What time can I get the keys to my new place?
It’s 3:15pm. Why hasn’t the lawyer called yet?
Remember, patience is a virtue.
… as are temperance and kindness.
The fact of the matter is, on closing day, from the lawyer’s perspective, there are so many moving parts which all need to fall into line before transfer of ownership can occur, it is impossible to predict the time at which confirmation will be received that the transaction is complete. Therefore, from the buyer’s perspective it is best to plan for a call between 5:00-5:30pm; this way, you’ll be pleasantly surprised if/when they call earlier in the day.
So, to reiterate the real-world considerations and ramifications of moving day: please do not book anything before 5pm. No movers. No cleaners. No painters. No pizza delivery. No family visits. You get the idea. Save yourself the added stress; just accept that it will close when it will close. Please be patient. And kind.
From the Seller’s perspective
Despite the technicality that you must be out by 6:00pm on day of closing, the real-life practice is that you (‘you’ = you + all of your belongings) need to be out the moment you receive notice that the transaction has closed and that you have received funds. The best advice a seller can receive is that, at the latest, they ought to be fully moved out the morning of closing day.
Again, being organized and moved out well ahead of closing is key to ensure a smooth (and stress-free) day. Please do not leave anything behind or to be moved at the last minute. Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
The best advice
With respect to closing day, recognizing that it will be stressful and uncertain, the most human advice I give my clients is two-fold:
Do not select a closing day, if at all possible, on a Friday (and Fridays preceding a long weekend are absolutely to be avoided). The rationale is that if you are planning a purchase and it is delayed (for whatever reason), you might be homeless for an entire weekend… and hotels are expensive (let alone paying for that moving van to store your stuff for 2-3 extra days).
If at all possible, it is worth paying a premium to avoid both buying and selling on the same day. The reasons for this are two-fold. First, because of point 1, above, you might end up temporarily homeless if one of the two transactions doesn’t close as scheduled and is delayed (for whatever reason); second, even if both transactions do close on time, you have to ask yourself if the rush of moving out-and-in on the same day is even possible – let alone worth it. Far less stressful and more manageable to stagger moving days to allow flex on either end (and to be able to move more gradually).
At the end of the day
Yes, even closing day will come to an end. You’ll be tired. That’s to be expected. There might even be hiccups along the way – brace yourself and please be patient, kind and understanding to everyone involved.
… but once you’re sitting in your new place (On the floor? With a pizza?) it’ll all be worth it. You just have to get there, and you can. Please just be patient.