment" signifying that your application has been approved subject to a list of conditions. The conditions will stipulate which documents are required to prove income, assets, employment, property details and value (for example, an acceptable appraisal). We will call you to discuss the terms of their offer. If acceptable to you, you accept their offer (sign the commitment) and we set about to meet the applicable conditions.

Generally, most of the loan conditions will be satisfied by documents that we already have on file. There is usually a document review queue at the lender's end, so the faster we can get the accepted commitment and 100% of the required support documents submitted to the lender, the faster we can get to "file complete," whereby all your financing conditions have been met and accepted by the lender.

The lender then triggers "mortgage instructions" to be sent to your selected lawyer. At this point, we will advise you, your Realtor (if applicable), and your lawyer in writing that funding has been "approved." If there is a financing condition on an Offer to Purchase, your Realtor can now lift that condition.

Pre-Closing (7 -10 days from 'Broker File Complete')

At this point, your lawyer will work with the lender to prepare and register the mortgage with the Land Titles Office and in the case of a purchase, to transfer the title of the property to you. If applicable, you or your Realtor will need to provide your lawyer with a fully executed Offer to Purchase.

You will need to set up an appointment to meet with your lawyer to sign papers, provide your down payment and closing costs, confirm adequate home fire insurance, and satisfy any remaining "solicitor conditions" (for example, to prove you paid off a debt that you said you would pay off).

During this phase it is imperative that nothing changes in your employment, financial, or credit situation as the lender could still back out.

Closing (typically by noon on the funding date)

On the funding date, the lender transfers the funds to the lawyer's trust account and the lawyer then distributes the money to those who are supposed to get it.

In the case of a purchase, the Realtor will provide you with the keys and the lawyer will register your name on title! The loan is now closed.

Thank You

Communication is crucial for a Smooth Mortgage Approval.
Let's stay focused on the end result - walking into your new home!

In most cases, this is the initial step in the mortgage process.

You should start your mortgage application here since it will offer you a better sense of your mortgage program and loan amount ahead of time.

You are requested to provide your lender with an overall picture of your creditworthiness.

You’ll begin by filling out a loan application.

A mortgage loan application needs you to provide your financial information to a lender, who will use this information to evaluate the amount you may borrow.

If you want to complete your loan application in person, you can meet with your lender.

Your lender will check your income and request a copy of your credit record first.

A Pre-Qualification Letter will be issued by your lender if your application is accepted.

A Pre-Qualification letter indicates that you fulfill the minimum FICO credit criterion as well as the lending requirements for approval.

Give your Realtor® a copy of the pre-qualification letter as soon as you receive it so that they can determine how much you can afford to spend on a property.

A pre-qualification letter will help you narrow down your house search and persuade sellers to consider your offer more seriously.

What are the 6 pieces of information that your lender requires to process a comprehensive loan application?

• Name
• Income
• Social Security Number (to obtain a credit report)
• Property address
• An estimate of the property value
• Amount of the Mortgage Loan

Ask your loan officer if you have any questions, and they will assist you in completing your mortgage loan application.

Remember that your loan officer is always ready to assist you and will gladly answer any queries you may have. Your loan officer will also review your application to ensure that all of the information you submitted is accurate and valid. They’ll send your application through their organization’s channels to have you authorized once they’ve finished reviewing it.

The Loan Estimate is one of the forms that your lender must supply you with; it is one of the paperwork that is needed by law for your safety.

Within three business days after submitting a complete mortgage loan application, your lender will offer you a Loan Estimate.

The Loan Estimate contains key details about your loans, such as an estimated interest rate, monthly payment amount, and total closing expenses.

Check out the CFPB’s Loan Estimate Explainer to learn more about the Loan Estimate Form and become familiar with the definitions of key terminology.

Remember that the Loan Estimate is just that: an estimate.

You will get a Closing Disclosure at closing, which will detail the exact charges you will be responsible for.

As a homebuyer, you are theoretically not required to use the services of a real estate agent to complete the transaction.

However, we always advise ALL potential purchasers to do their homework and engage a trustworthy Realtor® to represent their best interests going forward. A buyers’ agent is a real estate professional who has a fiduciary obligation to operate only on your behalf and in your best interests throughout the buying process.

A realtor may also assist you with information on houses and communities that isn’t readily available on the internet. Best of all, it’s completely free!

If you need assistance locating a reputable Realtor® to represent you, you can always contact your lender for a list of qualified agents.

Setting up a Multiple Listings Service (MLS) search with your Realtor® is the simplest approach to discover your new property.

• It may be set up to run automatically and send emails up to 5 times each day.
• Allows you to speak with your agent directly about each property.
• Within the MLS, you may use search filters to narrow down your results by locations, zip codes, cities, subdivisions, streets, school districts, and much more!
• Has all of the information you’ll need to buy a house in one convenient location.

One of the biggest advantages of utilizing MLS to find a property is that it ALWAYS includes the most recent listings and market changes.

Keep in mind that if you search on Zillow or Redfin, it’s possible that the property you’re looking for is outdated and no longer available.

Now that you’ve been to a few open houses and discovered a few properties that you like, and you’re ready to make an offer.

Negotiating and getting an offer approved may take some time.

Your broker will draft a purchase contract with the terms of the offer once you’ve negotiated a price for a house and the seller approves it.

If the sellers accept your offer, they will forward this to them to sign.

If the seller agrees to include any fixtures or appliances with the sale of the home, mention them in the purchase contract.

Don’t take their word for it, and don’t assume anything will be left behind if it isn’t specified in the contract.


Your lender will arrange an appraisal from a third-party appraisal business when your offer is approved, and you must pay the appraisal price up in advance. The assessment will verify that you are paying a fair price for the home to all parties involved in the transaction.
The contract includes an appraisal contingency to safeguard you if the home’s appraised worth is less than the agreed-upon purchase price. In this instance, you have a certain number of days to cancel the contract, complete the purchase, or bargain with the seller to bring the price down to the appraised value.

Financing Contingency

This allows you to apply for and secure mortgage finance to purchase a property. This is significant because it safeguards you if you are unable to secure financing and allows you to cancel the contract and receive your earnest money back.
You’ll have until a certain deadline to get mortgage funding for your house purchase. You will also have until this date to terminate or request an extension of the contract.

House Sale Contingency

This will not apply to you if you are purchasing your first house.
If you’re selling your current house and buying a new one, this is significant since it gives you a defined length of time to sell and pay off your old mortgage before you can get a new one.

This can be aggravating for sellers since they are obliged to reject other offers while waiting for the contingency to be resolved. You are covered by this contingency if you are unable to sell your house for at least the asking price, and you have until a specific deadline to pull out of the contract without legal penalties.

Inspection Contingency

Your agent will assist you in scheduling a home inspection within a few days of your offer being approved.
The home inspection contingency protects you by providing you a certain length of time following the inspection to renegotiate or withdraw your offer without incurring legal penalties if there are major damages to the house.

Before you close, there will be a final walk-through when you can check that the seller repaired any defects discovered during the inspection if they agreed to do so. It’s time to acquire your financing when the seller accepts your offer.

A Closing Disclosure, which is legally necessary paperwork for your safety, will be sent by your lender.

The Closing Disclosure will be delivered to you at least three working days prior to your closing date.
The Closing Disclosure will contain all of the closing fees.
Your lender will contact you to confirm a closing date after all loan approval requirements have been satisfied. You will sign the final paperwork and pay the charges and fees necessary to legally transfer the property to you during the closing.
Your lender’s closing agent will evaluate and authorize the financing of your loan once all final closing paperwork has been signed.

Congratulations, you are now a homeowner!


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