Many prospective homebuyers enter into a purchase contract with the best of intentions only to discover they can't qualify for a loan as easily as they had expected. Instead, "they get turned down," says Carolyn Hastings, a broker associate at J. Rockcliff Realtors in Blackhawk, Calif.
Documentation snafus, job losses and credit score hiccups are but three examples of the types of problems that can derail a buyer's financing. Seemingly inexplicable delays by lenders can also stall a buyer's financing.
In some cases, the process "seems like it takes forever," dragging on so long that the buyer gives up and abandons the deal, says Phyllis Yanagihara, a certified senior escrow officer at Master Escrow in Glendale, Calif.
Still, many borrowers eventually do get a loan approval. Buyers need to stay in touch with their loan officers, and buyers and sellers need to be patient while the slow wheels turn.
"Sometimes," Hastings says, "the banks just make it a living hell for all of us -- and then they end up closing it."