Can I Get my Keys at Closing?

A couple has saved for years to buy their dream home. They have wandered through too many houses to even count. Then, just when all hope seemed lost, they find it – their dream home! This home has everything they wanted.  So, they make an offer and the offer is accepted. Yes! They get approved for a loan, find a real estate closing attorney and set a closing date. 

On closing day, they sign what feels like a million documents and now all they want to do is get those keys. Imagine their surprise when they are told that they can’t have the keys just yet!

Here are two important reasons that can hold up immediately getting the keys:

  1. Documents: All documents involved in the purchase of the home must be signed, after which the title company has to submit the deed to the county for recording. The home does not belong to the new homeowner until confirmation has been received that the deed has been recorded. Granted, unless closing is after the Register of Deeds has closed for the day, realistically the new homeowners should get the keys the same day as closing day. However, it may be a couple of hours after signing before the Register of Deeds records the deed and gives the homeowner possession of the house.
  2. Financing: On the day of closing, all financing for the sale has to be covered. In addition to the down payment, all the closing costs must be taken care of as well. Clearly, until the money from the lender reaches the title company’s reserves, the ownership of the property cannot change hands.

All too often buyers are shocked to learn that they may not automatically receive the keys to their new house once they sign all the closing documents.  So, before you line up that moving truck, talk to your real estate agent and closing attorney about when you will be receiving the keys.  Contact us today for all your real estate and estate planning legal services.