Ask Jan: Mortgage frustration

Dear Jan: As a part of the sale of our home, the buyer’s lender ordered an appraisal. We were told that it was complete and that it came in at full price. Now, days before closing, we were told that the underwriter was examining the appraisal and that they could call for another appraisal. If it was complete, how can this be? MS

Dear MS: I understand your frustration, but this is most likely what is happening. Due to the mortgage crisis, lenders have become extremely cautious. What the normal was before is no longer what the normal is now. The underwriters, who are protecting the investor, are crossing their T’s and dotting their I’s. Because in the past some appraisals did not give true value, today’s underwriter is taking a very careful look at the comparable sales the appraiser provides and if in their mind, they are not good ones, they can call for another appraisal. This costs more time and is delaying closings. There is now a backlog of files that are not getting closed because they are stuck in underwriting. Real estate agents are being told to give plenty of time to get the transaction closed and not be shocked by anything the underwriter asks for prior to closing. This makes it hard on everyone as the moving trucks are going nowhere until the file is out of underwriting and the transaction closes. Patience is a virtue and in this lending environment I am getting well trained in it. It pays to have a real estate agent who is good at working with people because it is going to take someone good to get through this and close the sale. Best wishes with your sale. Jan