You have toured lots of homes and gone through all the negotiations and home inspections, you’ve signed a contract and gotten your financing approved… now what do I do?
For home buyers and sellers, this can be a big question, hopefully this blog helps with some answers….

Ask your Realtor to Submit Contract

Once all subjects and conditions are removed from the Contract, only then does the Contract become firm and binding. Once this takes place, it is important that the Buyer requests his or her Realtor to send the Contract over to their lawyer as soon as possible. If available, the Survey Certificate should be attached, if there is no Survey Certificate attached to the Contract, title insurance is often required by the Lender (at an additional cost).

Some clients want a land title review, or they have another legal issue which they want cleared up prior to purchase, if so, please contact your lawyer before subject removal.

Upon receipt of your Contract of Purchase and Sale your file is opened and our law firm contacts you immediately to have our representation of you confirmed and we provide you with a quote for the legal fees to expect in your transaction.

Ask your Mortgage Broker or your Banker to Submit Mortgage Instructions
Whether a conveyancer has 3 days to complete or 3 months, they tend to always be waiting for mortgage instructions. To ensure mortgage instructions are received in a timely fashion the lender should be advised well in advance of closing details such as, Purchase Price, Completion Date (date funds will be advanced), Name of Firm, Lawyer’s Name, address, phone/fax number and email address.

Contact your Lawyer or your Conveyancer
Conveyancers tend to be working on the current month closings and very rarely any further than that in advance. Nevertheless, if a Buyer has questions or concerns they should feel free to call their lawyer or thier conveyancer to ask these questions.  We are here to answer your client’s questions and concerns so your client can remain at ease throughout the buying process.

It is important for clients to be available prior to the closing date, as depending on the delivery of information from other parties (ie; getting mortgage instructions), sometimes we are not able to call in our clients to sign documents until just prior to closing.

When you talk to your lawyer or your conveyancer, it is important to have the following information available:

  1. Who will be appearing on title and on mortgage, if applicable (Full legal names and occupations)
  2. Is there anyone who is a First Time Home Buyer (if so, date of birth, SIN number and address for the past two years would be required)
  3. Is GST/HST applicable? Is the Seller a non-resident?
  4. If there is a mortgage, are there any Covenantors/Guarantors (contact information would be required)
  5. Who is the insurance agent? (Contact info required)
  6. Book an Appointment with the Lawyer for signing (or if out-of –town clients process of signing via email/fax will be explained at that time)

Arrange for Home Insurance/ Movers/ Utility Companies etc.
If financing for the subject property is involved, the lender requires your fire insurance coverage to be confirmed by your lawyer prior to registration of Mortgage and disbursement of funds. It is important that insurance is effective at 12:01am on the Completion date, not possession date. The Buyer should arrange thier insurance well in advance of the completion date.

Signing Documents and the Balance of Funds to Complete
Depending on the receipt of information from third parties and the complexity, documents may be signed with the  lawyer anywhere from the day of Closing to 2 weeks prior to completion date depending on the complexity of the file. Prior to signing, your conveyancer will contact you to advise you of the amount of funds necessary to complete your transaction. These funds are usually brought to the appointment by way of bank draft and deposited into the lawyers trust account until the completion date.

Closing Date
Generally, first time clients often think they have to meet with the lawyer on this date to do “something” but in fact, this is the day where the clients, getting ready to move, need to ensure there is a phone nearby and wait for the call from their lawyers office (and their Realtor) advising them that the transfer documents have been registered at the land title office and funds are being transferred. Then, they will need to get in touch with their Realtor to arrange the pick-up of keys so they can start moving in to their new home.

This post was drafted by my real estate paralegal (also called a conveyancer), Terri Lavertu, who assists me as we guide our clients through the process of buying a new home. If your clients have questions, they are welcome to call myself or Terri at 250-980-3360.