If you’re in the process of buying a new home, you can’t access that home until after escrow closes and the keys are handed over to you.

As a homebuyer, how soon can you access your new property once you’re under contract?

Tom Ralston of Lyon Real Estate gets asked this question sometimes by buyers who are in escrow because they want to start making upgrades to their new home. According to him, if you’re still in escrow, you can’t access the property yet because you don’t own it yet. 

Accessing a property before you own it can cause insurance liability issues. If you moved your furniture into the home’s garage prior to getting the keys and a fire broke out, for example, your insurance wouldn’t cover the loss because technically the seller still owned the house while the fire occurred.  

If you’re in the process of buying a home and you plan on making upgrades to it, what Tom and Cindy can do is take you to that home and meet with a vendor so you can take the appropriate measurements and make other preparations for when the keys are handed over to you and you officially own it. 

“Accessing a property before you own it can cause liability problems.”

Typically, we see a confirmation of recording (or confirmation that the buyer is now the new owner) sometime in the afternoon. How long you have to wait after this happens to get the keys to the home depends on your schedule. Tom and Cindy work around their clients’ schedules, but they usually try to get them their keys on the same day while it’s still daylight so they can start moving in. In fact, the exact time of the exchange is written into the contract, and Tom and Cindy’s preferred time is usually 3 p.m. 

If you have any more questions for Tom or Cindy, you can find their contact information listed in the video above. As always, if you have any other questions for us, don’t hesitate to call or email us anytime. We’d be happy to help you.