Real Estate Law
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When is possession of a house legal after a closing
As soon as the buyer and seller sign all the closing documents and the seller signs the deed over to the buyer, the buyer is then the new legal owner and is entitled to legal possession unless some other agreement has been made where possession is delayed.
The buyer becomes the owner instantly as soon as the deed is signed by both parties to transfer ownership. It doesn't have to be recorded in order for the transfer to be completed.
Yes, this is a uniform real estate law across the entire US. People record deeds to put the world on notice that a transfer has taken place and to update the formal public records. But recording doesn't make a deed "more legal" as it transfers ownership as soon as it is signed and delivered to the buyer.
As an aside, I used to be a closing attorney for 4 different lenders and have done probably several thousand closings..
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Seller is simply ignorant about the law in this situation and when the actual transfer of ownership takes place. Sometimes in a parent to child transfer, the child won't record the deed for years but they are the legal owner as of the date the deed was signed.
And I have no idea what the seller would be suing for? They have received the proceeds from the closing, presumably, so they have their money and have nothing to sue over.
So yes, if you are the buyer, you can move in any time you want after the seller signs the deed over.