Completion and Possession Dates in Real Estate

As Realtors working with both Buyers and Sellers, we get asked this question all the time – what is the difference between the Completion and Possession dates in Real Estate? We thought we’d take a minute to explain the main differences between the Completion and Possession dates in Real Estate, by highlighting key aspects of both.

Completion Date

The Completion date in Real Estate is also commonly referred to as the Closing date. The easiest way to explain the Completion date in Real Estate is the date the property is transferred, and the day the money for the Real Estate purchase is transferred from the Buyer to the Seller. The Buyer does NOT move in to their new home on the Completion date (they move in on the Possession date, which we’ll get to). If you are the Buyer, be sure when you are preparing your offer and choosing your Completion date, it does not fall on a Holiday or on a weekend. It must be set for a weekday, between Monday and Friday.

Possession Date

The Possession date in Real Estate is a very exciting day for Buyers – it is the date of the key exchange, and the day the Buyers can rightfully take possession of the property. The Possession and Completion date are not necessarily on the same day. The Possession date is typically at least one day after the Completion date, and can be any time of day, negotiated between the Buyer and the Seller.  However, the Possession date is generally on the same day as the Adjustment date as it only makes sense for the Buyer to begin paying for services related to the property on the same day they take Possession. Wait, what is this Adjustment date!? Don’t forget about the Adjustment date!

Adjustment Date 

With all this talk about Completion and Possession dates, we almost forgot about the Adjustment date, which is wrong because the Adjustment date in Real Estate is a very important day. To put it simply, the Adjustment date is the day the financial adjustments are calculated, or when the liability passes from the Seller to the Buyer. Some examples of these financial adjustments would be property taxes, damage deposits, rents, etc.

Well, there you have it; the main differences between the Completion and Possession dates in Real Estate. We also threw in the Adjustment date explanation as it is also a very important date in a Real Estate contract. If you have any questions about the Completion date and Possession date in Real Estate, or if we have confused you even more (sorry!!), just give us a shout. We’re happy to discuss it further.

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