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3 Important Dates in Real Estate

Blog by Claire LeLacheur | February 15th, 2009

There are 3 rather important dates that come into play when you purchase a bit of property. These are called the Completion date, Adjustment date, and Possession date.

The Completion date is, quite simply, the day that the money changes hands. When you sign off on an offer to buy a property, the contract and all the mortgage documents get sent to your lawyers office. Your lawyer draws up the legal documents to transfer to title to your name, and once you sign them, they are sent down to land titles on the Completion date.

If you are a Buyer or a Seller there is nothing for you to do on this date, but wait for a call from your Realtor and your lawyer to tell you that your property has made the trip through land titles all right and everything has registered. The real work is always done before the day, when you must make an appointment to go into the lawyers office to sign the documents. Remember to bring a pen with lots of ink because there are about thirty signitures that are involved!

The Adjustment date is just that. this is the day that all the adjustments are made from the Sellers name into your name. These could be things like strata fees, property taxes, local levies and charges. These are meant to be adjusted at noon on the adjustment date.

The Possession date is the day that you get the keys to the property, at 12:00 noon unless otherwise stipulated by the contract. This is by far the best date of all as you can arrange for your moving truck to meet you there and have the house to yourself for the first time, without the Sellers posssions inside of it - it is completely yours!

The Possession date and the Adjustment date are normally always stipulated as the same on the contract, as the day you take Possession will also be the day that the adjustments will be adjusted into your name. Makes sense.

In some instances there can be a gap of a few days between all of these dates. For instance, Sally Seller has bought a house that has a Completion date of February 10 and a Possession and Adjustment date of Febraury 12. Saly puts her place and the market and Bobby, puts on offer on it.

The complicated part begins here.

Bobby has already sold his house and he needs the funds to Complete on Sally's house. Sally also needs the funds from her house to Complete on her new purchase. What happens is a domino effect of Completion Possession dates that must be adhered to to get everyone their money and into their next house without a gap in dates, which may leave someone on the sidewalk with all of their posssessions. For this reason Bobby's house will complete on February 9 and he will take Possession of Sally's place on February 13, so that Sally has time to pay for her place and 24 hours to move her stuff.

It is a delicate dance of Buyer and Seller and you can imagine the scrambling and excitement if one of those deals does not Complete for some reason!

If for some reason the Buyer decides that they can Complete ealier then there alotted time, the process is again not as easy as it sounds. An addendum to the contract must be signed by both the Buyer and the Seller and sent down to the laywers office who must then draw up the documents for Land transfer faster or at a later date, depending on what the addendum says!


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