You Don't Get the Keys Until It's Closed AND Funded

Real Estate Agent with United Real Estate TX #0552717

You Don't Get the Keys Until It's Closed AND Funded!  

One day last week, I drove to one of my listings. It was scheduled to close that morning and I was there to pick up the sign in the yard and remove the lockbox off the door. The buyers had done their final walk-through the day before. The seller had signed remotely the day before since he was out of state. Wiring Funds from Bank

When I arrived at 11:00, the time the buyers were at the title company signing the documents, there was a car in the driveway and a woman inside. As I approached, I noticed the back seat filled with boxes and bedding. There was a language barrier, but soon realized this was the mother/mother-in-law that would be living with the new owners.

I can only assume that the buyers thought that as soon as they were done signing, they'd get the keys and would be able to move right in. But that's not the way it works.

This purchase was financed, so even though all the documents were about to be signed, the funds had to be transferred from the lender to the title company. And to further complicate this transaction, there was a guardianship involved on the seller's side. The probate court requirements had to be met, too.

I called the title company to let them know that the occupant of the car was possibly in for a longer wait than anticipated and to have the buyers' agent explain to the buyers that they wouldn't be able to enter their new home until the title company announced that the transaction had closed AND funded.

Posted by

Lorrie Semler, e-PRO, GRI, SRES, CPRES, CRS
Addison Resident/Addison Specialist                                                      Subscribe Button
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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Lorrie... shame on the buyers' agent for not explaining how possession works. This kind of confusion led to our contracts explaining the difference between "settlement" date and "closing" date. In NC we are not closed (or paid) until the loan has been funded and deed recorded. In neighborhing, SC, where I also sell... it's totally different... so long as monies are in the settlement attorney's account from buyer and lender, they pass keys (and commission checks) at the closing table. They don't wait to record.

May 19, 2019 06:58 AM #1
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Lorrie,
This is a common misconception.  No possession until funding AND recording is complete!

May 19, 2019 07:09 AM #2
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

We run into this problem a lot in AZ. Just like you our closing is at recording. Many people that come to AZ from other states don’t understand. They signed, so why can’t I take possession?

May 19, 2019 08:34 AM #3
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

In almost all transactions I've been involved with, keys were transferred upon recording.  The buyer agent should have explained to their client when possession would occur.

May 19, 2019 10:44 AM #4
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good afternoon Lorrie. Don't you just hate when that happens. Good agents should accompany their buyer clients to closings. 

May 19, 2019 12:29 PM #5
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing this experience.

Buyers are not always given the advice they need.

May 21, 2019 06:58 AM #6
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