You've found your new home and signed the contract...when can you move in?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty of Newport

Buying a home, however, is far more complicated than buying a car. Plus, you're not likely to take title to a home as quickly as you can drive new car off the showroom floor. How long it takes to close a sale varies from one home purchase transaction to the next. Closing occurs when title to the property transfers from the seller to the buyer. The closing date is one of the many elements of a home purchase contract that are negotiated by the buyer and seller. The buyer usually proposes a closing date in the initial offer. If that date is unacceptable to the seller, a counteroffer can be made with a different closing date. The closing date can be any date, other than a weekend or holiday, that is mutually agreed on by the buyer and seller.

From a practical standpoint, closings tend to be 30 to 60 days following the date that the purchase contract is ratified. A contract is ratified when it and any counteroffers and addenda are accepted and signed by both the buyer and seller. Practical considerations usually determine how long the closing will take. Most home purchase contracts include contingencies that must be satisfied before closing can occur. The most common are contingencies for the buyer's financing, inspections of the property and examination of title to the property.

Most buyers finance a portion of the purchase price with a mortgage. It can take two to four weeks to approve a new purchase mortgage depending on market conditions and how far along in the process the buyer is when the contract is ratified. Pre-approved buyers can close quickly because they are already approved for the mortgage they need before they make an offer. A buyer who is paying all cash with no mortgage can close in a matter of days. However, it's wise to have any property you buy thoroughly inspected before closing. Inspections can take one to two weeks to complete, depending on availability of inspectors and other factors.

FIRST-TIME TIP: You may be able to use the closing date to your advantage in your negotiations with the seller. Let's say the sellers have bought another home. They will close on that home in 30 days. If their current home isn't closed by the time they close on their new home, they'll end up owning two homes, which can be expensive. If you are willing and able to close within 30 days, you may save the sellers a lot of money. In this case, you might be able to negotiate a good price for yourself by closing quickly. Keep in mind that the date the sellers deliver possession of the property to the buyers does not have to occur on the closing date. Let's say that interest rates are rising. The sellers can't move into their new home for 60 days. You want to close in 30 days to take advantage of lower interest rates. Rather than force the sellers to deliver possession of their home before they're ready, negotiate a 30-day closing with a 30-day rent-back for the sellers.

THE CLOSING: A rent-back lets the sellers stay in their home after closing. The rent amount is negotiable.




Posted by:


John Cain
Broker Associate

Keller Williams Realty
809 Aquidneck Avenue
Middletown, RI 02842

Sales - Rentals - Property Management

Licensed Realtor In Rhode Island & Massachusetts





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