The primary focus for many home buyers and sellers is often on what happens before they go under contract.

For buyers, it’s getting pre-approved and finding the perfect home. For sellers, it’s preparing the home for sale, deciding where to go next and setting the right sales price.

These are all very important factors however, what happens from the time of contract to the day of closing is a crucial part of the transaction.  

There are several critical dates that must be closely monitored in order to protect all parties. The day your contract is fully executed is called the effective date and all contract timelines are calculated based on this date.

As a buyer, dates for your escrow deposit, formal loan application, inspections, loan approval and closing are set within the contract. If any of these dates pass without completion of specific actions, you could be in breach of contract and your escrow deposit could be in jeopardy. 

For a seller, it is important that you and your agent also closely monitor all dates to insure buyers are contract compliant. Delays in loan application, loan approval, appraisals, repairs and surveys can delay closing or even cause a contract to fall through. In a case where the contract falls through, you want to be able to get your house back on the market as quickly as possible.

A few other areas that sometimes cause delays in closings to keep in mind are:

For Buyers:

If you are cashing in stocks, bonds, etc. to use toward closing costs and/or down payment, it may take up to 10 business days for the funds to be available.

Closing agents require a wire transfer for your closing funds. Some financial institutions may require you request a wire transfer in person.

For Sellers:

Utilities should be left in your name until the day after closing. You are responsible for having utilities on for the day of closing so the buyers can complete their walk through.

It is best if you think of the day of closing as a closing day, not a moving day. The home should be empty and at least broom swept prior to the day of closing to allow the buyers time to complete their walk through before closing.


Items to be Completed Between Contract to Closing

  • Escrow Deposit Delivered to Escrow Agent
  • Formal Loan Application
  • Home Inspection (may also include wind mitigation, 4 Point, Termite/WDO, mold, well and septic inspections)
  • Inspection Contingency Released 
  • Additional Escrow (if applicable) 
  • Homeowner’s and Flood Insurance Secured 
  • Appraisal 
  • Survey
  • Utilities
  • Final Loan Approval
  • Closing Disclosure Review
  • Secure Final Funds for Closing
  • Finalize Closing Date and Time
  • Final Walk-Through and Closing


If you have any questions about the home buying or selling process, we’d be happy to help. Please feel free to reach out anytime!