Keep holiday timelines in mind when home shopping

Home buying typically takes a backseat during the Merry season, but the past few years there’s been a lot of anomaly months, and December is no exception but preparedness seems to take a backseat to readiness and year-end holiday seasons.

Every November we look at the Christmas holiday schedule and remind everyone of the timelines involved.

This year, the big day lands on a Wednesday, meaning the Tuesday and Thursday most companies around town are closed, unless you are in the retail business.

To add to that, since it’s such an oddball week, most people will simply take the Monday and Friday off, and call it a holiday. This especially happens at banks and law offices, as much of their business will be wrapped up by this time.

Here’s the thing, if you are looking to purchase something prior and have possession anytime after Dec. 20th (which is the Friday prior to the big week), I suggest you ensure that both your lender and lawyer are prepared well ahead of time, as there will only be a skeleton crews remaining at both types of professions, and turnaround times at best will be inefficient.

The next thing is, if you are purchasing a home or even doing any type of refinancing, the same will happen with these dates. Both of those professions are typically only available during business days –meaning Monday to Friday – (Albertans seem to think that everyday is a business day, we are kind of old school). Between Dec. 20th and Jan. 2nd there are only four business days, so getting anything done during that period is going to be very difficult and stressful on any of your purchases or refinances.

Banks and lawyers typically need 10 business days from when your conditions are completed to the possession date and even that is a rush for many lenders. So if you are writing a deal in between Dec. 20th and Jan. 2nd just prepare yourself for the process to be slowed down and give yourself and your business partners plenty of time after the holiday season to complete your deal.

When deals are rushed, that’s when mistakes can happen. It’s no different in real estate transactions, after all, we are all just human too and want to enjoy the festive season with family, just as you do.

To stay ahead of the timelines and to prepare our business partners and clients of the eventuality of the season, it’s best to be well informed ahead of time, but as often is the case, the excitement of the offer precludes the dates of the possession.

Jean-Guy Turcotte is a mortgage broker at DLC Regional Mortgage Group.

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