Industry experts discussed with HousingWire how to navigate client and referral partner expectations and minimize closing times when factors like these begin to decelerate the buying process. Across the board, experts were in agreement that proactivity is key to avoid overpromising and under delivering. With many lenders seeing closings pushed out past 30, 45 and even 120 days, setting the expectation early gives lenders the opportunity to foster relationships with their clients and prepare for possible file extensions, said Mark Canale, senior loan officer and producing branch manager at Movement Mortgage. “As an LO, you have to understand every aspect of the transaction. I get it, the seller needs to move, but doing a quick closing to incentivize the seller to accept your offer is no longer a selling point. You can’t say to a them -- ‘Hey, we can close faster pick our offer,'” Canale said. “You need to have the confidence to say no, don’t fall into a tendency to say yes.” But slowdowns aren’t always avoidable, especially on difficult properties and complicated buyers. Courtney Poulos, owner and broker of ACME Real Estate, said hiccups can occur anywhere along the process – from long wait times for liquidation of funds, to drive-by appraisals that were never intended to be drive-by, and underwriting staff being stretched thin in the wake of COVID-19. “You’ve got to realize that for companies, many of their workforces are working from home, and getting verification of employment or last-minute employment confirmations can delay your process. Appraisals are of course going to be delayed, and then that can delay title orders, obviously. It’s a bundle, a domino effect, and it’s understandable that people can’t get it all done in the same timeframe that they used to,” said Tawn Kelley, executive vice president of Taylor Morrison Home Corporations.