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After you Purchase


After you purchase a home, what happens next?

House KeyWhen all of the conditions in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale have been met and the offer becomes firm, a real estate lawyer will do the work required for the transaction to close on the closing date set out in the agreement. A transaction involving a new home or condominium would be more complex. Typically a buyer’s lawyer does more work than a seller’s lawyer. It means that in the usual course, a lawyer’s fees and disbursements will be higher on a purchase than a sale.


Purchase

On a purchase, the lawyer’s work will include the following:

  1. Title and off-title searches
  2. Submitting “requisitions” to the seller’s solicitor
  3. Document preparation and review
  4. Calculation of the funds required by the buyer for closing
  5. Obtaining title insurance, if necessary
  6. Meeting with the buyers
  7. Closing the transaction and
  8. Reporting to the buyer


Title and Off Title Searches

A search of title to the property is done in the appropriate division of the Land Registry Office to confirm the seller is the owner of the property and to determine that the property is not subject to any encumbrances, encroachments, easements, liens, agreements or mortgages that were not disclosed in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. All of the land titles records for the province of Ontario are currently being automated.

There are other off title searches that are done as well, such as Utilities, Taxes, Building and Zoning and Execution search.


Requisitions

Once the initial searches have been completed and on or prior to the requisition date shown on the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the buyer’s lawyer will prepare and deliver a letter to the seller’s lawyer requiring that any items revealed in the searches be dealt with on or before closing. As an example, a requisition could demand that an existing mortgage (if not assumed) be discharged.


Prepare and Review Documents

The buyer’s lawyer is responsible for preparing certain closing documents, such as Seller’s Undertakings, Warranties and Bill of Sale (with respect to chattels being conveyed), the Declaration of Possession and Directions re Funds. In some cases, these are prepared by the seller’s lawyer. The buyer’s lawyer will also receive for review the Transfer/Deed of Land and Statement of Adjustments from the seller’s Lawyer. If a mortgage is required, the buyer’s lawyer will prepare all necessary documentation for the mortgage, including the Charge/Mortgage of Land. The lawyer will ensure that all conditions of the financial institute’s mortgage commitment letter are met. In addition, the buyer’s lawyer will obtain from the buyer proof of an adequate fire insurance policy on the property.


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Calculate Funds Required for Closing

The seller’s lawyer will provide a Statement of Adjustments showing adjustments to the purchase price. Usually this will include an adjustment for property taxes. The buyer’s lawyer must also determine other amounts, such as the lawyer’s fees and disbursements, the land transfer tax, and the mortgage monies being received. All of these numbers will be taken into consideration to determine the funds required by the buyer to close and pay all parties. These funds must be provided to the buyer’s lawyer by way of a certified cheque.


Title Insurance

Today, most real estate transactions are title insured. This allows the buyer to insure over certain problems relating to title. The buyer’s lawyer arranges for this title insurance.


Meeting with the Buyers

Prior to closing, the buyer’s lawyer will meet with the buyer to sign documents required for closing and to obtain funds for closing.


Closing

At closing, the buyer’s lawyer and the seller’s lawyer exchange documents. In addition, the buyer’s lawyer will provide the closing funds to the seller’s lawyer and will obtain keys in return.


Report to the Buyer

As soon as possible following the closing date, the buyer’s lawyer will render a report to the buyer, enclosing documentation received on closing, as well as a copy of the lawyer’s account and trust ledger statement. The trust ledger statement shows all of the funds received and disbursed by the lawyer.


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