Not long ago...way back in 2008 or so...one could expect 30 days from acceptance of terms to closing on a property to be reasonable. With few exceptions, this is an unreasonably swift expectation today.
Underwriting departments are swamped with work right now, and even the best of them are seeing 10 day to 2 week timelines for approval. Part of it can be attributed to the refinance mini-boom with interest rates being so low, part of it due to cutbacks in staff. Other reasons, well, I'm sure there are.
Rather than get buyers and sellers (agents too!) nervous & anxious as the deadline for closing approaches--still with no word on loan docs arriving for signature, why not set expectations to meet current conditions? Instead of putting a proposed closing date of 30 days on the offer, put down 45 or even 50 days - with the language "On or BEFORE" the deadline.
That way, anxiety and pressure can be reduced on many fronts - buyer, seller, agent, loan originator...all across the board. Start the transaction like you're going for the 30 day close & get everything done. The documents will be there when they get there. Pushing & pleading isn't going to help get the impossible accomplished - in fact, it could delay things even longer. A stressed-out underwriter isn't going to be more efficient - and having someone breathe down their neck only adds to the problem.
One experienced mortgage broker told me the other day that this reminds him of the early 1990s when loans were taking 45-60 days to get done. I hope it doesn't go to the end of that scale, but if it does, the best way to deal with it is if the expectations are properly set at the beginning. That way, if it takes less time than expected, everyone's happy. If not, then it is on schedule & right on time, just like it was planned for.
Sometimes I feel like asking, "Would it help if I got out & pushed?" But the reality is...there's enough pushing already. Buying or selling a home is stressful enough for our clients - part of our job is to make sure we're not adding fuel to the fire.