Moving Blog
June 21, 2019

How to Handle the Move When Your Home Possession Date changes

Packing and MovingBy Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Buying a new house with the proceeds from your previous house is very common. Most homeowners go through this procedure to move and it is incredibly time-sensitive. Every step in the house-to-house exchange is part of a delicate dance. One that involves moving several hundred pounds of personal items and exchanging many thousands of dollars all in the stretch of a few days. Not to mention that you are likely also moving many hundreds of miles from one home to the next.

The steps go something like this:

  • Pack and Prepare to Move
  • Close the Sale
  • Move Out
  • Close the Purchase
  • Travel with Your Stuff Across the State/Country/World
  • Move into New Home

If all goes according to your long-distance move plan, you'll be hanging your clothes in the new house shortly. But what happens when the closing and possession dates change at the last minute? What would you do if your home sale was delayed, or if the purchase of the next house was delayed for reasons outside your control? The right answer is to plan, just in case. Here are your best options if you find your move delayed on one end or the other.

Get Your Delay Ducks in a Row

When your schedule is this tight and contingent on closing real estate deals, every aspect of the plan is connected. Any delay in your arrival will delay when you can receive the moving truck. Delays in departure result in delays in arrival. And everything is contingent on signing the papers. So, if your home sale or purchase get delayed at either end, you'll need to get all your moving ducks in a row, pronto.

You may need:

  • Temporary Lodgings
  • Temporary Storage for the stuff in the truck
  • New Schedule for the Moving Company

You Are Delayed on Closing the Sale

To close the sale on your current home, you will likely need to be physically present to oversee the exchange and sign the final paperwork. So, what happens if the closing date is delayed when you're already scheduled to leave soon?

What you should do will depend on how big a delay you expect. One- or two-days delay, you can grab a hotel room and send your stuff on ahead as planned. But a week or more delay will mean that you'll need to make significantly different plans. Delay the professional movers and keep your stuff stored (for free) in the house until your buyers are ready to close.

Then decide whether you want to stay in the packed-up house or book yourself a temporary room. Long-stay suites can be used to book by the night, week, or month which can be a lifesaver when you're between homes awaiting paperwork.

For longer delays, it may be worth unpacking a few things to save money and staying put until the complications are sorted out.

You Are Delayed on Closing the Purchase

Things get even more complicated when the delay is on the other end. You may have buyers ready to go or even have closed and are on the road before you get notice that your home purchase is being delayed. This happens from time to time, and you can weather it no matter how much of a wrench it throws in your smoothly orchestrated moving plan.

Again, your first concern is how big the delay is. But even a one- or two-day delay can really matter.

First, get yourself somewhere to stay. Many moving households will already be prepared to book a night or two in a hotel just in case. But when there are delays in the possession date, you'll need somewhere to stay and wait it out. Hotels are great for small delays. For longer delays, investigate long-stay suites and vacation rentals that give discounts for booking a week/month.

As for your stuff, that also depends a great deal on timing. Moving trucks often arrive after the homeowners do, as they move slowly on truck routes going truck speeds. With luck, the delay won't impact your move at all. If the moving truck is scheduled to arrive a couple of days after you do, you'll be good to go. However, once the truck arrives it will need to drop the stuff off somewhere.

At this point, you will need temporary personal storage. Your moving company may be equipped to help you with storage space at your destination or you can find your favorite local storage spot on your own. Either way, your things may need to be stowed temporarily until the delay is resolved.


Moving is stressful, and unexpected delays add to the chaos. The most important thing to remember is to take care of yourself and others in your household. From there, it's all about coordinating with your movers and resolving the delay. Here at A-1 Freeman Moving Group, we're proud to help guests deal with unanticipated delays by offering storage solutions to make your move as smooth as possible.


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The Mickelson Family
The Mickelson Family
Best. Move. Ever!
Very pleased with the overall respect and care the men gave to my possessions. Even mailing me very quickly the only thing lost in transit. Would recommend to anyone needing a long distant move.

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