In a perfect world, you might take possession of your home as the keys hit your hand. But as anyone might tell you, the process for buying a home may take weeks or months. It may also get more complicated as contracts or local laws cause hiccups along the way.
The bottom line is that you take possession whenever your contract stipulates but as The Balance details, it may not always be that easy.
Loan conditions are contract stipulations that may delay an agreed-upon closing should an underwriter call for them. So it might not be a hiccup on your part or the seller’s, but the lender. Because of these last-minute risks, allowing for early buyer possession may cause more headaches than not.
The possession date may serve as a bargaining chip depending on the kind of market environment parties draft the contract in. In a neutral market, possession may happen upon closing. But in a seller’s market, you could offer more leniency on a move-in day as an extra incentive for a seller to choose your offer.
Not everyone runs on the same schedule and a real estate closing may not coincide with a county recording the deed. Sometimes counties may be weeks behind and in other jurisdictions, city law may prevent you from getting keys until the title company confirms that the county recorded the deed.
In every case, knowledge is power. When you approach buying a home, it is important to have your contracts clear and your timelines established. Doing so may help ease the process of buying your home and get you into your home when the contract states. In the case of potential contract litigation, having these details documented prior may ease that process as well.