First Time Home Buyer's Guide

Hidden Surprises

Surprise! Your Loan Will Not Be Closing Tomorrow.

You scramble through the packed moving boxes to grab your phone. It’s your mortgage lender and you immediately do not like the tone in their voice.

It’s happening, a mistake. Just like the horror stories you saw online… [read more]

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Surprise! Your Loan Will Not Be Closing Tomorrow.


You scramble through the packed moving boxes to grab your phone. It’s your mortgage lender and you immediately do not like the tone in their voice.

It’s happening, a mistake. Just like the horror stories you saw online.

Closing delayed and moving plans blown-up. You can’t move into a house you do not own and you will not own this one for at least another 3 business days.

Devastating. Expensive. Avoidable.

A few simple proactive measures and points of emphasis during the home-buying process will go a long way to avoiding this scenario. Like everything, if you start weak, you finish weak.

Your Pre-Approval Was Weak and Un-documented

Lost earnest money, displaced living arrangements and countless hours of wasted time; all because one piece of the home-buying process was half-heartedly completed – the pre-approval. Fully document everything and thoroughly research your mortgage lender.

You Picked the Wrong Team of Real Estate Professionals

If you approach the home-buying process as transactional and solely on price you’ll increase your chances of failure. It takes a village to close a loan and the village has to eat too. An 1/8th in interest rate is minimal when compared to the trust and service you receive from real mortgage professional.

Same goes for your real estate agent. If you choose your sister’s best friend because she is your sister’s best friend and not because she is an awesome agent, you will notice that inexperience the minute the inevitable issue pops up.

You Tried to Hide Something

Just don’t do it. There are umpteen security and fraud checks running in the background of every mortgage transaction. Nearly every database is checked.

If something is not disclosed or presented in a false manner your transaction is likely done. It’s important that you take the time to inform your mortgage lender of potential issues and help them document those issues as early in the process as possible.

Sometimes Surprises Just Happen – Stay Calm

Stay cool, stay calm, stay collected and stay friendly. There may be outside forces that have affect on your home-buying process. Forces you can’t control and therefore you accomplish little, nothing or actually facilitate deal regression, when you lose your cool.

  • An appraiser having a terrible day when he went out to appraise the property decides to take it out on your value
  • One of the real estate agents gets appendicitis and disappears for a few days.
  • A 150 year old Civil War grave site was magically discovered on the lot with your new home and it is causing massive title insurance issue.
  • The seller has a brother on legal documents, but the brother is currently in a maximum security prison in Mississippi and unable to sign legal documents needed to transfer ownership of the property.
  • The night before your closing a massive tree falls on the house and, for all intents and purposes, destroys it.
  • Two days before closing you find out the seller will have a side-party at the closing table, the IRS, who will not let them transfer ownership without signing documents to handle an $80,000 tax lien.
  • An angry neighbor provides a survey showing your new driveway is on their property, they “don’t like the cut of your jib” and therefore refuse to sign a private road agreement needed to close.

Those may be extreme examples, but they are all from personal experience. We, ultimately, found a solution to all of them.

Many home-buyers haven’t tested the mortgage market since pre-2006. You are in for a surprise, a lot has changed. Having a pulse and having a job are not the only requirements anymore.

Shares 0 Best-selling author, Shashank Shekhar (NMLS 8176) is a mortgage lender with Arcus Lending, offering loans for home purchase and refinance. Shashank has been featured as a mortgage expert on Yahoo! News, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. He has been named "Top 40 under 40" most influential mortgage professionals in the country.

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