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What is the Normal Time to Move After Closing on a House?

Friday, February 08, 2019   /   by Dixie Simon

What is the Normal Time to Move After Closing on a House?

How long you have to move after closing on the sale of your house depends on the terms you negotiate with the buyer. While possession usually passes to a home's new owners at closing or when the buyers' mortgage lender disburses the funds, your real estate agent may be able to negotiate additional time for your move.

Contract Terms

Although closing and funding generally occur simultaneoulsly, in some cases, you can technically close on the sale of your house one day yet funding won't occur until a few days later. Fortunately, when you sell your house, the price isn't the only thing that's negotiable. You can negotiate your move-out date, but the time to do it is during the negotiation process before you sign the contract. Whatever the terms you or your real estate agent agree upon with the buyers or buyers' agent must be included in the written purchase and sale agreement.  

Moving Date

Buyers often include a date when they want to occupy the property in the purchase and sale contract. If the contract states that possession of the property passes to the buyer at closing and funding, you need to be moved out and have the house ready for the new owners before you go to closing unless your contract stipulates otherwise. You can save yourself a big headache if you make sure you have somewhere to go before you close on the sale of your house. In the event that something happens and your new residence won't be ready at closing, the buyer MAY give you additional time to move out. 


Buyers often agree to give the sellers a week to 10 days after closing to vacate the property completely. When that isn't possible, both parties might compromise, and either one or the other uses a garage or storage building located on the property to store household items for a few days after closing. If you're apprehensive about moving out of your home before the deal is completed, ask for extra time after closing to vacate. The buyer may be willing to grant your request when you are negotiationg the purchase and sale agreement.

Lease Back

Sometimes buyers and sellers negotiate a spearate agreement detailing when the home must be vacated. If you ask to remain in the home after closing, the buyer can lease the home back to you allowing you to stay there for a period of time. Have the real estate agent representing you include the details of the arrangement in the purchase and sale agreement to prevent any misunderstanding about your moving date. Specify the number of days you intend to stay, as well as the amount of daily rent you will pay the new owners. 

To reiterate, how long you have to move after closing can be negotiated but it must be agreed upon ahead of time and part of the contract.

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Haven Real Estate Group
Cambria Henry
304 W Pacific Ave; Suite 360
Spokane, WA 99201

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