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What is Possession: Close of Escrow

This type of transfer is the norm with most home sales. When the sale is recorded with the local government, and the purchase funds have been received by the seller, ownership of the home is transferred to the buyer.

Alternatively, it is possible for the buyer and seller to agree to transfer ownership before or after the sale closes. For instance, the buyer may request to move into the home before the sale closes in order to start repairing the home. Or the sellers may request some extra time in the home after the sale to complete their move.

Having the possession date fall before or after the close of the home purchase can result in some sticky legal situations for both buyers and sellers. If a buyer moves in early, and the sale does not go through, the seller may be forced to evict. On the other hand, if the seller asks to stay in the home for some time after the purchase completes, the buyer will usually collect rent from the seller, and will need to make sure that the seller moves out in time for the buyer’s move in to the home.