When Do I Get the Keys to My New Home?

Dated: 07/01/2019

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Closing and possession

It’s closing day. You just finished up signing the giant stack of paperwork at closing, and you can’t wait to get into your new home.  But, your agent says you can’t have the keys yet… wait, what?!

Signing the closing paperwork is just one of several events that must occur on closing day before you can officially call it YOUR new home.

How to Get Possession of Your New Home

  1. All requirements in the sale contract are met
  2. Sign all the closing documents
  3. Funding
  4. Deed is recorded

In most transactions, the seller can be confident in officially handing over the keys once the deal is funded. So, what that mean?

Well, it means all money is paid into an escrow account, where the closing is taking place (typically a title company). Then, those funds are used to pay off any loans, liens, unpaid utilities, or any other obligations the seller may have outstanding, and then the remainder is paid to the seller. That's when the deal is considered funded.

All Cash vs Financing

If the deal is a cash transaction, then it’s a pretty simple process.  The buyer will bring funds via cashier’s check, or wire transfer.

When a loan is involved, the buyer's lender will wire the funds to the escrow account once all closing documents (including lender documents, step 2 above) are signed, received, and approved by the buyer's lender.

Finally..Possession!

Once the funds from the buyer have been received into escrow, the contract then stipulates that the seller grants possession to the buyer.

Once it’s funded, the escrow agent (typically the title company) will then record the deed with the county, to publicly record you as the new owner of the home.

Read your sale contract carefully, and be sure to place close attention to any section that outlines when ‘Possession’ to the property is given. It’s usually after funding, but can vary based on what you, your agent, or your attorney enters on the sale contract.

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Steven Barks

Steven Barks is the President & COO of Worth Clark Realty. He began his real estate career in 2009 as an agent for a small startup property management company in Minneapolis, MN. A natural self-starte....

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