TL;DR: this is the stage where a lending decision has been made to lend money, on certain terms and conditions. The information and supporting documents you provided is reviewed against those conditions. By the time you get here, most of the heavy lifting will be done. Once final condition review is completed and the commitment is signed, the approval is firm and the loan is ready to close.
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You're approved! Sweet! Keep going!
Now that you're approved, you'll be able to review and discuss your options with us. Part of going forward with any of the options presented includes making sure we'll be able to actually close on that loan.
Documents - #pleasethanksandsorry we need some
You'll see in our process that we dislike. paper. very. much. We also don't like asking you to give us stuff. And if we didn't have to, we wouldn't. We have tailored our process to reduce or eliminate as much of the paperwork as possible. If there's anything else we'll need from you, this is the stage where we'll tell you about it (or gently remind you to send it to us ASAP).
When everything is clicking we can get you approved or pre-approved in 4 hours, often less. This means that you've done your homework and have given us the items we asked from you during the Application stage. Typically the time it takes from submission of your full application, to conditional approval, is two business days. This normally occurs during busier times of the year, like the spring rush of real estate activity.
Once your file is approved, any supporting documents that were requested and received from you will be reviewed, and anything outstanding will be requested from you again. Once all of the needed information has been reviewed and approved, your mortgage will be ready to close. Typical document review takes up to two business days. If your documents were completed ahead of time, it takes significantly less time for review. A full package of documents is often reviewed and approved more quickly.
Mortgage agreement review and signing
Either during or after the document review phase, we will meet with you by phone, video call, email conversation, website chat, or in person to review your mortgage terms and conditions in detail, and answer all of your questions. This meeting usually takes about 30 minutes. During this phase, you will sign your mortgage offer to signal that you are ready to proceed with this loan.
Once the mortgage offer is signed, legal documents will be prepared and forwarded to your lawyer so they can prepare the necessary documents for you to sign to close the transaction.
If you are purchasing a home, your lawyer will send you a statement outlining the amount of money you need to bring in to pay the rest of your down payment, legal fees, and other closing costs that are paid at closing.
If you are refinancing or renewing your mortgage, you will get a similar statement but you will not be paying the closing costs typically associated with a real estate transaction, as none is happening here. Legal fees may or may not apply, depending on the nature of your transaction (full refinance with new money/debt consolidation vs renewing your mortgage with the same or a new lender).