Buying Property? (A Lawyer’s Guide)

By Avi Charney

January 20, 2021

You = Purchaser

We/us/our = Charney Legal Professional Corporation

1. Review the form of Agreement of Purchase and Sale (OREA or TREB) before signing. Call/email us with any legal questions you may have or to ensure that your rights and expectations are accurately reflected in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage to limit the risk and pressure of not closing.

3. Once the Agreement of Purchase and Sale is accepted, ensure that you have obtained:

(i) The Seller’s lawyer’s name and contact information

(ii) Your mortgage lender’s name and contact information

4. Ensure that we and your mortgage lender are provided with a copy of the Agreement of your Purchase and Sale (including all schedules, amendments, waivers, and notices of fulfillment), and that your lender knows our contact information so that they can send us your mortgage instructions.

5. Arrange for home insurance (all risk or fire insurance) with the mortgage lender named as “Loss Payee”. If you are purchasing a condominium, purchase content and liability insurance. We will provide you further instructions about what policy you should purchase based on your mortgage instructions.

5. Send us a survey of the property, if available.

6. We will send you a formal introduction letter listing our fees and requesting from you, among other things:

(i) Your name(s) to be placed on the Deed along with dates of birth

(ii) How you are taking title – example: “Joint Tenants” or “Tenants in Common”. See the difference here:

7. Calculate Ontario (and Toronto) Land Transfer Tax. Here is a calculator to assist:

8. Transfer utilities to your name (hydro, water, gas, cable, phone, and property tax).

9. Calculate taxes: Are you a Non-Resident? First Time Home Buyer?

10. We meet a few days prior to closing to go through the paperwork, discuss the numbers and sign. Signing can be done by videoconference. This video explains our virtual signing process in times of Social Distancing:

Closing funds consist of:

(i) Balance due on closing to the Vendors (Purchase price – deposit +/- adjustments)

(ii) Plus: Legal fees and disbursements (see pricing page)

(iii) Plus: Land transfer tax (if applicable)

(iv) Title Insurance (if applicable).

(iv) Plus: NRST (if applicable)

(v) Less: the net mortgage advance from the lender

What to expect on closing day?

  1. On Closing Day, we will be in touch if there are any issues. Communication is key. As a final step we will advise you that your transaction has closed – that you are the new owners of the Property! We will then let you know where to obtain your keys. That can happen up to 6.00 p.m. on closing day, although we do our best to make it much earlier in the day.
  2. Once you have the property in hand, hopefully you are happy. Check it to make sure if it in the condition you expected it in. Advise us immediately if there are any issues. Take pictures and videos if possible.

Additional Recommendations:

As the new owner, you are reminded to contact the utility companies to ensure new accounts are set up with your name on them, and for meters to be read as of the Closing Date.

For a Condominium, you’ll need to ensure that:

  1. The elevator is booked to move-in
    • You receive the necessary keys, fobs, etc.
    • You know where you parking and locker is, if relevant.
    • You know how to contact and pay management for your common expenses.

We take pride in guiding you every step of the way and working behind the scenes to ensure a smooth closing. We know that you have a lot on your mind. Our job is to get you the keys to your new house. And then our favourite part of the transaction, sending you a big CONGRATULATIONS!

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The general information on this page is not applicable to any specific case and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for legal advice and may not be relied on as such. Readers are expressly advised to consult with a qualified lawyer for advice regarding their specific circumstances and entitlements under Ontario law.