Mortgage approval is a multi-step process and the more potential buyers can do from the beginning, the quicker everything can progress. Typically, a week is average for the underwriting approval, and about 18 to 22 business days from the start of the process to issuing a commitment letter. It’s recommended to let a lender pre-qualify you, giving your lender at least 72 hours to pre-approve. To make the process go more smoothly, look into your credit reports, bank statements and outstanding debts before you start shopping for a loan so nothing catches you off guard.

Recently, new federally insured disclosure laws have come into effect, making it easier for you to understand rate and fee quotes from lenders. However, they will also slow down your home-buying process. Ask your lender about their process for the TRID rules and have them clarify timelines for your real estate agency before you write any offers.