HERE YOU GO!
To guide you safely and comfortably through the closing period, which usually ranges from 30 to 90 days. You should:
- Arrange Buyer Access visits to your new home for you, typically 2 viewings or as outlined in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, so you can see your new home and take measurements, plan interior decorating, renovations etc.
- Advise you on any inspections that might be needed, such as home inspections or mortgage appraisals.
- Recommend trusted tradespeople to you so you can start receiving quotes for any renovations you may wish to carry out once the home is legally yours, this can cut down the wait time.
- Provide you with valuable contacts to trusted professionals such as expert real estate lawyers, mortgage brokers, and movers.
- Explain the costs and fees to you, such as helping you calculate your Land Transfer Tax.
- Recommend moving tips and remind you of important things to do, such as switching your utilities over to the new home in time. Remember, there may be a pre-payment cost on taxes, hydro, gas, and fuel etc…
- Help you answer questions about your new property for your insurance company that you might not know the answers to.
- Check in with you on a regular basis to make sure everything is going well and you are prepared for the big move to the area.
Below is some detailed information on the role of a real estate lawyer and on what you need to do when working with your lawyer and securing a mortgage. Your lawyer should advise you what expenses you are likely to incur with respect to the closing procedures, including:
- Legal Fees + HST and Disbursements
- Land Transfer Tax: Ontario Land Transfer Taxes are payable by the Buyer through their lawyer upon closing of the transaction.
The formula for calculating Ontario Land Transfer Tax is:
0.5% on the first $55,000
Plus 1% of the amount from $55,001 to $250,000
Plus 1.5% of the amount in excess of $250,001 to $400,000
Plus 2% of the amount in excess of $400,000
If you have bought a new home from a builder, the lawyer can give you an educated estimate as to how much you should budget for “hidden charges” such as:
- Ontario New Home Warranty Enrollment Fee
- Hydro and Water meter installation charges
- Fencing charges
- Grading Deposit charges
If all the conditions in the Agreement have been met and the Offer is firm, the lawyer proceeds to investigate the title to the property. Initial searches include:
- utility searches
- property tax searches
- building, zoning and planning searches
- registered title searches
A Tax Certificate is requested by your solicitor to verify the amount of the current year’s taxes and to ask about any arrears and outstanding charges for taxes. Your lawyer will also write to the Building and Zoning Department to get the full particulars of zoning by-laws and restrictions and permitted uses for the area
A Search of Title to the property is begun in the Land Registry Office to make sure the Seller is the true owner of the property, has the right to sell you the property, and that the property is not subject to any encumbrances, encroachments, easements, liens, agreements or mortgages that were not disclosed in the Agreement or Purchase and Sale. This search has to be completed prior to the Requisition Date (title search date) shown on your Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
If you are getting a mortgage, you MUST have fire insurance to cover the property from the day of closing. Let your insurance broker know the name, address, phone number and fax number of both your lawyer and of the financial institution providing your mortgage. Your lawyer needs a letter confirming that insurance coverage is in place effective on closing in order to advance the money to close your purchase.