Once a sale is agreed upon, it’s time to essentially repeat the pre-approval process with your mortgage advisor, to make sure nothing in your financial status has changed within that time period. By law, your GFE will reflect all the costs involved in executing the loan, some of which may now be covered by the seller.
At the same time, you begin title and escrow. Either you or the seller will choose the title and escrow agents. Your title agent sets out to confirm and insure the deed to the property, and the escrow agent accepts your good-faith payment and then waits for your down payment and loan to finalize in order to complete the transaction. Sometimes you’ll use two different people for title and escrow, and sometimes it will be the same person.
The last piece of the puzzle is locking in the interest rate of your loan. Generally, once you settle on an interest rate, you have 30 days to finalize the loan. You can extend the interest-rate lock to 60 days; however, that comes at a cost to you in higher points fees at closing. Your mortgage advisor will be there to help guide you through this procedure and inform you when it is settled.