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When is it time to GET OUT?

Posted by Sherry Rioux on July 8, 2010

Guest Post by Chris McCormick

Ahhh, the closing time.  The time at which a Seller needs to be out of their property on the completion date (closing day) seems to cause a little confusion with buyers and sellers alike (and some REALTORS® truth be told.)  With the help of 20 years experience and consulting with lawyers on the topic, hopefully we can shed a little light on the subject.

The standard Ontario Real Estate Association Agreement of Purchase and Sale form (offer) states:

This Agreement shall be completed by no later than 6:00 p.m. on the ____ day of ______, 20___.  Upon completion, vacant possession of the property shall be given to the Buyer unless otherwise provided for in this Agreement.

Well-known real estate lawyer and counsel to the Ontario Real Esate Association, Merv Burgard, Q.C., writes on this subject:

The OREA standard form agreements of purchase and sale provide for a closing “not later” than a certain time. The Parties are able to amend that specific time or the closing arrangements if they wish. The next sentence in that clause provides that vacant possession is to be given “upon completion” of the transaction. In most situations that will occur before 5:00 p.m. on the scheduled closing date.

In other words, unless stated elsewhere in the agreement, vacant possession (which means when the seller has to give the vacated property over to the buyer) must be given to the buyer “upon completion”, which is when the deed or transfer is accepted for registration.  Not at 6:00 p.m.   Although this registration at one time had to be performed in person in a land registry or land titles office, nowadays, lawyers for the buyer and seller typically register electronically.   Rarely does this occur after 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon.

The moral of this story:   if you are the seller, as soon as the deal is closed (completed), it’s time to leave! Vamoose. Get out! Vacate! Get moving! Take off, eh?

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