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What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do to Close Your Home Purchase?

What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do to Close Your Home Purchase?

By:

Posted May 21, 2024

If you are purchasing a home in Ontario, you likely know that you should retain a real estate lawyer to close the transaction for you. What you may not know, however, is what steps your real estate lawyer will take to close the transaction. Below is a very brief overview of the steps that your real estate lawyer will take on your purchase file.

Review Agreement of Purchase and Sale and Context of Transaction

First, your lawyer will review your Agreement of Purchase and Sale to ensure that it is binding and firm, and to confirm your obligations and the seller’s obligations.

Your lawyer will also speak with you to determine the many other factors, outside of those addressed in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, that might affect your purchase, and will advise you accordingly. In this blog post, Daniella Sicoli-Zupo lists some of the questions that your lawyer may ask you during your initial discussions.

Review Additional Documents, if Necessary

Depending on the type of property that you are purchasing, your lawyer may need to review additional documents to get started on your file. For example, if you are buying a new build home, your lawyer may need to complete a more in-depth review of your Agreement of Purchase and Sale than if you were buying a resale home. Similarly, if you are buying a condominium unit, your lawyer may need to review the Status Certificate.

Complete Title Search and Letter of Requisitions

Your lawyer will search title to the property to confirm several details that will affect your purchase and ownership of the property. In this blog post, Jason Peyman discusses some of the items confirmed through the title search.

If the title search reveals any issues that the seller will need to correct before closing, your lawyer will flag them for the seller’s lawyer in a Letter of Requisitions.

Agree on Closing Requirements and Procedure with Seller’s Lawyer

Your lawyer and the seller’s lawyer will determine the requirements and procedures for closing the transaction. For example, your lawyer and the seller’s lawyer will decide on what documents to exchange on the closing day, they will decide on how to exchange keys to the property, and they will calculate the balance of the purchase price still outstanding (accounting for the deposit that you have already paid, property tax payments, etc.).

Calculate Funds Required to Close Purchase, Including Land Transfer Tax

Your lawyer will calculate the total amount of funds needed from you to close the transaction. The calculation will account for the balance of the purchase price still owing to the sellers; plus any Land Transfer Tax payable; minus the total amount that your lawyer expects to receive from your mortgage lender (if applicable).

Coordinate with Mortgage Lender, if Applicable

As your closing date approaches, you will need to work with your lender to complete and sign any necessary mortgage documents.

Once you have finalized the documents with your lender, your lawyer’s office will receive detailed mortgage instructions. These instructions will indicate:

  • Which documents your lawyer needs to prepare;
  • Any conditions that the lender needs satisfied before funding the purchase; and
  • The exact advance amount that your lawyer can expect to receive from your lender on the closing day.

To satisfy your lender’s financing requirements, your lawyer will likely need to order title insurance. You can read more about title insurance at this link and here.

Close the Purchase

A few days before the closing day, you will meet with your lawyer to sign the final documents associated with your purchase. These documents will include any documents to be exchanged with the seller’s lawyer, mortgage documents required by your lender, and any documents granting your lawyer the authority to close the purchase on your behalf.

On the closing day, your lender will send your mortgage funds to your lawyer, which your lawyer will combine with any funds that you have given directly to your lawyer. Your lawyer will send the balance of the purchase price, along with your signed closing documents, to the seller’s lawyer. In exchange, the seller’s lawyer will send your lawyer the seller’s closing documents and keys to the property.

Once this exchange occurs, your lawyer will register on title to the property two documents:

  1. The transfer of the property into your name; and
  2. The mortgage (if applicable).

As soon as the registrations are complete, keys can be released to you.

Report to Purchaser and Lender

Once your purchase is complete, your lawyer will mail you a final report, containing the seller’s closing documents, copies of the documents registered on title to the property, and any other items relating to your transaction that you will need to keep for your records.

Your lawyer will also send a final report to your mortgage lender, containing copies of your mortgage-related closing documents, a copy of the mortgage registered on title to the property, and any other items relating to the mortgage that your lender has requested.

This blog post was written by Shannon Hogan, a member of the Real Estate team.  She can be reached at 613-369-0369 or at shannon.hogan@mannlawyers.com.

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Shannon Hogan

Shannon Hogan

I am an associate in the firm’s real estate law group, and my practice is focused on residential real estate transactions. Many clients can feel overwhelmed during a real estate transaction, so my approach is to smooth and de-mystify the process as much as possible through proactive, diligent communication with clients. I was called to the Ontario Bar in 2022. Before I joined Mann Lawyers, I completed my articling term in the GTA. I focused on residential real estate purchases, sales, and refinancing transactions. I also enjoyed working on estate planning and administration files, and business financing transactions. I graduated from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law in 2021 with a Juris Doctor. While I was in law school, I volunteered with Reach Canada, an Ottawa-based organization that seeks to increase access to justice for people with disabilities and disabled people in Ottawa. I was also a caseworker at... Read More

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