Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

When Do I get the Keys to My New Home?

Posted in FAQs,The purchase process by Jeff Dowler on September 2, 2008
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The most exciting thing about buying your new home is having closing, obtaining the keys, and walking through the front door. So when does this happen?

Keep in mind that closing occurs in different ways in different states. In some locales you may sit down with your agent and an attorney, or some other professional, to sign paperwork and then receive your keys right there.

Here in California you normally receive the keys once the escrow company has received all the paperwork, your loan has been funded (i.e., the money is in escrow’s account), and the recording of the deed and other documents has occurred). You might meet your agent at the house, or be able to pick up the keys somewhere else once closing has occurred and you receive a call to that effect. Check with your agent as closing gets close so you know what to expect.

Sometimes folks want to get the keys early so they can start moving in, especially if they have movers bringing things. You will have to obtain permission from the sellers in order to do this, and often they are unwilling to do so becuase of liability issues. But there are exceptions

When making your offer, make sure you specify in the offer when possession is to take place. It could be, say, 5 PM on the date of closing. But sometimes sellers want it to be later so they can move out. You will have to come to an agreement on this.

WARNING!I recommend that you do not make specific plans with movers, arranging for vendors to do work, etc. on the day or closing, adn perhaps not even the day after, unless they can be changed. Sometimes things get delayed, through no fault of your own. If you do get possession when expected you could be in a bind.


If I can provide more information about Carlsbad and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at

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All content copyright © 2007 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits


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