Possession day refers to the day the buyer and seller mutually agree to the transfer of funds, title and keys. This can be a stressful time for both parties based on the fact it may be the largest sale or purchase of their lifetime. There are a few essential preparations to make the transaction flow smoothly.
The buyer must review and double-check all closing statements and calculations. Buyers should also review the exact legal description of the property and any liens, encumbrances or other items that may concern the property.
Prior to possession, an arranged re-inspection of the property should take place. This can avoid any unpleasant surprises on moving day. On or after possession day, the buyer may overlook what promised changes were to be completed. If the seller promised to paint the fence, you have the right to insist that it be done.
Be sure that the interest rates, miscellaneous fees and the condition of the property are all what you agreed to before signing any closing documents. Honest mistakes are known to happen but these mistakes can be costly.
Do not forget about utilities. Depending on the arrangement, the buyer’s lawyers or notary will contact the local water, electricity, and gas companies to have the meters read on possession day. Although, it may be your responsibility, so double check with your real estate agent or lawyer beforehand to avoid any gaps in service for the buyer and also an extra expense for the seller.
Other services into the home are the seller’s responsibility. At least a week before possession date, contact your cable, telephone and Internet provider if you have one. Terminating service on or just before possession day can save you additional charges. Also, keep in mind other adjustments. These are designed to settle any expense incurred (or income earned on rental properties) by either you or the buyer as of possession - which is what most people want. Common expenses that need to be adjusted at closing are municipal property taxes, school taxes, monthly condominium fees, utilities, sales taxes, and fire insurance.
The buyer reimburses any expenses pro-rated (prepaid before possession day) for the period of time you no longer own the property. Expenses that have not yet been paid, but which apply to the time you owned the home, are similarly pro-rated and reimbursed to the seller.
If both parties plan and review all paperwork carefully, with the proper preparation, possession day will be a breeze, and you’ll be enjoying your new home in no time!