Buying a Home → Going Under Contract
Last updated January 20, 2020
If you’ve just received mutual acceptance on a home, congratulations!
At this point, you may be wondering, “When do I get the keys to my home?” Great questions! The technical term for receiving your keys is called “possession,” and it is actually one of the more negotiable terms in the contract. Possession is dependent on a few different factors, including:
- Financing: How is the purchase of your home being financed? Cash sales can close incredibly quickly, whereas if the purchase is financed with a loan, your REALTOR® will need to connect with your lender to inquire how much time the lender will need to process the loan. Typically, we see this process taking around 35 days or so, depending on loan type and how far along you are in the pre-approval process.
- Contingencies: Are there any contingencies written into your contract? Contingencies include things like a home inspection, neighborhood review, HOA review, etc. If the answer is yes, you will want to ensure that you have time to carry out and negotiate those contingencies, and this will need to happen before official closing and possession can happen.
- Seller Motivations: It’s important for your agent to inquire about the seller’s motivations for selling their home. Sometimes the seller is motivated to sell and move as quickly as possible, while other times, they may actually be anticipating a few weeks between mutual acceptance and possession to pack up and move.
- Escrow Timeline: As previously discussed, this is considered the closing phase and takes about 30 days. Learn about this here. A few days before Escrow is ready to close, you will be expected to sign closing paperwork. It is at this time you will receive your closing date.
Every transaction is different, and you won’t want to assume anything—it’s important for you and your REALTOR® to talk about what the timeline of your transaction will look like.