We run into a lot of people who just aren't sure what to expect on closing, simply because things are handled differently in different areas and each transaction is unique.
When we write up offers for our Buyers clients, we usually ask for two additional visits, on top of the inspection, at an agreeable time to the Seller. We ordinarily use the first additional visit to take measurements for window treatments or furniture, or to bring a contractor in to get a quote, and the second visit is for the final walk-through.
We also specify in the offer what is included in the deal. A few examples are appliances, window treatments, central vacuum with attachments, garage door opener with remotes, pool equipment and supplies. We also put in a special clause that we call a "screw nail" clause, which states that anything attached is to be included, so the Sellers don't walk away with cabinets, carpeting, light fixtures, bathroom mirrors, etc. Anything that should be included or excluded needs to be specified in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
If you're a Buyer, your Realtor should be in touch with you to book a final walk-through at your new home. It is best to do this a day or two prior to closing, ideally after the Seller has moved his or her items out of the house.
The final walk-through gives the Buyer a chance to ensure all of the chattels included in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale are in good working order and that everything that was to be included in the deal is still there in place. It also gives them a chance to ensure there are no "extra stragglers" (i.e., garbage!) that they didn't bargain for. And, of course, it's good to take a look to ensure that the Seller didn't damage the property when they removed their furniture.
In Canada, a real estate lawyer is retained to search the title for Buyers and ensure there are no liens or encumbrances on the property. The lawyer books a time to get all of the final signatures and go over the statement of adjustments (i.e., who pays what, such as property taxes, condo fees, etc.). It is also the responsibility of the real estate lawyer to address any missing items or damage to the property, and if the Seller doesn't rectify it prior to closing, they are risking the lawyer holding back a portion of the proceeds to address such concerns.
Closings can take place anytime during the day of closing up until the close of business, but, unless you are paying cash, you may as well plan to not close early the day. Keys are not handed over until the deal closes, and be prepared to be patient, as it takes a bit of time for your lender to transfer the funds electronically.
If you have any questions or concerns about anything shared in this Blog or if it brought up anything that you'd like to know more about, please do not hesitate to comment and I'll be happy to respond.