You’re about to close on your home… When do you get the keys?
DISCLAIMER: Every state has a slightly different closing process. This information is exclusive to Washington State.
Usually, by the day of closing, both the buyer and seller have signed all necessary paperwork and are simply waiting for the transaction process to play out.
During this time, the transaction and loan paperwork is being shuffled back and forth between the lender and escrow, and then gets released to the county for recording (referred to as ‘release to record’).
Since the entire transaction has been sent to the county, it is now just waiting for the “stamp of approval” which will officially close the transaction (referred to as ‘getting recording numbers’ meaning the sale has recorded with the proper authorities).
Once the transaction receives the stamp of approval from the county, the real estate agent(s) are allowed to hand over the keys to the new homeowner.
In Washington State’s real estate world, the business day doesn’t end until 9 PM, but even though the signed contract is set for that end of business day, it is usually okay for the new homeowner(s) to receive the keys right after getting recording numbers.