What Does Possession Day Look Like?

Posted by Jerad Cox on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 5:10pm.

Possession Day

Prime Edmonton Real Estate - Possession Day is my favorite day as a Realtor; I love handing over the keys to my buyers' dream home. For you it is an awesome feeling to know that all of your hard work and saving and research has finally come to fruition and that you can start to live the life you want. It feels awesome! But what does possession day look like if you are the buyer? It is important to first know what happens before you can take the keys to your new home.

On possession day your team of professionals are putting things together behind the scenes to get you your keys.  They are working hard for you, and there are a lot of final details that are getting ironed out. This is what possession day looks like:

  • Early to mid morning your lawyer (the buyer's lawyer) will receive the funds and instructions from your financial institution. They will then turn around and courier these funds over to the sellers lawyers office. This can take a few hours sometimes, depending on the distance between the lawyers office and how busy the couriers are. I have heard of funds being sent over as early as 9AM or as late as 1130AM or even later.
  • Once the sellers lawyer receives the money and instructions, they will review them one last time to make sure that there are no errors that will negatively affect their client. You have to remember, if the numbers are off at this stage then there is no going back! They will then contact the Seller's Realtor and inform them that the keys to the home are releasable.
  • From there the Seller's Realtor will contact the Buyer's Realtor with this information as well as instructions as to how to pick up keys. Sometimes, if the Buyer's Realtor and Seller's Realtor agree, the keys are given over to the Buyer's Realtor in trust. What that means is in order to be better organized for their client as well as other clients on possession day, that the Buyer's Realtor will go a day or two early to pick up the keys to the home. However, they are not permitted to release the keys until given explicit instructions to do so from the Seller's Realtor.
  • The Buyer's Realtor then goes to pick up the keys, informs the buyers and arranges to hand the keys over to them. Then the fun begins!

On the purchase contract it does state that possession shall be given over at 12 noon on possession day. However, in reality the official possession takes places once the steps above have been completed. It is rare that I receive a phone call exactly at 12 noon; it usually ranges anywhere from 945AM to 330PM, depending on the circumstances of the deal. Sometimes the mortgage company will make a last minute request for information before releasing the funds that holds things up, or there is another kink in this chain of command that needs to be worked out to complete the deal. In a rare case, the key release cannot happen until the next business day. This can make this much more complicated, especially if possession day is on a Friday! This is why I make sure to have possession days on Thursdays rather than Fridays. Just a little trick I learned from years experience in the business!

Usually home buyers are raring to go by the time the call come from their Realtor. They are packed up and ready to move. It is not uncommon for a buyer to meet their Realtor at their office or at their new home, depending on each other's schedules. I also want to mention that all of the Seller's Realtor's advertising (signs, keysafes, etc.) should be removed before possession day. The Sold sign is not permitted to be on your property once you are rightful owners. Once the owners enter their new home the 1st things they should do is establish that the home is 'substantially the same as when the home was sold" as per the purchase contract. If there are any issues in this regard, then both the buyer's and seller's Realtor should be notified immediately in order to solve any issues. The best practice is for the Buyers Realtor and the Buyer(s) to do a quick walk through at the home on possession day to make sure that there haven't been any substantial changes.

The last thing I wanted to mention is that, for me anyways, the possession day is not the end of my relationship with my buyers. Although the job is completed there still may be questions a buyer may have that I would be glad to answer. Anything that I can do to help on possession day and beyond is no problem - except helping moving!

1 Response to "What Does Possession Day Look Like?"

The Ultimate Edmonton Home Buyers Guide wrote: [...]Creating a list in order of time and importance will help you from missing any vital steps.
What does possession day look like? - The day has arrived and you wake up ready to start your move. But a series of things need to take[...]

Posted on Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 5:19pm.

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