Edmonton Houses & Homes

DIRECT: 780-237-7074  |  EMAIL US

What Happens If you Can Not Get Into Your Home on Closing?

The majority of closings happen on time or within a few days if issues need to be addressed. If closing is not completed, and buyers can be left homeless. This is a terrifying thought, however, it does happen. Below are five reasons which can lead to a delayed or cancelled possession date. 


Reason One: Unrealistic Closing Date

Don't expect to write an offer and be in your home the next day. It takes time for lawyers in Alberta to clear and transfer the title to you.

The actual registration process can take a day or two or a few weeks depending on how busy the Land Title Office is and the transfer of land process takes about 3-7 days. An experienced real estate agent will know whether the contract dates are realistic or not.

Reason Two: Real Estate Appraisal Issues

When buying or selling real estate you need to understand that a large piece to a successful home sale is the bank appraisal. A bank appraisal is part of a real estate transaction anytime a buyer is obtaining a mortgage. It is normally completed prior to a buyer removing the finance condition. If the property does not appraise out, the bank will not forward the mortgage. 

Reason Three: Title Problems

Your Realtor should be doing their due diligence by pulling the title prior to you writing the offer. However, between the time you have satisfied and removed conditions, it has been known to have items placed on the title. These items can include a second or third mortgage, a lien from a collection agency or a lis pendens. (lis pendens is the Latin term for a Notice of Pendency of Action. It means that a lawsuit is pending against the title of a property. The lis pendens is a public notice letting buyers know there is a dispute over the ownership of the property and is commonly used in divorce situations).

Reason Three: Real Property Reports

Another task that a real estate attorney will perform is a review of an instrument survey or real property report (RPR). An RPR can be defined simply as a drawing of the land a home is situated on. Real estate closings can be delayed in the event there is a discrepancy in line encroachments such as a neighbours fence or there is an addition added to the property such as a deck or storage shed without compliance. 


Reason Four: Your Bank Did a Second Check

When a buyer receives their mortgage commitment, it means the funds have been approved and the closing can occur, right? In most cases it does mean the funds have been approved, however, there are times when a lender will require additional documents at the last minute or a buyer has made a large purchase and their debt ratio qualifying has changed.

Reason Five: Terms of Sale

There are many reasons why home buyers have home inspections to ensure the property they are purchasing doesn’t have any major deficiencies that can cost a large amount of money in the future. After a home inspection is completed, the buyer can request repairs be completed at the seller cost. If a seller agrees to make repairs, it’s important that these repairs are done prior to the buyer moving into the new home. These terms can range from replacement of shingles to picking up dog faeces.

There are steps you can take to minimize this risk before removing your conditions

In the province of Alberta, the real estate contracts which Realtors use have several safeguard clauses for both the buyer and the seller. In lament terms  - If a delay is caused due to the fault of a seller, the seller is responsible for compensating the buyer. This can include all costs accrued until the property has been transferred. Some of these costs can include, interest rates, storage, hotel rooms and meals. The real estate contracts also work in favour of the seller and if for any reason, the buyer has delayed the closing, the buyer will be liable for compensating the seller.


  • Ask for a copy of the real property report. The seller should have this in their possession within 10 days of putting the property on the market.
  • Have your financial institution send you documentation that all financing requirements have been met
  • Don't make any big purchases
  • Ensure you have the dower signed if needed. This is a standard document Edmonton RE/MAX Agents use often.
  • Complete a walk through prior to possession when required

If you have questions about buying a home in Edmonton or the surrounding area, we are here to help. Contact us today!

Copyright 2021 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All Rights Reserved.
Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.