Sale of your Home
Our office’s role in a real estate deal is to complete the transaction and to make it as simple and straightforward for the client as possible. This is done by understanding the law and being familiar with the items and issues particular to an area or municipality.
Investigating the Deal
As your real estate lawyer, I will answer any concerns the purchaser may have when investigating title to the property prior to the “closing date”. The time for the purchaser to do this is called the “requisition date”. Our office must make sure there are no tax liens, builder’s liens or even litigation liens filed in the process of a divorce and clear such if they should exist.
Prepare Legal Documents and Register in the Land Title Office
Our staff and lawyer will draft all the documents needed to transfer legal title to the property and will attend to registering the transfer of ownership in the land title office. Often, in a salee, we will also have to pay out your mortgage lender. Our office will clarify and confirm all the terms of the mortgage discharge, such as interest rate and prepayment penalties, and will pay the funds and obtain the registered Discharge of the Mortgage in the land title office.
Work the Numbers
In addition to the purchase price paid to the seller, there are many other costs that must be adjusted between the buyer and the seller; for example utilities, strata fees, and property taxes. The lawyers will also deal with realtor’s commissions, and fees charged by municipalities, strata corporations and the land title office. Once all of these numbers are balanced out, our office will tell you the final dollar figure that you will receive when we complete your sale.
Move the Deal Along
Residential real estate deals in Ontario are able to complete quickly because of lawyers’ undertakings. A lawyer’s undertaking is a solemn promise provided by one lawyer to another, and regulated by the Law Society. In residential real estate deals, the seller usually needs the sale proceeds to pay out their existing mortgage, but the buyer usually needs the signed transfer to secure their new mortgage funds. The deal can close only because the lawyers exchange undertakings to follow through with all necessary steps to transfer clear title for the agreed upon price. Some of these steps will happen months after the deal closes.
Enforce the Contract
Lawyers ensure that all the terms of the contract are upheld. For example, if the contract states that a septic tank must be cleaned, then the lawyer will require proof before transferring the funds. Also, your lawyer will protect your interests in the event the deal goes sideways.
Explain and Advise
When you buy or sell a house there are a lot of ‘moving parts’. Your real estate lawyer is there to guide you through the legal process and help you navigate the transaction with ease.
In preparation for the closing of your sale transaction, we will do the following:
• Review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and note any deadlines to insure the deal proceeds as scheduled;
• Obtain and review parcel register
• Obtain property tax information from client or from City
• Receive, review and respond to requisitions, which might include following up with clients about things the clients are supposed to look after before closing
• Provide an undertaking to the buyers and their lawyer to pay out existing encumbrances (as provided for and agreed to in the typical Agreement of Purchase and Sale);
• Obtain mortgage pay out statement if there is a mortgage
• Review draft transfer and complete missing information
• Attend with the clients for review and execution of closing documents and obtain keys from clients to be held in escrow;
• Prepare and deliver Statement of Adjustments to the lawyer for the buyers;
• Enter escrow closing arrangement with the lawyer for the buyers;
• Deliver closing package to the lawyer for the buyers, including keys;
• Receive closing funds in escrow and in trust (to be released only according to the terms of the escrow arrangement);
• Review and release transfer
• Attend at bank to prepare certified cheques from Trust Account to pay out existing Charge and any other liens or encumbrances required to be discharged on closing;
• Attend to payment of existing Charge so as to discharge the existing Charge (or mortgage) as well as of any other liens or encumbrances required to be paid;
• Prepare payment for and deliver payment of real estate commissions owed;
• Pay out closing proceeds as directed by the clients;
• Report to client;
• Attend to or ensure discharge of existing mortgage is registered
• Advise municipality of change in ownership
So you are thinking of selling your home. The next step is to contact a lawyer to make sure your sale or purchase goes as smoothly as possible. You should review the offer to purchase and sale with your lawyer before you sign.
Once your lawyer receives the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, you will need to bring to your lawyer a copy of your deed, mortgage (if any), survey (if any), tax receipts/bills for the past 2 years, recent water, hydro, and gas accounts and any other documentation which pertains to the property.Acting For Seller First Letter - Open PDF Here
Working with a Lawyer Brochure - Open PDF Here