When you come to the close of a well-managed residential real estate sale, there is typically only one concern left: receiving your money. However, like many other issues with these types of transactions, the exact timeline for this payment will probably depend on the details of your case.

As explained in the North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s question-and-answer pamphlet on real estate closings, you may be able to receive funds for your sale on the same day. However, that is not always the case.

There are various factors that could delay payment. They include, most notably:

  • Your lawyer might not have enough time left in the same day to do everything
  • The buyer’s lender may not be able to wire funds to you on the same day

You should probably not be worried about these types of delays. In fact, they are so common that a closing without immediate payment has a slang term associated with it: a dry closing. However, it could help to discuss this possibility with your attorney ahead of time. You may also want to schedule your closing as early in the day as possible to maximize the probability of same-day payment.

If this is your first home sale, you may have already experienced this issue from the buyer’s side of the transaction. If that is the case, you could remember the seller retaining possession of your home until the transfer of funds completed.

As you know, home sales are group efforts, often involving financial institutions, legal offices and private individuals. All of that work culminates in the closing, which requires significant paperwork filing and financial transactions. Often, one of the best things you can do is mentally prepare yourself for this final step. When you know ahead of time how much delay might be involved, the waiting is often a little easier to bear.