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Should I give notice at work before closing on the house I'm selling? I'll be signing the closing contract in two weeks. I was thinking of giving notice now at work, but I know the buyer can back out right until they sign (all inspections passed and buyer loves the house). I do not yet have a new job on the other coast. So, just wondering if I should I wait until the day of signing to give notice at work. I will be driving right after I finish signing. I could work while on the road (I am not actually doing the driving) and even after I reach my new destination (as I do not have a job yet there). My manager is nice but lately was too quick to judge after a coworker wrongly accused me. What would you do?

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    Just to clarify, if the house deal falls through before closing, you will not be moving and want to keep your job. So quitting your job is contingent on the house actually selling. Is that correct?
    – Seth R
    Aug 6 at 15:16
  • Yes that is correct. I'll have to stay in the house and find another buyer. I know how stupid that looks - giving notice before signing - but I was hoping my boss would understand that (I would tell them today I have not yet signed) and that she would let me keep the job for longer. The buyer loves the house (wrote a letter to me stating that in glowing terms). I've met them and they seem honest good people. I have no reason to think they'll back out, but you never know (a bit paranoid, I know).
    – Gina
    Aug 6 at 15:18
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    @Gina - If you tell your boss you are leaving you should be prepared that, the boss will take steps to replace you, and you might be asked to leave that day. Depending on the job it's not unusual to be escorted out and just get paid those two weeks. You should assume, you will no longer be employed in two weeks, once you indicate you are leaving. If you are obligated to work two weeks, then you will have to plan for the possibility, of the buyer backing out of the purchase. It's probably to late, to put a clause in the contract, to cover that possability.
    – Donald
    Aug 6 at 15:34
  • @Donald - by contract which one do you mean, and what clause? Just to clarify
    – Gina
    Aug 6 at 15:49
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    @Gina - How long of a notice are you required to provide? Are you allowed to come in on Friday and quit the same day or are you required to work a period of time? What is required by the company, likewise, they would typically give you the same notice period if they decided to let you go. If you work in a "at will state", and don't care about the blow back, just quit the same day.
    – Donald
    Aug 6 at 15:52
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It depends on two factors:

  1. What will you do if the closing contract isn't signed as you expect?
  2. How confident are you that you can fulfil your job while "on the road"? Or alternatively how comfortable are you with delaying your drive to the other coast two weeks if necessary?

If you would still quit your job and drive away in two weeks, even if the contract isn't signed, then go ahead and give notice now. If not it's probably best to wait until you are definitely leaving.

Be aware that your employer may not be OK with you working from the road for the last two weeks. There may be handover operations that need to be done in person. You may have equipment that you need to return. They can require you to be at the office in person unless you have a contract that specifically says you don't need to be there.

In general it's a bad idea to give notice and then immediately be unavailable in person. Your colleagues may want to say goodbye in person. (Of course in times of Covid this may not be possible, but I'm writing this for future readers in the post-Covid era.)

If you decide to give your notice on the day of the contract, I would recommend having a backup plan should your work require personal attendance for your notice period.

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  • Thanks. I figured since we've been WFH due to pandemic regulations, everything with HR may be done online meaning there's no need for any in-person interaction at all. But, I see your point.
    – Gina
    Aug 6 at 16:05
  • All of this. Summary: act in your best interests, not theirs. You don't have to be selfish; give them what you can, but do not expose yourself to loss.
    – Justin
    Aug 8 at 16:49

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