Closing day on a home purchase is pretty exciting. After touring the home one last time and signing a tall stack of documents at the attorney’s office, the home will be all yours…but not quite.
In North Carolina, the term of Closing or Settlement doesn’t refer to the act that occurs at the closing attorney’s office. Closing it referred to as when the deed to the new home is recorded at the courthouse.
This means that it is unlikely that the Seller will give the Buyer the keys to the house at the closing table and the Seller will not receive funds until much later in the day.
This makes scheduling the closing of your home one of the most important parts of the real estate transaction. If the lender does not send the closing instructions until late in the day, the actual closing may not take place until the following day. If there are delays (in which there are always delays), that too may push the recording of the deed out.
We always try to schedule closings between Monday and Thursday of the week and before noon when possible. That way, if a file doesn’t record until Friday, a Buyer isn’t spending an entire weekend in a hotel with their items on a moving truck. When buyers are planning their move, they should not plan the movers to come until the day following the scheduled closing in case there are delays.
If there are no delays, a Buyer and Seller that close before noon will usually receive money and keys later that day after the deed as recorded. This could be a great inconvenience for some but an even greater inconvenience will occur when the moving van is sitting outside the closing attorney’s office.
So just a recap:
- Closing occurs when the Deed is recorded at the court house
- When possible: try to schedule the closing before noon on Monday through Thursday
- Keys and Money are disbursed after the deed is recorded.
- It’s always a good idea to schedule movers for the day after closing – not the day of.
The good news is that it is possible for a Buyer to obtain a very short lease from the Seller that will allow them to occupy the home until the Deed is recorded. A Buyer Possession Before Closing can be negotiated as a temporary solution however it will require agreements by all parties so it’s best to remain friendly through the transaction in case this extra bit of latitude is needed.