Carlsbad Real Estate News and Views: Buyer FAQ: What Does “You are Clear to Close” Mean?

Here's the REAL scoop on living in Carlsbad ~ beaches, things to do, places to eat, community events, and of course neighborhoods, homes and the Carlsbad real estate market in general, including surrounding communities like Encinitas, Cardiff, San Marcos, Oceanside, Solana Beach and Del Mar.

Buyer FAQ: What Does “You are Clear to Close” Mean?

Buyer FAQ:

When Getting a Loan What Does “Clear to Close” Mean?



For home buyers in Carlsbad, there are several common phrases typically heard in a real estate transaction that will bring a smile to the face, and perhaps a more jubilant reaction.



The first is “your offer has been accepted.” Who doesn’t rejoice when this is heard, especially when there are multiple offers?!



The second is commonly “the appraisal came in at value” or “the house appraised.” Waiting for the results of the appraisal is always a tense time, especially when your offer is high or above asking price. I just went through this with another buyer. Success, yay!



The next joyful phrase you hope to hear is “we are clear to close.”



So what does that mean?



Suffice it to say the mortgage application process is a complex one, with a ton of documentation you will have to provide the lender – bank statements (all pages, even blank ones), employment verification (pay stubs, W-2s, 2 years of taxes), other proof of assets, and the list goes on. See this excellent article by John Meussner  that summarizes documents needed to get a mortgage. The lender also verifies your credit, reviews the purchase contract, checks the title, and of course requests and reviews the home appraisal.



loan approval means moneyOnce all documents have been submitted, analyzed and verified, and the appraisal has been received, reviewed, and deemed satisfactory, the underwriter will let you know that you are clear to close.



In other words, your loan is approved and the loan documents can be prepared for you to sign in the future. The timing will depend on when you are scheduled to close and the lender’s standard process.



The last phrase I love sharing with buyer clients once closing has occurred is “we are on record.” Congratulations on your new home! Here are the keys!!


My Jeff Dowler signature



eXpRealty of California, Inc. logo



Click to Search for All San Diego Homes


Free Home Valuation Button


My "At Home In Carlsbad" blog (click photo)

At Home In Carlsbad blog


365 Things to Do in Carlsbad (and Nearby) on Facebook   

  Jeff Dowler's Facebook Profile   Jeff Dowler's YouTube Profile    Jeff Dowler's Twitter Profile   Jeff Dowler's LinkedIn Profile


      Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) logo




If I can provide more information about homes for sale in Carlsbad and in surrounding areas, local housing market conditions, or assist you, friends or family in a purchase or sale, please call or text me at (760) 840-1360, or email me at



CALL or TEXT ME AT (760) 840-1360


Serving Carlsbad (including Aviara, La Costa & Carlsbad Village),  Encinitas (including Leucadia & Olivenhain), Cardiff, Solana Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos (including San Elijo Hills), Oceanside, Escondido, and  Greater San Diego

All content ©Copyright 2020 by Jeff Dowler. All rights reserved.

eXp Realty of California, Inc. (CA DRE lic #01490977)

Comment balloon 21 commentsJeff Dowler, CRS • June 17 2017 03:14PM


 We don't have the "We are on record" phrase here...We are clear to close is great music to play...followed by a suitable Sellabration !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 3 years ago

Good morning Jeff - yes that is great music to hear.  It is nice to know you have reached the finish line.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 3 years ago

A celebration indeed Sally K. & David L. Hanson !!

Usually when escrow  or title calls to let us know closing has occurred they do state "we are on record" - i.e., the deed has been recorded. Never heard this back in Boston! Whatever you call it, it's great news.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) about 3 years ago

Hello Jeff Dowler,  Funny, we know what it means but the average buyer is not sure about it.  Make it a great day!


Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) about 3 years ago

Those words are always music to my ears.  All the hoops have been jumped through and it is time to get to the closing table.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) about 3 years ago

Grant Schneider  - and it can be especially meaningful when there have been issues along the way. Buying a home definitely has its anxious moments!

That's true Will Hamm  There is so much lingo we use all the time and it's easy to forget that buyers, especially first time buyers, may simply not know what we are talking about.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) about 3 years ago

Mine as well Belinda Spillman . And of course for the buyers, the sellers and the other agent, too!

Enjoy your weekend!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) about 3 years ago

Jeff Dowler - You explain the process and terminology so clearly. It's important for buyers and sellers to know what these words mean and you do such a great job. Not once, did I have to say, what does that mean?  For example, when you explained the phrase, "we are on record," I knew exactly what you meant even though in Texas, we use the phrase, "we are funded." 

I would work with you any day and always think of you for referrals. 

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) about 3 years ago

Jeff- what a great explanation and I can honestly say, I've not heard the phrase "we are on record."  That must be the signal for Bring out the champagne!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 3 years ago

To hear those words is music to my ears. I heard them on Thursday and Monday is the closing. Preparing the client for those words helps them understand the process.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 3 years ago

Hi Jeff, 

I was smiling the whole time. Another area that I look forward to is when the inspection period is in the books!  

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 3 years ago

Good morning Jeff.  We all love to hear those words.  Especially the sellers and buyers.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 3 years ago

In Oklahoma City we also say that final underwiring has occurred but clear to close has a nice ring to it and is more direct and action oriented phrase.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 3 years ago

Thanks for the kind words Patricia Feager  -  interesting how things differ around the country in our terminology!!

It's definitely time for the champagne then Kathy Streib 


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) about 3 years ago

It's definitely an exciting time Debbie Reynolds when those words are uttered. And it means the buyers get their keys and can move in.

And any repairs request is signed off, too  Sheri Sperry - MCNE® !!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) about 3 years ago

Hi James Dray  - yes indeed, it brings smiles to many faces!!

Agreed Joe Pryor - whatever you say, the result is a good one!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) about 3 years ago

Complex for sure! Great explanation. Having a trusted professional on your side is so important!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 3 years ago

Hi Jeff... a term that's used a lot and often not understood by the person who is getting the mortgage. Great explanation.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 3 years ago

Hi Jeff -- there are certain real estate phrases which may not be as well-known to the public but when they are heard --- there is more than a little joy felt.   "Clear to close" is one of those phrases.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 about 3 years ago

Hi Jeff, when I get a message with "clear to close", it's time for me to do my happy dance. We all work hard just to hear those words. Great explanation!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) about 3 years ago

Great FAQ Jeff, those are 3 of my favorite words!  Thanks for the mention!

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) about 3 years ago