It’s Closing Day and you have the keys to your brand new home. Chances are that you have a lot to get done before you settle in – cleaning, painting, installing, moving – you name it! Even new construction homes need a little bit of prep before you start setting up furniture and filling the kitchen cabinets. So, it’s completely understandable that you are itching to get into your new home, especially if your closing is on a Friday afternoon and you’re limited on time for getting a tradesman into the home. But there is one important thing you need to understand:
Keys do not equal a right of entry.
It doesn’t matter if your insurance company says your home insurance is going into effect that day or that the utilities are being turned over that day. Until the sale records with the county, you are not the official owner and chances are, if the home burned down from something you did, your insurance wouldn’t cover it, because you are not the owner.
While many buyers define the closing by the moment they sit down at the attorney’s table and sign the paperwork, a closing is actually a series of events. Once all of the paperwork (title, mortgage note, mortgage deed, closing disclosure, etc.) is signed, the attorney needs to record the sale at the county, but they can’t do that until they’ve received all of the funds for payment of the house and fees stated on the closing disclosure. If there are any delays on receiving those funds, the sale may not be recorded until the next business day.
Most of the time, there are no issues getting a home recorded and closed on the same day, but it’s important to know that entering the house prior to this happening is trespassing, unless you have written permission from the sellers. If you foresee needing access to the home in the middle of closing day in order to have something delivered, installed, or cleaned, make sure you make arrangements with the sellers in advance. But understand that they don’t need to give you access, as they are still liable and may have their own moving plans.
In conclusion, it's best to wait to enter the home until your Realtor or the attorney calls to tell you the sale has recorded. Until then, try to tie up any loose ends you can without entering the home – scheduling appointments, transferring utilities and services, last minute packing, arranging meals during the busy moving time...
If you’re looking to buy in the greater Wilmington area (New Hanover, Pender, or Brunswick County), we’d be happy to guide you through the process. Just give us a call or send us a message through our contact page.