Lollygagging around a real estate transaction can end up killing the deal. Sometimes when you find that perfect house for the perfect price, you need to strike quickly to get it. If time is of the essence, you need a lender that can close a loan quickly. Much of the responsibility, however, still falls to you. To close a mortgage loan in 15 days, you need to be complete and thorough from the very beginning. Just understand that to turn around a loan that quickly everything must go perfectly. Even then, there is no 100 percent guarantee.

The first step toward a quick mortgage closing is to complete the application completely and accurately. To save time, apply online or in person. If you go to the bank, speak to a mortgage representative and express your desire to close in 15 days. He can’t make promises, but he can give you an estimate on your chances. If you apply online, follow up by phone to make sure your application has been received and is being processed. Again, make sure to emphasize that you need to close in 15 days. Make sure to carefully read all sections of the application and complete the document in its entirety. If the bank has to track you down to ask for information it has already requested, it will delay the process.

Supporting Documentation
The bank needs documentation from you to approve the loan. Make sure to submit all requested documentation at the time of application. The data required will vary by bank, but expect to give copies of two years of W-2 Forms or 1099 Forms to document your income, along with federal tax returns, one month of pay stubs and three months of bank statements. The bank will use this information to verify that you can afford the loan and that you have enough for the down payment in the case of a purchase. Like an incomplete application, if the bank has to chase you for this information, the process will not move as quickly.

Many moving parts are involved with a mortgage closing. This can include the bank, your lawyer, the title company, the seller, the seller’s lawyer and real estate agents. If you want to close the mortgage within 15 days, keep everyone in the loop. You won’t be able to schedule a closing until you get an approval, but everyone should know that once the bank gives you the go, settlement will happen quickly. If you get approved but can’t put all the pieces together, the quick turnaround won’t mean anything. With sufficient notice, the parties can make arrangements to pre-sign documents or send other representatives if one or more can’t attend closing personally.

Other Considerations
If you get the bank everything it needs and manage to coordinate with all parties, you’re on the right track, but there are a few odds and ends to consider. First, make sure you have no blemishes on your credit history. You can request a free report from the three major credit bureaus at the government-sponsored website, If you see items that show a balance even though they’ve been closed or if you find questionable entries, such as judgments or liens, contact the credit agency immediately and prepare an explanation for the bank. Make sure all negotiations with the seller have been completed as even the most insignificant squabble can hold up a closing. Sign all disclosures and the commitment letter upon receipt. Make sure you read the commitment thoroughly and understand everything that is required to close the loan. Finally, set your appointment as soon as possible after you’ve been approved so that a scheduling conflict doesn’t ruin everything you’ve worked for.