Answers from Terry McDonald, Charlotte North Carolina Broker
The short answer? It is the time it takes to secure and close a loan. Cash customers could close in a couple of days, if they weren’t concerned about inspections. Typically, loans close in 30-40 days, near the end of the month. WE can and do negotiate different closing dates when the need arises. Generally we don’t have the title issues that make some states take longer to close (New York for example)
Buyer Agent Negotiating Point
We always ask what is the sellers preferred closing date. The closing date can be a negotiating point depending on the buyer’s or seller needs. In a best case negotiating scenario, the buyer has no home to sell, has secured their financing with pre-approval, and could close in 2 weeks or 3 months, without a strong preference. In this scenario, we would ask the Seller Agent when the Seller’s preferred closing date would be and if we, the Buyer side can meet their preferred closing date, we often can get an additional price concession for the convenience. This is frequently used in early spring, when a house is on the market, but kids are still in school, and the sellers would prefer to stay there until the end of June. Logically, if we make the sellers move now, we would likely have to offer more than if we were willing to close at the end of June-
Seller Negotiating Point- Ideally, the seller is flexible and can leave in 2 weeks or 3 months, and then a good Seller Agent (Listing Agent) should ask the Buyer preference, and may be able to negotiate a higher price for their Seller.
The extreme case is a Foreclosure, when the need for immediate closing drives the price down.