When you buy or sell property, one of the documents prepared by the solicitors is the Statement of Adjustments. This shows the calculations for any expenses above and beyond the purchase price itself that become factored into the final amount of money that will be transferred from the buyer to the seller to complete the purchase.
Property tax is the most common item found on the statement of adjustments. Property taxes are usually due on the first business day in July, but cover the calendar year, so depending on when the sale completes the property taxes may have been paid already by the seller (if the sale happens close to or after July), or they may be due in the future and will be paid by the buyer (if the sale happens before or in early June). The solicitors will ‘adjust’ based on the exact date of the sale for how much the seller or the buyer owes to the other party for the number of days that have already passed in the year and who will ultimately pay the property taxes. This will result in the buyer either paying more to complete the purchase (if the seller has already paid the property taxes and the buyer is reimbursing for some of that cost) or receive a credit and pay less than the purchase price (if the seller has not yet paid the taxes and the buyer will have to pay them).
Other common ‘adjustments’ include things like remaining fuel supply in a storage tank (for properties that have oil or propane furnaces), or credit for pre-paid equipment rentals (e.g. the seller had already paid for a 1 year contract for water supply that includes the rental of a reservoir tank).