Buying a Home

Typically your lawyer will not see your Agreement of Purchase and Sale until the deal has been negotiated.  Especially if there is anything out of the ordinary about your transaction or if you are purchasing from a builder, it is prudent to include a clause that the Agreement is conditional on solicitor's approval.

CONDITIONAL PHASE:

Typically an offer to purchase involves conditions; that is, there is no firm deal until the conditions are fulfilled or waived.  Although conditions may vary greatly, some of the most common involve financing, home inspection and in the case of condominiums, review of the status certificate and condominium documents.

Financing - presumably you will have been pre-approved for financing prior to submitting your offer.  Once your offer has been accepted, a much more official approval is done by your mortgage professional.

Home Inspection - most purchases of resale homes involve an inspection by a professional home inspector.  In addition to discovering potential deficiencies in the home, most inspections are also an invaluable learning experience in terms of the future care and maintenance of the home.

Status Certificate and Condominium Documents – a review of these documents will provide an accurate summary of the current financial state and a variety of other matters pertaining to the condominium.

In the event your deal does not become firm, your real estate professional should be able to guide you on the necessary steps for ensuring that any deposit you paid is returned to you in a timely manner ... if you have any questions, don't hesitate to call.

WHEN YOUR PURCHASE IS FIRM:

CONTACT YOUR LAWYER- Confirm with your real estate professional that all documentation relating to your purchase has been forwarded to your lawyer ... it is critical that this be done in a timely manner so that title search deadlines and various other timelines can be complied with.  There are many steps to a real estate transaction once an agreement of purchase and sale is in the hands of a lawyer.  You should expect be kept apprised of any issues that emerge.

This is a list of some of the details that will need to be dealt with --- links to many of these service providers are provided in the ‘Community Links’ section.

  • TELEPHONE - make arrangements for phone service
  • TELEVISION - connection of cable and/or satellite
  • HOT WATER TANK - if rented, notify the appropriate company; if leased, requirements may vary depending on the provider
  • GAS - notify of move date so that meter can be read for closing & set up account
  • HYDRO - as above
  • INSURANCE - arrange for home insurance and ensure lawyer has particulars .... this is important for you and necessary for your mortgage
  • MOVERS - speak to your real estate professional and/or your lawyer if you are uncertain about specific timing to avoid the frustration of paying professional movers while you wait for the keys to your new home. In the case on condominium apartments make sure arrangements are made to book the elevators for your move.
  • CHANGE OF ADDRESS - notifications of address change and often forwarding service through Canada Post
  •  MISCELLANEOUS - Cancel any contracted services and/or pre-authorized cheques related to your existing home (if applicable)

FINAL STEPS:

APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR LAWYER - you should know within a reasonable amount of time prior to your closing date what your exact closing costs will be.  It will be necessary to meet with your lawyer prior to closing to sign all the necessary papers and either at the same time or shortly thereafter, to deliver a certified cheque to your lawyer once you have been provided with an amount.  Your lawyer is required to obtain two pieces identification (one must be photo). All documentation will be reviewed with you prior to signing.

CLOSING DATE: There are many steps that need to be taken by your lawyer on the day of closing in terms of sub searches, registration of documents etc. Once completed, you will need to obtain the keys to your new home from your lawyer once the transaction has closed (unless alternate arrangements have been made).

AFTER CLOSING: Within a short period of time after closing, your lawyer will prepare a reporting letter to you outlining the details of your purchase and providing copies of all relevant documents.  Your reporting letter and any enclosures should be kept in a safe place.

This is intended as a guide ... specific circumstances may dictate other matters that need to be dealt with.