Are you thinking of buying, selling or mortgaging real estate and want to be more informed?
What You Should Know
The preliminary considerations should be budget, pre-approved mortgages, the purchase and sale agreement, what to discuss with your lawyer and what to do after the Offer to Purchase becomes a Contract. The information below will give you some guidelines. Additional information on the buying, selling and mortgaging of your property may be found in a brochure that we have available at our Law Office.
Develop A Budget
You should always be prepared for the unexpected. You should attempt to anticipate what costs you will incur at the time of closing the transaction. You need to consider the land transfer tax, legal fees and disbursements, disbursements not subject to GST, and items such as survey/title insurance and oil tank fill up. Our brochure gives you sample details.
Before making an offer on a house you may want to obtain a pre-approved mortgage from a Financial Institution. This will help you to determine the amount of money you have available to purchase a house. It will also put you into a better position to make an offer without the concern of mortgage approval.
Purchase And Sale Agreement
Your real estate agent is the person who has been trained to help you prepare an Offer to Purchase. Once you have selected the property you wish to purchase your agent will normally fill out a standard Real Estate Board Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Whether your Offer is made on that or some other form, it becomes a binding contract the moment the vendor accepts your offer.
You should discuss with your Lawyer the following:
Extra items to be included in the offer;
Any conditions required;
Survey and cost of Survey or Title Insurance in lieu of a Survey;
Land Transfer Tax;
Legal Fees and Disbursements;
Some practical matters such as choice of closing date, inspection before closing, obligations which you would like the vendor to carry out before closing.
After The offer To Purchase Becomes A Contract
Your lawyer must begin a thorough and complete series of investigations to see that you are really getting everything that is in your Contract.
All of the following things will need to be searched:
Title must be checked to see if the vendor owns the house and whether anyone has filed a lien, mortgage or other encumbrance on the property;
Particular requirements such as any guarantees concerning the water and septic, insulation, etc.;
That the property will be adequately insured;
Status of previous corporate owners;
Status of mortgages being assumed or discharged;
Compliance with agreements and restrictions;
The rights of creditors over things such as furniture, fixtures, stoves, fridges (chattels) that areincluded in the purchase price;
All arrangements necessary to ensure that your financing will be adequate and in place on closing;
Papers prepared by the Lawyer representing the vendor.
Note: Some of these searches are not required if a Policy of Title Insurance is issued on your behalf.
If the land or lot on which the house is located has not been surveyed, a Survey should be promptly ordered and completed to make sure that:
The house is located entirely within the lot lines;
There are no fences, eaves or buildings belonging to someone else overlapping the land you are buying;
The building, as constructed, complies with all local Zoning By-laws.
If anything is found wrong in any of this, your lawyer will have to do additional work to protect your interests. This additional work may not be included in the estimated fee quote. Note: These issues may be covered by Title Insurance.
For information on what to do on the day of closing of your real estate purchase, and information on what your lawyer will do after the closing, please pick up our Real Estate Brochure at our office.