Real Estate Closing Guide for Purchasers
Purchasing a home can be an overwhelming task! At Castle Law, we want your purchase transaction to be as smooth as possible, so we have created this guide to lead you through the process step-by-step.
The Right Team
Before you begin looking for the right home, you want to set up a team of reliable and knowledgeable professionals who can assist you through different stages of your purchase transaction.
Realtor: First, you will need to find a Realtor who can represent you exclusively and act in your best interests by signing a Buyer Representation Agreement.
Mortgage Broker: Before you submit an offer for a home, you should know how much funds you have available for the purchase. If you require additional financing, your Mortgage Broker will be able to assist you in obtaining a pre-approval and confirming the mortgage amount and the interest rate for which you qualify.
Lawyer: Some people choose to retain a lawyer early in the process, especially where there are certain requirements or considerations to be taken into account, so that the lawyer can review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale before it is submitted to the vendor. In any case, you will need to retain a lawyer as soon as the vendor has accepted your offer. This means that you have a binding contract to purchase the property. Your lawyer is responsible for searching title, preparing closing documents essential for the transaction and the transfer of land.
Accountant: If you are planning to purchase a home for investment or tax planning purposes, you should speak with an Accountant before making any firm decisions.
The Closing Process
Once your offer has been accepted by the vendor, you need to ensure that our office has all the required information and documents in a timely manner.
Immediately after you have a binding agreement:
We will require the following:
Realtor’s contact information
Financing information such as your Mortgage Broker’s contact information
Agreement of Purchase and Sale
Documents related to your identification, citizenship and residency status, and spousal status
Other relevant information such as your intended use of the property, whether you are a first-time home buyer, etc.
We will provide you with an estimate of your closing costs well ahead of time so that you can better prepare your funds necessary for closing.
You should finalize your mortgage details as early as possible so that if any problems arise, there is still time for you to arrange alternative financing or to request an extension of the closing date. After you finalize your mortgage it will also take several business days to have the mortgage instructions sent to our office.
At least 1 month prior to closing:
Arrange for the opening or transfer of utilities and other accounts (TV, cable, phone, hydro, electricity, hot water tank rental).
Book your moving company well ahead of time as their space can be limited during peak season (spring and summer).
Start searching for and scheduling contractors if you wish to renovate the property before moving in. Contractors can get booked up very quickly during the peak season (spring and summer).
Register your change of address with the post office. You may also want to obtain a supply of Change of Address Announcement cards which are used to notify third parties of your new address.
1-2 weeks prior to closing:
We will review the property search results with you approximately 2 weeks before closing to ensure there are no deficiencies or liens against the property. If there are any issues with the title to the property, we will inform you right away so that we can work together to solve the issue.
Obtain your Home Insurance Policy or update your Home Insurance Policy with your Insurance Broker and ensure that your policy is in accordance with your mortgage lender’s requirements, if applicable.
2-3 days prior to closing:
We will schedule a meeting with you to sign all legal closing documents. Please remember to bring the funds required for closing, which will include your down payment and land transfer tax.
Conduct a final inspection of the property. Any issues or damages to the property since your first viewing found during this inspection can still be dealt with prior to closing.
On this date, we will exchange closing documents with the vendor’s lawyer. We will deliver closing funds to the vendor’s lawyer while the vendor’s lawyer delivers keys to us. We will submit transfer documents to the Land Registry Office for registration. Once your Transfer/Deed is registered you will have full ownership of the property! You will need to pick up your keys and reporting package from our office.
You should attend your new property on the day of closing to verify that all items set out in your agreement has been delivered, and that there are no damages to the property. If there are any issues with the property, please do not hesitate to contact our office.