Purchase Agreement S. 2 - Completion Day
In this post we provide some practical guidance regarding choosing a convenient “Completion Day”/“Closing Day” for your real estate transaction. We have seen most of these issues coming up every now and then and they could create much inconvenience at the time of closing:
a. “…vacant possession given to the buyer at noon 12…” It is very important to keep in mind that the possession shall be granted at noon and not “end of the day”. We have had sellers who were not ready to grant possession at noon as they thought they had until the end of day to vacate the property.
b. Selecting the Completion Day. Please ensure that your closing day/completion day is NOT one of the following:
A. Weekend or holidays: in such a case, the closing will be at the seller’s discretion. Seller can choose to close either on the Friday before the weekend (or the day before the holiday) or the Monday after (or the day after the holiday). Changing the closing day “could” cause issues with the buyer’s lender also and cause the lender to send revised-instructions to the lawyer. Which in turn may lead into delays and additional legal fees.
B. Stampede Parade day in Calgary: Calgary Police attends to the Stampede Parade on the first Friday of the Stampede and as a result, the banks in Calgary are closed in that morning (until noon). Due to this closure, if a lawyer needs to receive financing through the branch on that day, there is an automatic delay in closing. Furthermore, most law firms in downtown Calgary and en route of the parade are closed in the morning. Any delay in funding, could lead into buyer’s having to pay 3 days’ worth of interest.
c. We do recommend you to avoid having your closing day as one of the following days as much as possible:
A. Fridays: buyers usually like to have the closing day on Friday so they could finish their move-in and settle in by the end of the weekend. This creates two issues:
i. Fridays are usually very busy for the lenders and most delays we see with closings due to the large volume of transactions is on Fridays; and,
ii. If there’s any delay on funding, the buyer would have to pay 3-days of interest to the seller because of the weekend. We recommend closing on any other day of the week. Thursdays seem to be the best compromise.
B. Same day for your buy and sell if you’re changing your principal residence: for the obvious reason of convenience, people like to have their sale and purchase closing on the same day. This way, they would be able to clean-up and move out of their home and take possession of their new on the same day. Unfortunately, there could be major issues happening in practice. If their buyer cannot pay the closing funds, it would have a chain effect on their own purchase (as full funds would not be available). Or, if the seller is not able and ready to close the deal (even though the seller would be in default), the clients will have to honour their own sale and have to vacate the property but with no place to move into. Thankfully, these scenarios are not too common but are not unheard of either. We recommend having the purchase close about a week or so before the sale using bridge-financing. This would eliminate last-minute complications for the most part.
C. Last day of the month (particularly June and August): due to the sheer volume of transactions at the end of the month, the risk of delays with funding or closing are rather high. For this simple reason, we recommend choosing a closing day that is close to the month-end but not the month-end itself.
Please note that none of the above-mentioned guidelines are hard rules. These are rather suggestions to make your closing as stress-free as possible.