>  FAQs


How Does a Real Estate Lawyer Assist You in a Purchase Transaction?

A real estate lawyer can assist you in a number of ways, including:

  • Reviewing the agreement of purchase and sale
  • Searching the title to the property to make sure there are no outstanding mortgages or other claims against the property
  • Arranging for title insurance
  • Ensuring that real estate taxes have been paid prior to ownership change
  • Preparing and reviewing documents
  • Transferring ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer
  • Answering any questions you may have about the real estate transaction process.
Why do you require the services of a real estate lawyer?

A real estate lawyer is typically involved in a real estate transaction from the time an offer is accepted until the deal closes and the keys are transferred to the new owner. A lawyer will be required to close the transaction and to transfer title.

A real estate lawyer can navigate the real estate transaction process and ensure that your interests are protected.

When is the real estate lawyer paid?

Documents we need from our clients:

  • Two Government Issued Photo Identification
  • Signed Agreement of Purchase & Sale
  • Mortgage Lender Information
  • Home Insurance Policy
  • Condo Certificate if Purchasing a Condominium
  • Bank Draft/Certified Cheque with Outstanding Closing Funds
What is land transfer tax?

Land Transfer Tax is a tax that is payable to the Province of Ontario (or the corresponding municipality) at the time that you take ownership of real estate. The amount of tax that is payable is calculated based on the value of the real estate being purchased. In Toronto, in addition to LTT, there is also a Municipal Land Transfer Tax, which is calculated in the same manner.

The amount of tax that is payable can be found on the Land Transfer Tax Calculator.

What are common disbursements in a purchase transaction?

Some common real estate transaction disbursements include:

  • Title Search Fee
  • Land Transfer Tax
  • Title Insurance
  • Software Fees
  • Courier & Travel Fee
  • Electronic Mortgage Instruction Fees
  • Registration of Transfer & Charge

These are just some of the many fees that may be associated with a real estate transaction. Your real estate lawyer will be able to provide you with a more complete list of disbursements that may apply to your specific situation.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects you from certain losses that may arise as a result of problems with the title to your property. The premium for the policy is paid once and covers you for as long as you own the property.

In Ontario, there are four title insurance providers: First Canadian Title, Title Plus, Stewart Assyst & Chicago Title.

What is a title search?

A title search is an examination of the public records to determine the current owner of real estate and to verify that there are no outstanding claims or encumbrances against the property. The title search will also reveal any easements or right of ways that may be attached to the property.

Should I Sign an APS with no Conditions?

It is not advisable to agree to an APS with no conditions. By doing so, you are legally obligated to purchase the property and the seller is legally obligated to sell the property. At minimum, there should be a condition permitting a lawyer review. In competitive markets, it is not uncommon for the offers to have no conditions.

Why do you require the services of a real estate lawyer?

A real estate lawyer is typically involved in a real estate transaction from the time an offer is accepted until the deal closes and the keys are transferred to the new owner. A lawyer will be required to close the transaction and to transfer title.

A real estate lawyer can navigate the real estate transaction process and ensure that your interests are protected.

When is the real estate lawyer paid?

The real estate attorney is generally paid out of the proceeds of the sale at closing. At times, lawyers may collect upfront retainer for new clients. The fees can vary based on the lawyer, the work involved and the type of transaction.

What are disbursements?

Disbursements are the fees that the real estate lawyer pays out on behalf of their client. In a sale transaction, these fees can include, but are not limited to acquiring a tax certificate, law society levies, and discharging any additional mortgages on the property. The disbursements are always additional to the lawyer’s fees.

What should I look for in a real estate lawyer?

When looking for a real estate lawyer, you should look for someone who is experienced in real estate law and is familiar with the real estate market in your area. You should also look for someone who is responsive and who can answer any questions you may have about the real estate transaction process.

What happens if I break mortgage?

If you break your mortgage contract before the term is up, you may be charged a penalty. The amount of the penalty will depend on the terms of your mortgage contract. If you are thinking about breaking your mortgage contract, you should speak to your mortgage provider to find out if you will be charged a penalty and, if so, how much the penalty will be.

What is a Mortgage Payout Statement?

Your mortgage statement is a document that shows how much you owe on your mortgage and other details about your mortgage loan including the fees and penalties associated with the discharge.

Your mortgage payout statement will be requested by your lawyer. Upon signing, the lawyer will review the statement to make sure that all the information is accurate.

When Will the Closing Documents Be Signed?

You select the date and time for signing your paperwork.  At the scheduled signing, your lawyer will go over all the documents with you to make sure that you understand everything that you are signing. We will also go over the financial aspects of the transaction with you. The appointment is scheduled after we have received the mortgage instructions from your lender. We also offer virtual appointments for your convenience.

What are Mortgage Instructions?

Mortgage instructions are the documents that your lender will provide to us in order for us to register the mortgage on title. These documents detail the terms of your mortgage loan and how the lender will be paid back.

Your real estate lawyer will review the mortgage instructions to make sure that they are correct and in order with what was agreed to. These may be special terms such as payment of outstanding debts, real estate taxes, etc.

When will I receive a financial breakdown of the real estate transaction?

A few days prior to your scheduled real estate closing, you will receive a real estate transaction breakdown. This document itemizes all the fees, disbursements and adjustments that are part of your real estate transaction. This document will also show the total amount of money that will be payable to you following the closings.

A delay in receipt of mortgage instructions will result in a delay in the real estate transaction breakdown.  Your real estate lawyer will go over the financial numbers with you to make sure that you understand everything.

Free Evaluati

  • All communications with your lawyer & law clerk via phone and/or email
  • One in-person or virtual signing appointment
  • Review of the Agreement of Purchase & Sale
  • Communication with the realtor’s office for commission payments
  • Preparation of all legal closing documentation
  • Discharge of one mortgage (If Applicable) 
  • All internal disbursements such as photocopies, faxes, couriers etc.
  • A stress-free closing day!

As with every law firm, disbursements are extra.  In real estate transactions, these fees differ and depend on the type of transaction. These can include fees for title search, title insurance, deed registration, certified cheques and so forth.

Nothing is due until the closing day itself.  Disbursements and the lawyer fees are drawn from the closing proceeds (if selling) or from the down-payment cheque (if buying).

Contact us for any questions or a detailed quote. 

What’s included in the fixed one-time fee?


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