The Benefits of Flexible Closing Dates
Welcome back to our ongoing series on crafting an enticing offer for your home! Through these articles, it is our hope that you will gain some useful ideas to help you make your home offer as enticing as possible, something that becomes extremely important when you discover your dream home and don’t want it to slip away into someone else’s waiting hands.
In our previous articles, we’ve discussed cover letters and inspection contingencies, two elements of an offer that can make you stand out just a bit beyond the others. We will continue in this vein today by discussing closing dates.
As you probably know, the closing date is the date that the money being paid for the house actually changes hands. While you might place an offer on, say, the 1st of June, it might not have a closing date until 30 days later. There is usually a somewhat elongated period of time between an accepted offer and a closing due to the number of things that must take place to finish the sale (inspections, conversations with lending houses, underwriting, etc.), but there are often statements made by the seller in their listing that indicate just how slowly or quickly they want the actual closing to occur and in whether or not this corresponds to the move in date. Often, the closing date corresponds to the date that the keys are handed from one party to another, but as we shall see this is not always the case.
You might, for instance, encounter someone selling a home who is also buying a home and needs the funds from the one in order to complete the other. In a case such as this, they might be looking for a closing date that differs from the move-in date by a period of weeks or even a month. Or, you might find yourself in love with a home where the seller needs things to progress more slowly and isn’t looking to close for two or even three months after the offer is accepted.
Now, if you yourself do not have flexibility around this option then don’t force it. If, on the other hand, the date when the closing takes place truly doesn’t matter to you, consider adding this to your offer. Telling a seller that you can close whenever they want, be it soon or late, provides them with the information that you are looking to work with them in whatever way they need in order to make the transfer of ownership as smooth as possible. Depending on the circumstances in which the seller finds themselves, it might be the case that greater flexibility matters more than a few thousand dollars difference between your offer and the next.
If you want to show the seller that your offer is low maintenance and won’t add to their stress load, a flexible closing date is definitely something to consider.