Congratulations on the sale of your home!
We have prepared the information below to assist you through the closing process and eliminate some of the stresses involved. We have prepared a checklist to outline the steps you can take to help ensure your sale goes smoothly.
We have also provided you with a financial worksheet (to be completed with the assistance of your lawyer) to help avoid any financial surprises on closing.
We hope the information below will answer some of your questions. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!
I HAVE ACCEPTED AN OFFER…NOW WHAT?
1. FIND A LOCAL REAL ESTATE LAWYER
Once the Agreement of Purchase and Sale has been signed, you should bring it to your lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can explain to you your obligations under the Agreement. Your lawyer should also tell you what expenses you are likely to incur with respect to the closing, including legal fees, disbursements and the Law Society of Upper Canada’s transaction surcharge.
Your real estate agent can give you the names of a few lawyers in your area. Call them to find one that you are comfortable with. It pays to shop locally for a real estate lawyer, particularly in Halton region, where the registration system is entirely electronic.
Advantages to using a local lawyer include:
- He/she should be experienced with properties in the area;
- Reduced courier charges/long distance;
- You can make local connection for wills and simpler matters;
- He/she will be experienced with new Electronic Registration system;
- Reduced costs due to the use of time & cost saving technologies; and
- He/she will have built good relationships with local officials and other local lawyers
Make sure that the lawyer you choose practises mostly Real Estate
If there is an unanticipated problem that arises on your closing date, your lawyer can’t help if he or she is in court until late in the afternoon.
Many lawyers will practise primarily in other areas of the law and still offer real estate services. Real estate is a complex area of the law, where keeping up to date with changes in the law and technology is essential.
There are over 100 steps in a residential sale transaction if your lawyer is paying attention to the details.
ADVISE YOUR AGENT PROMPTLY WHO YOU HAVE CHOSEN
2. BRING DOCUMENTS TO YOUR LAWYER
Bring copies of your most recent tax bill and mortgage statement to your lawyer. You should also give your lawyer a copy of your survey and deed (which are usually with the documents you received when you bought the property), if they are available.
3. TRANSFER/CANCEL HOME INSURANCE
If you are buying another house you will need to transfer your fire insurance policy or set up a new one. If your are moving to a condominium or rental accommodation you will need a different type of policy. Contact your insurance agent or company to discuss your needs.
4. CALL UTILITIES
You should contact the utility departments to have the meters read on the day of closing. If you do not do this, you may end up paying for utilities you did not use. Be sure to provide them with your new address so that they can send you your final bill. If you are making preauthorized payments for taxes, insurance, mortgage or rental items, you should arrange to cancel them as of the closing date.
|Oakville Hydro / Water||(905) 825 9400|
|Union Energy||1 (888) 718 6466|
|Union Gas||1 (888) 774 3111|
5. ARRANGE MOVERS
Count on receiving your keys to your new home by 5:00 p.m. Ask the movers how long it will take to load your contents and drive to your new location. To determine the time your movers should arrive, subtract estimated loading and driving time from 5:00 p.m. If you are using professional movers, this will avoid having them waiting for keys while you are paying them.
6. CALL YOUR LAWYER TO MAKE APPOINTMENT
Your lawyer will typically need you to come to his/her office to sign all of the final documents during the last week prior to closing, sometimes even the day before closing. That is why it is important for you and anyone else on title (and their spouse) to stay in town during this crucial time. Vendors often wonder why the signing of the documents is done seemingly at the last minute. One of the reasons is that some of the documents are prepared by the purchaser’s lawyer. This can hold things up for the vendor’s lawyer.
7. BRING KEYS AND PHOTO IDENTIFICATION TO YOUR LAWYER’S OFFICE
Your lawyer will need one set of keys by 3:00 p.m. the day before closing. You can leave the rest of the keys and any garage door openers on the kitchen counter. Please make sure you provide the security alarm code to your lawyer. Due to the growing awareness of real estate fraud, lawyers are now required to take two (2) pieces of identification from all clients.
8. AFTER CLOSING
After closing your lawyer will prepare a reporting letter to you and provide copies of all necessary documentation. You should keep this letter and these documents in a safe place for future reference.
9. VACANT POSSESSION
Most often, the Agreement of Purchase and Sale requires you to provide “vacant possession” on closing. Put simply this means that you must take your things (other than anything you agreed to leave) and go.
9. FIXTURES AND CHATTELS
Fixtures are things that are permanently attached to the land or house so as to become part of the land or house. Chattels are things that are not part of the land. When land is sold, all fixtures (the house, and things permanently attached to the house) will pass to the Purchaser as part of the land.
If a chattel is to be included in the sale, it must be specifically listed in the Contract. If a fixture is to be removed from the property by Vendor and therefore not included in the sale, then this must be specifically mentioned in the Contract.