How are our down payment and closing costs paid?

In most cases, you will need to prepare a bank draft and deliver or deposit it to us prior to your closing date. We will provide detailed instructions to you once we advise you of any amounts needed.

Please note that, if the funds you intend to use for your down payment and closing costs are tied up to investments, outside of the Country, or in accounts such as RRSP or TFSA accounts, you are responsible for checking your financial institution’s processing times and ensuring that such funds are transferred to your chequing account prior to the closing date, so you are able to obtain a bank draft.

In addition, if you bank with a financial institution that only provides online services, you may require extra time to obtain a bank draft. Please let us know in advance so that we can plan accordingly.

Do you charge for keeping money in trust?

Generally speaking, money is held in trust for your transaction until your transaction is closed. In these cases, there is no extra charge to keep funds in trust for you. However, some cases may require that funds be held in trust for long periods of time or past the closing date of your transaction, in which case there may be extra charges for such.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance offers protection for the policy holder against certain title defects, fraud, and other risks as set out in each specific policy and subject to the disclosed exceptions. In simple terms, title insurance may protect a homebuyer against certain types of financial loss originated by issues that can affect the property title up to the total purchase price.

I am buying a pre-construction house or condo unit. When should I contact you?

As pre-construction agreements are not exactly standardized, the contract you are signing with the builder can vary considerably and several fees can be added on top of the purchase price and be charged to you on closing. Some of these fees are unpredictable and can reach tens of thousands of dollars.

If you are purchasing a condo unit, you have ten days from the signature of your agreement to have it reviewed by a lawyer. As such, we suggest that you contact us immediately upon signature of your agreement so any issues can be addressed before your agreement goes firm.

If the property you are purchasing is not a condo unit, you may not have a cooling-off period. In this case, we suggest having your agreement reviewed prior to signature or ensuring there is a condition that provides you time to obtain legal advice and to cancel or modify the agreement if there are any concerns.

Are legal fees fixed?

For the majority of cases, the legal fees quoted at the start of your transaction represent the final fee charged to you on closing. However, in some cases, there are further developments on your file that could not be anticipated at the start, such as additional mortgages, change of lenders, extra appointments, name executions and clearance letters, title defects, extra discharges, etc. If unusual or unexpected issues arise on your file, we reserve the right to change the fee to accommodate the extra work.

Are closing costs and legal fees the same?

No, legal fees are usually considered part of the closing costs, but they are not all of them. The biggest portion of the closing costs is usually Land Transfer Tax, but there are several other costs involved in a purchase transaction that are charged to the buyer, such as title search costs, Land Registry Office fees, tax certificates, title insurance premiums, etc.

Am I considered a First-Time Homebuyer if I owned property in another Country?

The term "First-Time Homebuyer" is used by various laws and government programs, but each of them has their own set of eligibility requirements in order to qualify as such. For that reason, the answer to this question depends on the specific program.

If you are referring to the the First-Time Homebuyer Refund for Land Transfer Tax (or the Municipal Land Transfer Tax Rebate for properties in Toronto), the current requirements are that you (or your spouse) never owned a home anywhere in the world, at any time. There are exceptions for when spouses are purchasing a property together and only one of the spouses owned a home before, if that property was not owned while they were spouses.

You can find further information on the links below or you may reach out to us and we can clarify any concerns:

Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund for First-Time Homebuyers.

Toronto First-Time Purchaser Rebate for the Municipal Land Transfer Tax.

What should I be prepared for on the closing date?

Closing day in real estate is an exciting and significant event for both buyers and sellers. It's the day when ownership of the property officially changes hands and the buyer becomes the proud owner of their new home. However, it's essential to understand what happens behind the scenes and how to prepare for this momentous occasion to ensure a smooth and successful closing.

On the day of closing, the buyer will need to have the remaining down payment and closing costs ready, which they will provide to their lawyer in the form of a bank draft. The buyer's lawyer will then add those to the funds coming from any mortgage loans and make the final payments to the seller’s lawyer, towards land transfer tax, title insurance, and more.

Once all funds have been received by all parties, the purchaser's lawyer will register the purchase with the Land Registry Office, officially confirming the new owners' title to the property. Simultaneously, the seller will receive the proceeds from the sale after their lawyer pays off items such as mortgage balances and closing costs.

Preparing for closing day involves understanding the costs associated with closing on a house. The law firm handling the transaction on the seller’s side will prepare a statement of adjustments, detailing all the total costs required to finalize the purchase. These costs go beyond the selling price and include property tax and condo maintenance fees adjustments, legal fees, disbursements, and more.

To ensure a smooth closing, it's crucial for the buyer to have the necessary funds ready. If using funds from an RRSP, inform your bank representative well in advance. For funds from abroad or gifted money, discuss the timelines with your mortgage broker.

Completing a final walk-through is essential to verify that everything is as expected. Check appliances, heating, plumbing, and electrical systems to ensure they are in good working order before possession. If any damage is discovered, negotiate repairs with the seller and inform your lawyer.

For the seller, it’s important to vacate the property early. The realtors should have gone through the contract with the parties, but it's wise to review it again to know what items the seller should be leaving behind and any agreed-upon closing terms.

Meeting with your lawyer a few days before closing is customary. They will ensure all documents are in order for a smooth transfer of title. Consider avoiding end-of-month or end-of-week closings to allow time to resolve any issues that may arise.

How to avoid closing day problems?

Closing day in real estate is a culmination of a lengthy process and, while it's an exciting time, it can also come with its fair share of challenges. To ensure a smooth and hassle-free closing, there are several essential steps and considerations that buyers should be aware of to avoid potential issues.

One crucial aspect is the timing of the closing day. It's best to avoid scheduling the closing on a Friday, as any problems that may arise would need to wait until Monday to be resolved since lawyers and lenders typically do not work on weekends. Similarly, end-of-month closings can lead to increased closing costs, so it's worth considering alternative dates.

Before the closing date, it's essential to ensure that all lender requirements, such as appraisals, have been satisfied. An updated appraisal may be required if the closing takes place significantly after the original appraisal. Ensuring the home's value aligns with the agreed-upon purchase price is vital to avoid potential financial complications.

Buyers should also be vigilant during the final walk-through. Ensure that all appliances, heating, plumbing, and electrical systems are in proper working condition. If any damage is found, negotiate repairs with the seller and inform your lawyer promptly.

To avoid financial surprises, make sure you thoroughly understand the closing costs and have the necessary funds ready. Work closely with your realtor and lawyer to review all costs, including property transfer tax, legal fees, disbursements, maintenance fees, property tax adjustments, and more.

We can assist you throughout the entire closing process. Our team of experts can provide valuable guidance, answer any questions, and ensure a smooth and successful closing day.

In conclusion, the closing day in real estate involves many moving parts, and being prepared is key to a successful transaction. By following these tips and seeking assistance from NC Law Professional Corporation, you can navigate the complexities of closing day with confidence and ease. Reach out to us today to experience a seamless real estate closing process.