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  • When do we get the keys?

    Posted on July 14th, 2010 admin No comments

    One of the most common question we Realtors get and one of the easiest for an inexperienced agent to screw up is the possession date.  Nothing causes more tears, headaches or misunderstandings.

    There are 3 distinct (and often different) days in closing a home purchase.

    1. Settlement. This is when the buyer visits with their escrow officer (in Utah this is usually a title company) sits down and signs all 600+ pages of the closing packet, hands over the check for closing cost/ down payment and walks out with a muffin basket and a shell shocked look in the eyes.  Doesn’t mean the house is yours.  Your mortgage company still has to pony up the big money and your cashiers check has to age in the bank overnight.
    2. Closing. This is when your mortgage company has reviewed all the signatures and documents of the closing packet, completed any last minute audits of your credit and finally wired the big money to the title company.  The title company then has to verify receipt of this money, cut checks to the seller, brokerages, and any lien holders and finally record the sale at the county courthouse.  Now the house is in your name and you begin paying for it.  All of the above usually takes 1 business day after Settlement, but the purchase contract gives all parties up to 4 calender days to finish dancing.  Imagine a Settlement on the Friday before a holiday weekend.  Don’t back-up the U-haul just yet.
    3. Possession. Oh happy day.  This is when you get the keys and take control of the property.  Paragraph 4 of the  purchase contract specifies exactly when this happens in relationship to Closing.  The time to avoid moving mayhem is when filling out the purchase agreement.  Have a calender and a full understanding of these dates before proceeding.