Purchasing a Home

Collect information from client:

  • Obtain copy of Agreement of Purchase and Sale and Survey
  • Determine how title will be taken - Joint Tenancy/Tenancy in Common/Partnership Property
  • Financing - Bridge/Mortgage/Insurance
  • Special Clauses - Agreement of Purchase and Sale/Verbal Promises

LETTERS OF INQUIRY TO City of Toronto:

  • Tax Department (fee $65.00)
  • Water Department (fee $25.00)
  • Building/Zoning (fee $105.00)
  • Consumers Gas (fee $16.05)
  • Specialty Departments (eg. Condominium Status Certificate ($100.00) , Environmental clearances, Septic etc.)

The alternative is to purchase a policy of title insurance ($351.00 including mortgage for houses up to $500,000.00) instead of these searches and the $50.00 Law Society Insurance Levy.

TITLE SEARCH

  • Review Survey
  • Title Search (disbursements $100.00 - 250.00 approx.)
  • Search of Adjoining Property (Planning Act problems)
  • Execution Search ($11.00 per name minimum)
    • this can be quite expensive if you or the Vendor have a common name and there are many writs registered as a similar name

REQUISITION LETTER to Vendor’s lawyer by title search deadline

  • Problems with title revealed by search
  • Encroachments indicated by survey
  • Utilities/tax liens
  • Executions
  • Mortgage(se discharged) to
  • Estate matters (Probated Wills/Affidavits of Executors)

CLOSING

  • Prepare Documents and meet with client to sign
  • Obtain funds and prepare cheques as per Vendor’s direction
  • Sub search of Title from previous search date to closing
  • Execution Search from previous search date to closing
  • Exchange documents with Vendor’s Solicitor
  • Register Documents
  • Obtain keys and get them to client
    • Closing Disbursements:
    • sub search Fees $15.00 and up
    • Executions $11.00 per name
      • Registration $60.00-71.50 per doc.
      • Land Transfer Tax (% of purchase price)
      • Fee to conveyancer $85.00+

REPORTS

  • Reporting letter and copies of all documents to client
  • Reporting letter and relevant documents to Mortgagee(s)
    • Office Disbursements: (usually $40-80.00)
      • Photocopies
      • Facsimiles
      • Courier
      • Long Distance
    • Law Society Insurance Levy $50.00

Disbursement costs quoted above are estimates only and exact amounts will vary with property location, price and title problems. It is impossible for a lawyer to give an exact amount for the disbursements for your purchase. If a lawyer gives you an exact amount, a little scepticism on your part is healthy! When considering the overall cost of your transaction, remember that none of these disbursements go into the lawyer’s pocket—these are all expenses she or he incurs on your behalf.

Fees that a lawyer will charge are slightly easier to predict but, again, they will vary with the difficulty and nature of the problems that become apparent as the deal progresses. Most lawyers will charge a set fee for the sale and perhaps another for the mortgage payout and any bridge financing which needs to be paid out. Lawyers’ fees are subject to GST.

Recommendations from friends, relatives, real estate agents and other trusted professionals are one of the most dependable ways to get a lawyer. Lawyers rely heavily on these types of referrals and you will be getting a “known quantity”.

The most important factor in choosing a lawyer is to find one who you are comfortable with and who you feel will keep you informed. You are the client and it is the lawyer’s job to protect your interests, let you know in advance of closing about problems that are encountered and answer any questions that you may have.

Real Estate is a very competitive area of law at the current time but the old rule that “you get what you pay for” still holds true. Be wary of fee prices that are so low that they seem too good to be true. They probably are and you may get charged with enormous disbursements that greatly inflate the total cost of the deal.