Buying a home is a stressful, lengthy process. It takes time to make sure everything is processing correctly, and sometimes the steps feel tedious. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve experienced the process before, it’s important to watch out for the most common pitfalls. 


Making a wrong move during the process could cause delays, or worse, you’ll miss out on the opportunity altogether. It can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days to get final approval on your mortgage depending on the time of year. A mistake could set you back weeks or even months. Here’s how to avoid mortgage approval delays when buying a home. 



1. Give Accurate Details on Your Application

The most common mistake is to fail to provide accurate, clear details on your initial and follow-up applications. Your lender needs to review your personal information, employment history, and income. This is a time-consuming process, so when information isn’t presented correctly or it’s forgotten entirely, this slows down the entire process. 


Make sure to fill out forms carefully. Always answer every single question. If you have any questions, talk to your lender to make sure you’re filling out your forms correctly the first time. Most importantly, never lie on your mortgage application. While it might seem minor to stretch your income or employment history to seem like a better candidate, these numbers will be verified. Just be truthful and upfront about your situation from the start to avoid issues. 



2. Provide Proper Documentation

As you’ll quickly learn, applying for a mortgage means you need a lot of paperwork. You need to document things like pay stubs, tax returns, W-2s, financial statements, asset accounts, home insurance coverage, and much more. If you’re missing even one of these things, you’ll need to provide it as soon as possible. 


If you fail to document something that shows up with a credit or employment check, you’ll need to provide even more documentation. While this might not be a big hassle, it will certainly slow down the process.  



3. Stoping Making Major Purchases

If you’re new to the home buying process, you might not understand why it’s so vital to avoid making any major purchases or opening any new credit cards during the process. When you’re pre-approved for a loan, this loan is based on your current financial situation and credit. Changing this in any way will jeopardize the closing and funding of your new property. 


In the same sense, don’t apply for any new lines of credit. This is true even if you’re preapproved. Once again, applying for credit changes your credit profile, and it could risk your loan process. It’s essential you keep your finances as stable as possible between pre-approval and closing. 



4. Don’t Make Unusual Deposits

Finally, you don’t want anything unusual happening in your bank accounts. This is especially true for unusually large deposits or withdrawals. The issue here is that you often need to provide documentation and sourcing for this additional funding. In many states, depending on your loan type, family gifts and other forms of cash gifts aren’t allowed to be put towards down-payments. 


When in doubt, it’s best to talk to your underwriter. Reporting these types of activities early and upfront will help you fight any delays. It’s safe to mention anything that isn’t part of your normal income or spending so your underwriter is able to make light of it efficiently. 


Buying a home is often confusing and time-consuming. To make sure you move through the process as quickly as possible, make sure to avoid these mistakes above. All of these can result in a delay in the home buying process which pushes you further from moving day.