“Clear to Close!”  Those words are great news for buyers (and their agents)!  Clear to Close (CTC) means all conditions of your loan have been met and the loan underwriter has given his blessing to release instructions to the title company for the closing.  If you’re buying a home and you’re purchasing the home through financing, this is your goal: clear to close.    Sometimes, these three words come in advance and everyone just coasts through the process.  More typical though, you may be waiting for the CTC until the 11th hour.  This can be a high stress time for you as a buyer.

To help streamline the path to your CTC, follow these 5 easy steps.

  1. Choose a lender who is a good communicator.  How fast does your potential lender respond to your questions?  Do you understand the answers that they provide?

  2. Ask your lender to provide a step-by-step accounting of the loan approval process in addition to the required disclosures and good faith estimates.   (If they cannot provide a list, be wary!)

  3. Provide your lender all documents he or she requests as quickly as possible.   Any time spent waiting on you will slow down the approval process.  Don’t open any new accounts, close any existing accounts, or make any large purchases without consulting with your lender first.

  4. Make a quick electronic copy of your documents before you send them to the lender.  A paper copy is ok:  a scanned copy is better.  There are times when an underwriter will ask the lender for a document that you have already sent.  Instead of stressing, just say okay and get it to them again.  They may call with questions:  if you have a copy, it’s easier to answer.

  5. Once you’ve completed a step, such as getting the initial documents to the lender, always ask what the next step is.  That way, you can stay ahead of the game.

Whether it’s your first home or a home to fit your lifestyle changes – buying a home is an exciting time for you.    By streamlining your loan approval and CTC, you can focus on coordinating inspections for your new home, scheduling movers, packing boxes, and transferring utilities.    Keep your eye on the prize!   If you need a lender referral, I have a list of professionals who’ve given great service to buyers and few to avoid.  Call me for a list of recommendations.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Diane Lominac is an Associate Broker for Century 21 Realty Partners in the Greater Houston, Texas area.  Diane is a Centurion® top producer, President’s Award winner, and Pinnacle Quality Service Award winner. She’s a native Houstonian currently living in Montgomery County, Texas.  Diane can be reached at 713-515-9775 or diane@dianelominac.com