Contrary to what you may have heard, a closing date is not always set in stone. There is usually some wiggle room and even more than that for extreme or extraordinary circumstances.
In fact, it’s not all that uncommon for a closing date to be moved a few days in one direction or the other. But it does, in most cases, require agreement on the part of everyone involved – buyer, seller, lender, agent(s), title company, and so on. Here are a few tips to help you change your real estate closing date in Washington, DC.
Need To Change Your Real Estate Closing Date In Washington, DC? Here’s How To Do It
Most real estate purchase agreements include an array of contingencies and contingency clauses. These are conditions that must be met for the sale – and the closing – to occur. A first step, then, if you need to change your real estate closing date in Washington, DC, is to look into the contingencies in the agreement/contract.
At a minimum, most agreements incorporate contingencies for the buyer depositing a down payment in an escrow account, the buyer getting financing, the lender getting a sufficient appraisal value, and a clean inspection that doesn’t turn up undisclosed defects. There may be much more besides these, but these are the major contingencies that can impact the closing date.
If your reason for changing the closing date is covered under one of the contingencies in the purchase agreement, you should be able to change the closing date. All you need to do is point it out to the parties involved so that they can agree to the change.
Another thing you can do if you need to change your real estate closing date in Washington, DC is to initiate a contract extension. This document explicitly extends the purchase agreement for a new closing date. The party desiring the extension simply fills out the document and then submits it to the other parties for signatory agreement.
A postponed closing without a contract extension can, in some cases, invalidate the contract, with (occasionally) penalties involved. But you can sweeten the deal to increase the likelihood of everyone’s agreeing to the extension. For example, you can spell out exactly what will happen if the new closing date is missed.
Or, if you are the buyer, you can offer an additional nonrefundable deposit, and if the seller, you can demand such a deposit.
One thing to bear in mind – whether you are the buyer or the seller – is that the closing date can become a bargaining chip or a concession in your negotiations. Remember: once the papers are signed and the money changes hands, the closing date no longer really matters.
A buyer who needs to change the closing date could offer, for example, to agree not to demand some minor roof repairs or to pay a little more of the closing costs. On the other hand, if the seller needs to change the date, the buyer could ask for those roof repairs or request the seller to pay more of the closing costs. Really, it’s a win-win for everyone in these instances.
The point here is not to let your emotions get in the way of what you want. An extended or shortened closing date is really not a big deal if it helps you get what you really want – that is, either the sale price in your hand or a new home to live in.
If you really need to, it is possible to change your real estate closing date in Washington, DC. But, many times, there may not be as much leeway as you had hoped.