FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I'm buying/selling a property, when should I contact your law office?
You may contact us at any time, but as soon as your Agreement of Purchase & Sale is firm, you must get it into our hands.
Can I get a quote for legal fees?
If you contact one of our offices, we will be happy to provide you with a comprehensive fee quote via email specific to your transaction which will include, fees, office disbursements and HST. We will tell you up-front what to budget for your transaction and provide you with a Closing Checklist.
When will I meet with a lawyer?
You will meet with a lawyer 1 to 2 days before your deal is scheduled to close. At that time, you will sign all the necessary documents to complete your purchase or sale.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
You will need to bring 2 pieces of identification. If you are selling, please bring a key. If you are buying, you will need to bring a bank draft or certified cheque for the balance due on closing and our office will advise of the amount. This amount will include the purchase price (minus deposit) plus legal fees, title insurance and land transfer tax.
When will I receive my sale proceeds or key to my new home?
Typically you will receive a call from our office mid to late afternoon on the day of closing advising that your deal is complete! We will then have your sale proceeds or key ready for you.
Typically, one key is provided for entry and the rest (including mailbox keys and garage door openers) should be waiting for you on the kitchen counter.
LAND TRANSFER TAX
What is Land Transfer Tax?
In general, if you buy land or an interest in land in Ontario, you must pay Ontario’s land transfer tax.
If you are a first-time home buyer, you may be eligible for a refund up to $4,000. To qualify, you must not have owned property anywhere in the world and you must occupy the property as your principal residence. Speak to us for further information.
How much Land Transfer Tax will I pay?
If you are a first-time home buyer, you may be eligible for a refund of all or part of the tax up to $4,000. The rate has not changed since June 1, 1989. The calculation is as follows:
0.5% of the value of the consideration up to and including $55,000;
1% of the value of the consideration which exceeds $55,000 up to and including $250,000;
1.5% of the value of the consideration which exceeds $250,000; and
2% of the amount by which the value of the consideration exceeds $400,000 for land that contains at least one and not more than two single family residences.
Please note that if you are buying property in Toronto, then Municipal Land Transfer Tax will also apply.
What is Title Insurance and do I need it?
As part of a lawyer's legal services the lawyer will assess all reasonable options to assure title when advising you about a real estate transaction.
There may be several options available to protect your interests in a real estate transaction including Title Insurance. Title Insurance is not mandatory but in some instances your lender may insist that you purchase Title Insurance, to protect their interest as a lender, as a condition of your loan. In any event, Title Insurance is not a substitute for the lawyer's services in a real estate transaction.
In the event that you require Title Insurance your lawyer can help you buy it. In the event that you or your lender wish to use a specific Title Insurance product the lawyer will use his/her best efforts to obtain coverage through your insurer of choice. If you or your lender do not have a specific Insurer in mind the lawyer will obtain Title Insurance that is best suited to your particular situation taking into consideration issues such as cost and coverages.
Title Insurance may be advantageous in providing coverage or protection with respect to those title risks or losses for which a lawyer’s opinion on title cannot provide coverage or protection such as: title risks arising from forgery, fraud, duress, incompetency, incapacity or impersonation or some issues affecting boundaries which might have been revealed by an up to date survey.
The premium is paid only once and the policy is valid as long as you own that property.
As with most insurance policies, all Title Insurance Policies are subject to various conditions and limitations such as any title risk that is known to you but not to the Insurer on the date of the Policy.
What do I need to know before buying a condominium?
If you decide that condominium living is for you, you will receive a Status Certificate that your lawyer will review & discuss with you before the Agreement becomes firm.
A Status Certificate is a snap shot of the legal & financial situation of the condominium corporation current to the day the certificate is prepared.
The Certificate will confirm important matters such as: what unit you are buying, the monthly common expenses, how much money is in the reserve fund, what repairs are upcoming, any recent special assessments, how many units are leased & if the condominium corporation is involved in any lawsuits, etc.
You should also read the condominium “Rules” to ensure there is nothing with which you cannot live.