Can I Move in as soon as I Close on a House?

by | Jan 15, 2022 | Buying a Home in New York, Real Estate Closing

In a previous article, I spoke about the time it takes to close on a home in New York and gave a general idea of the steps a home buyer goes through from the time their offer is accepted to closing.

I also spoke about the importance of having a knowledgeable real estate attorney to help you through the process, and to protect your best interests.

In this article, I am going to answer another question: can you move in as soon as you close on a house?

If you’re buying a home in New York, the closing is a very exciting moment. Naturally, you’d like to be able to move in immediately. Here’s what to expect:

The closing itself is the legal process of signing the documents to buy a new home. All home closings in New York require a real estate attorney.

As a quick overview, the real estate transaction starts once you’ve made an offer on a home that the seller has accepted. From there, you will have a chance to conduct an inspection on the home, negotiate the contract, conduct title due diligence, attain financing, and conduct the final walk-through. The closing is the final step before you own the home.

But does that mean you can move in right away?

If you had all your furniture and belongings sitting in storage or a moving truck, could you move it into your new home directly after the closing is finished?

Here’s the best way to know, check with your real estate attorney.

The possession date will be part of your contract and agreement when you close on a home.

In general, yes you will be able to move into your new home directly after the closing. The closing is where the title legally and officially transfers to your name, and you get the keys!

However, you and the seller will decide to negotiate a post-possession clause during contract negotiations. A post-possession clause typically allows the seller to stay in the property between five (5) to seven (7) days after the actual closing. Upon the expiration of the post-possession date, then you are given the keys and possession of the property. This clause is a negotiable item in the contract of sale between the parties.

I’ll give you an example. Not too long ago I represented a buyer who purchased a home from someone who was relocating to another state. However, the seller required five (five) days to relocate as he needed to complete his out-of-state purchase as the seller was using the funds from the sale to complete the out-of-state purchase. The negotiated post-possession clause allowed the seller to stay in the premises for seven (7) days after the closing and upon the expiration of the seven (7) days, my client was given possession.

In most cases, you will be able to move in after the close. However, it’s important to know to understand the terms of the contract’s post-possession clause, it could be different than the closing date. Knowing this will save you a headache.

If miscommunication leads to a dispute between you and the seller, where you both believe you have a right to live in the home, then your real estate attorney will help you smoothly resolve the issue with minimal complications.

speak to a new york real estate attorney

Annie Justice Piccinnini Law Senior Editor

Annie Justice
Senior Editor
Piccinnini Law
                                    (516) 500-2110