When you get your final approval for the loan, it will be after the property appraisal. The lender will know at that time when your closing date will be and your approval and rate lock should be beyond that date. If you need extensions, most lenders will provide for a small fee.
If you are pre-approved, you will use that pre-approval document in support of an offer made. If the document becomes dated, a listing agent or seller may request a more current pre-approval before accepting your offer.
Hi Tina. There's a difference between being pre-approved and actually approved. Pre-approved is before you have a contract and it's solely based on your financial situation. Approved is after you are in escrow and the property has been appraised and all other loan conditions have been met. The approval process has two parts (your financial situation and the property also has to meet the underwriting requirements). When you are approved, your loan agent will lock in your interest rate and the approval for the loan at the locked in rate is usually good for 30 - 45 days. Your loan agent will tell you when your rate lock expires. If you don't close escrow in time, you'll have to ask for a rate lock extensions which usually costs money. I hope this helps.