Real Estate Closings: Will I get keys at closing?

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Aug• 01•11

Well you have found a house to buy, negotiated a contract, had the home inspected, negotiated any needed repairs, gotten some title insurance , and been fully approved for your loan. Now all you need to do is go to closing, take possession of the home, and move in all of your stuff.

But wait, your agent tells you at the closing table that they will call you once they have the keys to let you into the home that you just bought. Why is this? You are done. The house is yours. You have all of your furniture loaded into a truck waiting outside of the closing attorney’s office. You have appliances being delivered later in the day, and all of your friends are waiting to help you move in. Why wasn’t there a set of keys waiting for you under that big stack of papers at the closing attorney’s office? Well, in all actuality you are not done, or at least your lender isn’t done. See, the last part, and in all actuality the most important part, of the whole transaction has yet to occur. That “most important part” is the exchanging of the funds that you are using to purchase the home.

Now if you were paying cash for the home, than when you hand the check to your closing attorney, all they have to do is send it over to the seller’s attorney in return for the documentation that the home is yours. In the situation though, that you are using a lender to finance the home, you are at the discretion of the bank once more. Most banks will wire the money to your closing attorney’s bank account somewhere around the closing time. Which they in turn, wire to the seller’s attorney’s account after all the paperwork is signed and the warranty deed, stating that you are now the owner of the property, is passed to the buyer’s attorney from the seller’s attorney. Some lenders though will not “fund the loan” until later in the day, and sometimes they only send out funds once a day, at midnight. This can cause you to not get those keys until the next day and in some cases on Monday morning.

I help my buyer’s to avoid these situations by implementing three easy to remember steps. Of course this will not guarantee that a problem will not arise but it can definitely keep the likelihood of it happening to a minimum. The first thing to remember is, don’t close after 12:00 noon on your closing day. This will help ensure that if the funds will be wired same day, than they have plenty of time to find their way into the seller’s attorney’s account before the end of business hours. The second thing to remember is, don’t close on a Friday. This will help ensure that if there does happen to be a problem, then the problem can be resolved the day after the closing, and not have it drag through the weekend. Remember banks don’t operate on weekends and neither do most attorneys. The third thing to remember is to not schedule movers, and/or appliance deliveries to your new home, either the day of, or the day after your closing is scheduled. This will save you from having to reschedule should something unforeseen occur. Not scheduling these things until you are actually finished closing, can also remove a large amount of unwanted stress from you during this time period.

Please remember that purchasing a home today is nothing like it was just a few short years ago. New rules have been written, new laws enacted, and lenders are significantly more reserved when it comes to lending money to purchase a home. From 2000-2005 lenders were of the mindset, that if something went wrong, they would just foreclose and then sell the home for more than they foreclosed on the home for a few months down the road. Now it is more important for them to make sure that they aren’t going to LOSE money on the transaction. So they check to make sure all the i’s are dotted and all the t’s crossed, and then they check them again and again. Often times, they come up with last minute additions to the things required for full loan approval, which can cause delays to the closing time.

If you are buying a home in the city of Memphis, or in any of the suburbs, Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Cordova, Germantown, Millington, or any or the other nearby cities feel free to contact me by clicking on the contact me tab.

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