When do I give buyers the keys?

Asked by Aneta, Murrieta, CA Tue Jan 29, 2013

When do I turn over keys to home buyers? When the property records or when I receive funds in my account? I am only concerned because escrow has been very unreliable.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Lynette Colletta’s answer
Lynette Coll…, Agent, Laguna Niguel, CA
Fri Aug 2, 2013
The buyers should receive the keys from their buyer's agent once the property has funded and recorded at the county, and the agreed upon possession date has occurred. For example, if the seller has three days to remain in possession after close of escrow, then typically, the buyer's will be given the keys at 5:00 PM on the third day after closing. If the property is vacant, typically the buyers will receive their keys the same day the property funds and records. This would most often occur at the end of the day around 5:00 or 6:00 PM.

Terms of possession should be clearly spelled out in the purchase agreement.

Best of luck!
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Tue Jan 29, 2013
Assuming that you have moved out;
You give the keys to your Listing Agent and let him worry about the Keys.
1 vote
Lisa Orenge, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Apr 8, 2015
You give the keys to the buyer the day the property records / closes.
But please refer to your purchase contract. If the date / time has been changed on that, you must go by what it says.
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Tue Mar 19, 2013
In your purchase agreement you should have a clear understanding of when possession will occur.

In most cases it is three days after close of escrow.

Once you record (officially close) you have three days from that date to hand the keys over.

Best of Luck to you!
Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Steve Colvin, Agent, Laguna Niguel, CA
Wed Feb 13, 2013
It depends on the contract page 2 item 5B closing and possession. All time frames start from recording. Escrow and your agent will notify you once deed has recorded. I would not give keys until you have recording confirmation.
0 votes
Aneta, Other Pro, Murrieta, CA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Ihad the buyers realtor say to me they are not going to release funds until i give buyers the keys. This sounds a little backwards to me.
0 votes
Libardo Quin…, , Newport Beach, CA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Escrow has the final say in the transaction, once escrow has completed all delinquencies will ok for you to deliver the key and the buyer to take possession of the subject property.

0 votes
Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Tue Jan 29, 2013
Everyone is stating at recording but I would take into consideration what possession says on the contract. If the seller has 1-3 days possession after close of escrow I would wait until then.
But always wait until recording.
0 votes
Thom Colby, Agent, Irvine, CA
Tue Jan 29, 2013
In addition to what others have said it is also Per Your Purchase Contract under "Possession". It may be upon close of escrow (this is where what the others have said applies) or it could be Close of Escrow Plus "X" Days at X:00 AM/PM.
0 votes
Michael Emer…, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Tue Jan 29, 2013
Both. Let Escrow officially close. Funds dispersed and recorded. So when it's really over, the transaction is complete, happily hand over those keys.
0 votes
Alex Vargas, Agent, Irvine, CA
Tue Jan 29, 2013
Hello Aneta,

Great question!
You can give the keys, remotes and any other items to your agent. Once the loan has funded, then escrow waits for confirmation from Title that's it's been recorded at the County. Once it's confirmed, it's legally the new buyers home.
Best of luck.

Alex Vargas
Weichert Realtors
(714) 269-8775 Mobile


0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Tue Jan 29, 2013
When it records which also means the funds were exchanged. They might wire or mail you a check so it could be a day or days before funds show up your account.
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Tue Jan 29, 2013

In CA, the most conservative time to transfer access to the property via the transfer of keys is once RECORDATION at the County Recorder's Office has been CONFIRMED by ESCROW.

0 votes
Terry McCarl…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Tue Jan 29, 2013
Here if Florida the keys are turned over after the funds have been disbursed (meaning the seller has rec'd the proceeds of the sale).
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Selling in Laguna Niguel Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more