Getting to the end of a home buying transaction can be a daunting task these days, with lenders tight guidelines, underwriting back-logs and escrow companies skeleton staffs so thinking about it being over can be very exciting.
So when do you get the keys to your new home?
In the Puget Sound area you will receive your keys to your new home based on what your RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT (SPECIFIC TERMS) states. On line 11 is the date your transaction is scheduled to close and on line 12 is the date of possession. Make note that these dates may be the same and then again they may be different.
Remember that your transaction does NOT close on the day you sign your loan documents. You will NOT receive the keys on the day you sign your loan documents. This can be the most confusing part of the home buying process. Typically you will sign your loan documents any where between 2 and 5 days prior to your closing date.
So, what does closing mean?
- Close Date
In the State of Washington the Close Date is traditionally considered to transpire when documents are recorded.
- Closing Documents
Documents that are prepared by Escrow from the information provided in writing by all parties to the transaction, i.e., Closing Instructions.
So, what does recorded mean?
A document is considered recorded when the Recorders office enters it into the public records.
Now that your transaction has been recorded at the County Courthouse it resides in and you are now the owner of the property do you get your keys? Maybe. Maybe? Yes, remember that RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT you signed several weeks ago? That document will explain when you can take possession. On line 12 of the (SPECIFIC TERMS) there two boxes. One box states that you get to take possession on closing and the other boxes states “other” where there will be written instructions. The other box may say “closing plus 3 days”, this was the norm years ago when we thought we needed time to move out. Now days the norm is on possession. Once you know your possession you also need to read item F of the (GENERAL TERMS). You may not be able to receive your keys until 9pm on that day.