There are several important dates in a real estate transaction:
1) The date the buyer removes their investigative contingency. This is the date that the buyer and seller have successfully completed any negotiations regarding the condition of the property.
2) The date the buyer receives loan approval.
3) The date escrow closes.
4) The date buyer gets possession.
The residential purchase agreement (RPA) and any counter offers outline when escrow is scheduled to close and when the buyer gets the keys to their new home. Realtor jargon would be COE plus 3, meaning that the buyer is given the keys 3 days after closing.
It isn’t just the selling price that is negotiated; often the closing and possession dates are negotiated as well.