We are so excited to support and work alongside you to make the most of your real estate investment. Before we have the chance to connect, here are some pieces of information you may need to gather to make the most of your time with your real estate lawyer.
You Will Need to Bring:
- 2 pieces of ID (one must be a government-issued photo ID)
- Real Estate Purchase Contract
- Mortgage Reference Number
- Real Property Report with a certificate of compliance (if you are the seller)
Let’s Get Started
Once your lawyer receives your real estate purchase contract and reviews it, they will then follow up by requesting a tax and title search. A tax search will show a legal description and any outlying dues in taxes. A title search will allow your lawyer to learn about any mortgage or debt that is registered to the real estate title, and in turn, will require a payout statement for the amount that is owed. Your real estate lawyer will thoroughly look for any financial burdens that are associated with the title and address it.
If You’re the Seller
Once your lawyer thoroughly does their research and feels confident in moving to the next step, they will prepare the documents that are needed to complete the sale of the real estate. The key document that is being signed in this step is the transfer of land, which requires an original real estate transfer document to be signed in person. Before following through with this step, the seller must provide a Real Property Report which will ensure that all the improvements on the property are outlined.
Your lawyer will review all of your documents and ensure you have everything in order for the sale of your home. At that point they will send the documents to the buyer’s lawyer for review and completion (more on that below).
When the buyer’s lawyer is satisfied that everything looks good they will release the funds for the purchase. Using that money that is received, any debts on the title, tax arrears, real estate commissions, and legal fees will be paid out. Then the remainder of the funds will be made available to you.
If You’re the Buyer
Once the seller’s lawyer is completed preparing documents, these documents are then sent over to the buyer’s lawyer. Along with the contract documents, there are other documents that may be included based on the type of sale occurring:
- Estoppel Certificate: this document is included for the sale of a condominium
- Real Property Report: this document is included for the property that is located on bare land
Your real estate lawyer will communicate with the seller’s lawyer to make sure there aren’t any documents missing. If there are any missing documents we’ll share a holdback condition meaning that a certain amount of funds will be withheld until the specified condition is fulfilled. Once everything is received and correct, your lawyer will send the transfer of the land to land titles for registration. At this step, your lawyer will communicate with your mortgage lender to request the funds for the sale.
If you are buying a new home before selling your old home, you may use bridge financing to help close the gap. Bridge financing is a short-term loan you can take to help with the buying/selling process. It’s strongly recommended that you have that financing in place prior to meeting with your real estate lawyer. After this meeting, your lawyer will communicate with the lender to confirm that you will have enough funds in the net sales total between the estate you are buying and selling. This is an essential step to take to ensure you can actually pay for the home at the time of closing.
When the funds are deposited and all relevant paperwork is filed, you’ll be the proud owner of your new home!
Reminders to Keep in Mind
Whenever you sell a house there are other accounts that need to be reviewed and revised. Please remember to:
- Cancel your utilities
- Cancel automated city property tax payments
- Cancel your home insurance (wait until your sale is over!)
- For non-Canadian residents, you will need a clearance certificate to avoid withholding taxes
- Report the sale of your residence to the CRA
Knowing what documents to bring and what to expect in the process can help to make things more efficient and to help you feel more informed and in control. If you have any questions or would like us to represent you as a buyer or seller, please book a consultation.