Home closing day timing

When do get into my new home?

This will vary by region and per transaction, so always refer to the purchase agreement for complete details. In some regions, buyer & seller close at one location while in other regions they don’t. Know what your situation is.

Unless it’s been explained to them, more often than not a home buyer assumes that they get keys and possession of their new home as soon as they set the pen down after signing their mountain of papers for their side of the closing. Most purchase agreements (contracts) state that possession to the buyer is granted after closing is completed. Closing often includes multiple steps that include:
• Buyer signing their documents
• Seller signing their documents (possibly at another location and time)
• Disbursement of funds/proceeds
• In some areas, also the registration of the deed

So, as you can see, the signing of one set of documents (buyer or seller) is only one step of the process. Here’s why that can be of utmost importance – for scheduling purposes anyway. Let’s say a buyer has decided to close at 4:30 on a Tuesday. We already know that “closing” may not be completed because that time is past most wiring cut-off times for the day, so unless funds are being disbursed by check, that step of the process has already been delayed until the next business day. It is also possible that the seller has not yet signed and may be signing later in the day. Both of these are reasons why this buyer may not be getting possession until Wednesday (the next business day).

Ready to complicate the situation? What if this buyer had a moving truck sitting at the home waiting to unload? They’re now either delayed (costing the buyer), or if they cannot wait due to other commitments they may have to unload to storage and the buyer will have to perform a second move after closing is completed.

Ready to complicate it even more? What if this wasn’t a Tuesday, but was on a Friday? The next business day is Monday. That’s a 3-day delay for the movers who may or may not be able to wait. Either way, it’s going to cause the buyer additional expenses (storage or truck waiting).

All of that is to say be sure you know what your closing timeline looks like before scheduling movers or friends to help you get into your new home. This is not hypothetical. This scenario is VERY real, and does happen regularly when it has not been properly explained how closing works in their area. Variables that will affect it will include how many title companies (or closing agents) are involved, times that each party signs, if funds are disbursed by wire or check, and what the purchase agreement states.

Ask questions. Know what your timeline is.

Posted by Shaun Larson on


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