How Long After Closing on a House Can You Move In?

Buying A Home

How Long After Closing on a House Can You Move In?

February 9, 2022

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“How long after closing on a house can you move in?”

When you put an offer on a property, the real estate agent requests two different dates: the closing date and the occupancy date, which is the date the buyer can move into their new home. The buyer is typically allowed to move into their newly bought home directly after closing.

However, the previous owner may need to delay the occupancy date if they still need time to move into a new house or a temporary residence.


The Occupancy Date in a Purchase Agreement

When deciding on your occupancy date, negotiation is essential. As a general principle, you should give the seller 7 to 10 days well after the closing date to leave the house. If the seller needs to spend longer than 10 days in the house, they might need to compromise by getting a temporary place to stay while the real estate transaction is completed.

Once you’ve established the occupancy date, it is rarely changed. Both the home buyer and seller approve of the occupancy date and neither you nor the seller should expect to be able to alter the date at closing.

If the seller wants to stay in the house after closing, it’s called a lease back. Whenever this happens, the sellers or previous owners agree to pay the new owner rent for the duration they stay in the house. From closing forward, you, as the current owner, would be wholly accountable for the house’s financing, and that is why the previous owner would make payments to you as rent.


Photo by Sieuwert Otterloo on Unsplash

What To Do After Closing on a House

Unfortunately, the hard work is not over after you move into your dream home. There are still many responsibilities that come with homeownership, especially after closing. Here are a few tips on what to do after closing on a house to make the transition smooth.

Consider Getting New Locks

Depending on the circumstance and the specific house you bought, there can be a lot of people in and out of the house during the selling process or during the previous owner’s reign. Changing the locks could cost a few hundred dollars, but it may be worth it if it gives you security and a sense of peace. Also, make sure to change the passcodes to any digital security systems.

Put Closing Documents In A Secure Location

Make a copy of any important documents and paperwork associated with your house purchase, especially closing papers. That paperwork will come in handy for taxes or any other important events like if you one day you decide to sell. You’ll want to keep the paperwork in a secure location like a safe deposit box where you can readily access them as well.

Notifying Institutions About Your New Address

Make sure to notify important institutions and people in your life about your new address. The sooner you notify everyone, the sooner mail will be redirected to your new location. The last thing you want is for important mail to go to your last address. Also, the laws can vary by state but most make it legally required to update your driver’s license with a new house in 30 to 60 days.

Make a strategy for home upkeep, potential upgrades, and emergencies

It may be a good idea to create a maintenance and repair schedule to keep track of what has been repaired, what needs to be repaired, and what will need repaired or upgraded soon. Make sure to also use a property inspection report to construct a reasonable home maintenance strategy. Your personal finance will also play a role in having an emergency fund to handle any potential issues with the house.

Now, in case of a crisis, keeping a hard copy of the regional emergency numbers is not a bad idea either.


Before The Closing Date Make Sure To…

Before you take full ownership of a house, you have the opportunity to get it inspected and ensure that everything is in working order. It’s known as the pre-settlement home inspection, and it normally happens the week before the deadline date.

Preferably, the house should be in the same or better state than when you first started the purchase contract. During the home inspection make sure to keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure that since the agreement was signed, there’s been no damage to the real estate property.
  • Make sure that the electric equipment, lighting fixtures, and other systems are all operational.
  • All chattels, garbage, and construction items have been removed.
  • The residence is reasonably clean.
  • If there is a garden, make sure that no plant has been uprooted.

Apart from the inspection, you’ll need to do certain administrative and legal chores. Your real estate lawyer should send you a settlement adjustment report before closing. The report will contain pre-settlement modifications which includes stamp duty, certain stamp duty discounts, council tax, utilities, etc.

The seller is responsible for any expenses the property has until the closing process is finalized. A pre-settlement inspection could bring up potential issues that the seller would be responsible for fixing before handing the ownership to the buyer. However, these expenses would reduce the home’s purchase price at closing.


Summing it up

The closing date is one of the most important part of the home buying process. Closing is also where a lot of real estate deals fall through. This is why having a real estate agent by your side is key. A real estate agent can help the closing process go smoothly while getting buyers the best deal possible.

Negotiators consist of some of the best real estate agents in the country who use their wealth of experience to help their clients throughout the entire home buying process. Learn more about Negotiators here.

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