I could write a book about closing day stories. Some that were perfect, some that were funny and some that were nightmares.
I remember one situation where my buyer clients called me up at about 6:00 pm on the closing day saying, ‘Marg, we’re in the driveway with our moving truck and it would appear someone is in the house watching TV. I went over right away and sure enough, the elderly couple who sold the house were relaxing in front of their TV set after having just enjoyed a nice dinner. It would appear that they got the closing date mixed up by a full week and obviously, their own agent was not keeping in touch with them very well.
Of course every home buyer wants to know when they will get the keys and, our home sellers always ask by what time they should be out of the house. I let people know that as soon as the deal closes, meaning that the lawyers have exchanged funds and registered the deed, then the buyer is entitled to vacant possession of the property.
Toronto real estate lawyer Bob Aaron wrote a good column on this very topic in the Toronto Star in which he reinforces the point that the sellers belongings must be gone at the point the keys are handed over. He cites case law to support that position and describes a case where the sellers had to pay costs to a buyer who was delayed in getting into their home because the sellers had not vacated on time.
I’ve had this very scenario happen a handful of times and most often, it is reasonably pleasant as everyone tries to accommodate each others plans. Sometimes, and even often, time IS of the essence to the buyer. I suggest that sellers pack up the night before except for a last minute kit and then book their movers for first thing in the morning at perhaps 7 or 7:30 am. If they are moving themselves, get the truck loaded the night before. For buyers, be careful about booking a mover who charges by the hour because you cannot control what time you’ll get into the new house.
The most important point is that the REALTORS® should be communicating with their clients and with each other before the closing date to make sure everyone has a plan and that there will be no surprises on the closing date.
It’s much nicer to get flowers or a bottle of champagne instead of a call from an angry lawyer.
When it’s time to buy or sell real estate in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain or Georgian Triangle area, contact Marg, an experienced and competent Broker who’s ready whenever you are!