Get Adobe Flash player

Overview of the Home Loan Process

Below is a general list of items, in order of how they typically progress, describing the process of obtaining a home loan. If you like Flow Charts instead, check out this flyer.

It’s important to note that not every loan is the same; some may have more steps, some may have less and some may happen in a completely different order than noted below. Once we have determined that a loan may be available to you, I will get you a customized checklist of what is needed to fund your loan.

Unless otherwise noted, there are typically not any monies paid by you to Envoy or any third party in any of these steps below.

1. Get pre-qualified.  While this may sound complicated, it’s a simple conversation that you and I have to ensure that it’s worth your time to apply for a loan and/or pre-approval.  If there are any glaring issues, I will tell you and we can decide together if it makes sense for you to proceed to the next step.  Typically, once you are pre-qualified, I will send you an initial quote so that you know what you can expect in terms of loan options, costs, if any, and payments.

Time Investment: 10-60 minutes depending upon how talkative you are!

2. Complete the Application Form for your home purchase or refinance; this can be done in one of three ways:

Online:  Time Investment: 20 minutes or less

Phone Appointment: Once an appointment is set up where you and I both free at the same time, we can complete the application via the telephone. Time Investment:  20-30 minutes

Via paper: Download this blank application form, complete it by hand, and return it to me via fax (866-297-3950), email ( or upload securely to  Time Investment: 20 minutes

3. Submit the suggest docs noted at so that I may thoroughly complete the initial application and pre-approval.

Time Investment: Please return them within one business day of my receipt of your completed application form.

4. Your application form will be processed in 24-48 hours and I will get back to you with the results.

If you are looking to buy a home (mortgage refinances, go to step five), and your application form has been pre-approved. This is the time where I would email you the pre-approval letter. This is also the time where I would contact your real estate agent – I can certainly get you in touch with one if you need a referral – and let them know that you are pre-approved. Then you start shopping for your home (if you don’t have one in mind yet).  The next phase in the process typically doesn’t start until you are in a contract on the home you have found to purchase. You will likely put down an earnest money deposit with the seller once your contract is fully accepted by all parties. If you are unsure about why you would want to hire a real estate agent, especially considering the seller pays your agent’s commissions most of the time, be sure to read this on my blog:

Time Investment: This part of the process can take a long time as you work house-hunting into your busy life!

5. You will get a link from me so you may log-in and e-Sign your e-Disclosures; this is the package of information that talks about the details – big and small – about the terms of your loan and your rights as a borrower as per state and federal law. This tends to be an overwhelming part of the process for many and I will gladly take the time to go through these disclosures with you via the phone or in person so that you have a full understanding of what each form means. I am notified automatically when you complete the e-Signing of your e-Disclosures.

Time Investment: Within two business days.

6. At the same time that you are emailed the disclosures, I will email you a list of items needed to get your rate locked and to get your file into underwriting and approved. This is your customized checklist that I referred to earlier in this document.  This is also the time where you will be asked to provide a credit card number so as to pay for the cost of your appraisal that will be ordered on the subject property on your behalf.

If you are buying a home, this is the time where you will need to also get your inspection(s) done (as per your purchase contract) and your homeowner’s insurance set up.  These items typically cost you money as well – paid directly to the service providers. This is another area where your Real Estate Agent can be a huge help.

Time Investment: Concurrent with Step Five; within two business days. 

7. Once your disclosures and appraisal credit card form are in your file, a flurry of activity starts happening behind the scenes without your direct involvement.  My assistants and I, along with our 240-person processing team, start getting together a huge list of documents that we need for every loan file.  We will be requesting, from third parties, items regarding the appraisal, the title, IRS documents, asset & income verifications, QC audits, disaster verifications and many more items.  Hundreds of pages of data are gathered without your direct involvement (that’s why we 100% paperless have been awarded for such a thing); hundreds of Envoy’s dollars are spent and many man-hours put in just to get your loan moving forward – all without an upfront fee from you to us!

Time Investment: Three to five business days to complete; sometimes longer.

8. Once enough of the items requested in number seven have been obtained, your file is then submitted to the underwriter for final approval. In most cases, the underwriter will approve the loan with a handful of conditions that must be met. Oftentimes, the conditions are simply the items that were outstanding from line seven (those that hadn’t been received prior to submission) and sometimes they are new items that are required based on other items obtained in the process. If anything is needed from you, I would let you know.

Time Investment: Two-to-three business days for the initial underwrite and 24-48 hours for conditions.

9. Once the conditions in number eight are satisfied, the loan is approved and ready for the closing documents to be drawn.  I order the closing documents and schedule your closing.  Many times, for refinances, we can get the loan closed around your schedule, often meeting you where you are (work, home, Starbucks, wherever). For purchases, it’s often more difficult to work solely around your schedule as there are sellers whose schedule must also be accommodated.

Time Investment: 24-36 hours to complete once the loan is ready for docs; you can typically close on the second or third business day after your file is ready for docs!

10. You sign the final loan documents and your loan is then moved to a “funding” status.If this is a purchase, your loan will usually fund the same day and you will typically get your keys to your new home before leaving the closing! For escrow-states, like California, there is a day or two wait between signing and funding; you get your keys once it’s funded.

If this is a refinance of your primary residence, you have a three-day rescission (cooling off) period before your loan funds.  If you are refinancing your investment home or second home, the funding will occur as soon as the loan package is signed and received by Envoy; there is no rescission period for these types of transactions.

Time Investment: One hour

As always, please reach out to me to discuss the particulars of your situation as they are all different!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email