When is "Closing Time"?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Key Takeaway
Closing must happen before 6:00 p.m. AND vacant possession must be delivered at the time of closing.

So, if the deal closes at 3:00 p.m. and the seller remains in the property - they are in breach.

Let's look at a hypothetical.

It’s closing day for your buyer client. Lawyer calls to tell you the deal's done. The clients show up to their new home - only to find the seller still there.

What time does the seller have to be out of the house by?

Let's go to the APS...

"This Agreement shall be completed by no later than 6:00 p.m..."

But does this mean the seller can stay in the house until 6:00 p.m.?

The consensus, is NO.

The Seller has an obligation to provide vacant possession on closing (unless otherwise agreed), and that also means the removal of seller’s items.

So the deadline for the Seller to be out of the house is the time of closing.

And closing happens somewhat like this:

Buyer delivers documents and funds - Seller releases the deed - Buyer registers new deed - deal is closed.

If the seller has not actually vacated by then, then it's a technical breach.

The 6:00 p.m. deadline is an absolute deadline for closing... not a time the seller has until to get out.

- - -

You'll notice I used the word "consensus" above - and that's because i'm referring to the opinions of some of the most respected real estate lawyers in Ontario.

At this point, it's the best authority we have as there is no legislation or authoritative case law on the issue.

Written by
Zachary Soccio-Marandola
Real Estate Lawyer

Direct: (647) 797-6881
Email: zachary@socciomarandola.com
Website: www.socciomarandola.com

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