YAY! You’re finally getting your keys! Logistically though, what does the day look like? And what happens on possession day? Isn’t everything wrapped up now?
Let’s back up a few days for a moment. Remember when, about a week prior to possession, you met with your lawyer and signed a bunch more paperwork? Well the lawyer takes all of that and gets prepared for possession day between that appointment and the day actually arriving. They request funds from the bank (your mortgage money), they line up paperwork to move land titles, and they make sure all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted. And then everything SHOULD be ready for the day.
The morning of possession day, your lawyer will wait for money to come in from your mortgage provider. Once that happens, they send that money combined with your down payment money (equalling the purchase price of the house) to the seller’s lawyer.
They’ll also be working on getting land title changes finalized and such, but the thing that we are typically waiting on is the money moving from the bank to your lawyer to the seller lawyer. Once the seller’s lawyer gets the mortgage money, they call the seller’s Realtor® and let them know they can “release keys” (give us keys and allow access to the house since it is now yours).
From there we need to pick up the keys and arrange to meet you at the house. At that point we do a walkthrough to ensure everything is as it should be. And then you celebrate!
A Typical Timeline
9 a.m. – noon Lawyers work on transferring all the money
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Key release is granted
3 – 7 p.m. We meet you at the house for walkthrough and celebration
When things go sideways…
Most of the time, things go smoothly and follow at typical timeline. But sometimes things come up that cause challenges and delays. Some of the most common are:
- Delays getting the mortgage funds from the bank to your lawyer. This can be due to bank slowness, some missing piece of information that the bank wants, etc.
- Delays getting the money from your lawyer to the seller’s lawyer. Some lawyers still want a money order hand delivered, which means a courier is involved and that can tie things up longer.
- Last minute negotiations around documentation that the seller is required to provide but hasn’t (eg. Real Property Report with Compliance – this is a common one).
These rare, but unfortunate circumstances are the reason we prefer Thursdays over Fridays for possession if you’re looking for a day near the end of the week. Then if there is some delay that carries over through to the next business day, you aren’t losing an entire weekend in the home.
Top 2 Tips for Possession Day
- Don’t book movers or utility hookups or cleaners or anybody until the day following possession.
- You’re welcome to book the day off, but know you likely won’t get access until sometime after lunch.
Congratulations! You bought a home that you will love! We are so thrilled for you!