It’s very rare moving dates coordinate perfectly when you are lining up the sale and purchase of a home. The moving date and closing process varies widely across different communities. So, whether you are migrating nationally, internationally, or even just to a different region within BC, these guidelines are very local to metro Vancouver. There are two important dates to keep in mind when lining up a sale and purchase of a home: The completion date is the day the money and title changes over, and the possession date is the day of the move. It’s traditional the completion date will proceed the possession date by a few days or sometimes up to a week. Staggering the dates gives the seller time to move out before giving the keys to the new buyer.
A Typical Buying/Selling Timeline
- Day One: Completion date. Buyer signs paperwork for title transfer at their lawyer’s office.
- Day Two: Seller moves out.
- Day Three: Buyer receives the keys for the home that was completed on Day One.
In the above example the buyer is simply moving in—but what if that buyer also needs to line up a purchase and sale? It might add an extra day to the completion process.
As you might have guessed, many buyers are not thrilled about waiting 2, 3, 4, or 5 days to receive keys for a home they have already signed a title transfer for. There may also be dates on either side that are not flexible, such as a job transfer, leaving either the buyer or seller with more or less overlap than planned.
Some people go the route of buying before selling, or if it comes down to dates not matching up by a couple weeks or a month, this is where bridge financing comes in. In a bridge loan a buyer or seller would hold financing on both their current and future property to make up the difference in dates. Many buyers/sellers prefer a bridge loan to make moving more comfortable and to be able to move into their new space gradually. Completion and possession dates are part of the contract negotiation process, if you need advice on what to realistically expect during negotiations let’s chat!