Everyone is familiar with house-hunting, even if they’ve never actually done it before. You see it on television all the time, and lots of people talk about their personal home-buying experiences. But what about closing on a sale? What happens with that, and how long does it take?
Once your offer to purchase a property is accepted and all the proper paperwork is signed, you’ll have agreed upon a ‘closing date’ with the seller. This is the date when the property officially switches from their ownership to yours. The closing date can be weeks or months from the date you sign the paperwork – and a lot goes into deciding on a date.
Anywhere from 30-90 days is fairly typical, and provides both parties with the needed time to pack and make moving arrangements. This period of time is important for both buyer and seller for another reason too – it gives them extra time to buy a new place (seller), and sell their old place (buyer). Unless you are a first-time buyer, chances are you already own a property that you will have to sell before you close on the new home, or else you will be carrying two mortgages. It does happen, and it can be stressful, but if you have enough time between signing papers and a closing date, you’ll be able to sell your current home, with any luck, and match up the closing date of that sale with the closing date of your new home – within reason.
For the seller, the same is true. Depending on how hot the market is, they may sell their home immediately and then be scrambling between the time when the papers are signed and when the closing date comes, to find a new place to live.
When the closing date comes, you’ll meet with your lawyer and turn over the down payment, sign final documents, pay remaining fees (property tax, lawyer fee) and then, finally, get the keys.