Selling your home isn’t over until your real estate lawyer completes the sales transaction.
Axess Law walks you through real estate law in Ontario and explains each step. We answer common questions you ask real estate lawyers and ensure your sale goes as smoothly as possible.
The 4 Types of Sales Transactions in Real Estate
All sales transactions involve a buyer, seller, and transfer of goods or services in exchange for money. Your home or land purchase is no different. Transaction simply means the value of an asset, liability, or owner’s equity changes.
Your purchase can be:
- a cash sale transaction, often a firm offer with no conditions
- an assignment sale, assuming another buyer’s pre-sale home contract
- agreement for sale, like a leasehold agreement giving you access to land you pay for over time
- or agreement of purchase and sale
Recording Sales Transactions in Real Estate
Chances are your transaction will be a standard agreement of purchase and sale between buyer and seller, with an offer, acceptance, and closing dates. Assignment and agreement for sale transactions come with their own real estate forms. If you do pay in cash, be sure to get the terms and conditions in writing, and request a receipt.
9 Steps to Closing Real Estate Sales
Review the agreement of purchase and sale.
Purchase and sale agreements are binding legal contracts. Before you commit to selling a home, let an Axess Law lawyer in Ontario review your agreement.
We add clauses that protect you if a home is not in the condition you thought it was or your own home doesn’t sell in time.
2. We advise you on tenants’ rights, like move-out terms and security deposits.
We’re often asked can a buyer require that tenants be evicted?
Buying a rental property with existing tenants in Ontario can be tricky. Your tenants have rights around how much notice you give for real estate agents and potential buyers to view their suite. With a few exceptions, they generally can’t be asked to move out without cause. Plus, tenants are owed security deposits with interest if a buyer insists they leave.
Read up on buying income properties before you list a home with suite for sale.
3. Accepting the buyer’s funds.
Buyers’ lawyers transfer their deposit and final payments to an Axess Law trust account. When the deal concludes, those funds are deposited in your bank account, minus legal fees, incidental expenses and property tax disbursements.
4. Ensure all property taxes and strata fees are paid.
Taxes on buying a house in Ontario are shared by buyers and sellers. The buyer compensates you for annual property taxes you have already paid, based on the number of months you occupy the home (for instance, eight months of taxes if you sell in October and paid a full year’s taxes in July).
Outstanding strata fees or special assessments are finalized by Axess Law so the buyer can purchase your property without being liable for these.
What does a real estate lawyer do in Ontario? See our legal services for private sales.
5. Pay out your mortgage and realtor’s commission.
Besides settling with your mortgage lender, we check for charges registered against the title to property. Liens or court judgments must be cleared before your home can change hands. We will inform you if a long-forgotten or newly registered charge is delaying the sale of your home.
Discharge your mortgage when you sell.
6. Negotiate if problems arise.
Do you lose your deposit if financing falls through? Axess Law real estate lawyers negotiate with the buyer’s attorney to make amendments to agreements of purchase and sale. We extend the closing date when needed or sign waivers that allow sellers to walk away.
What happens to the deposit when buying a house.
Unforeseen events like flash flooding or a fire at a nearby property can seriously damage your home between the time the agreement of purchase and sale is signed and you transfer possession. Who pays repairs can turn on whether your insurance is still in place or the buyer’s has taken effect. We advise if the worst happens just as your sale is about to complete.
Buyers can make unreasonable requests to make major repairs at your own expense. Or ask you to dramatically reduce the sales price based on issues a home inspection report turns up. Axess Law defends your financial and legal interests by negotiating with the buyer’s lawyer. If we don’t think a dispute can be resolved, we refer you to our trusted legal partners or advise you when to forfeit the deposit and end the deal.
Be careful how you word a home inspection clause.
7. Exchange legal documents and keys with the buyer’s lawyer.
Your real estate closing date is when the buyer gets legal ownership. Axess Law transfers final copies of legal documents to the buyer’s lawyer and arranges your new home’s keys to be presented to you. You could drop by our office or pick up the keys from a lock box attached to your home or strata building.
8. Tips for transferring titles to property.
Make your closing session with Axess Law go quicker by bringing these documents:
- land deeds
- property surveys
- Ontario property tax receipts
- municipal land transfer tax receipts (Toronto)
- renovation contracts
- and transferable warranties.
See what’s involved in transfer of title in Ontario.
9. We send a final report to you.
Our statement of adjustments and final report itemizes the expenses (debits) we paid for you, such as your share of property taxes, and funds (credits) you received, such as the buyer’s deposit and final purchase price. Just ask if you have concerns about any of our legal services.
Let Axess Law Close Your Next Home Sale
Axess Law has a real estate lawyer (Toronto, Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa) for legal advice on closing sales transactions.
We walk you through the process from A to Z and keep you up to date via email and phone. We can set a date with you to come to a conveniently located Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa Axess Law locations to sign closing documents. Or send someone to meet at your home or office.
Our simplified, flat fee legal services save time and money and are designed to be convenient for our clients (you!). If you want to spend less time selling and more time closing a home sale, dial our 1-647-479-0118 lawyer line for a free quote or to arrange to access law offices near you. Toll free calls accepted at 877-402-4207.
Book Online for Day or Evening Legal Appointments
We’re open 7 days a week, with long, flexible hours. You can choose a time that works with your schedule and close real estates virtually using our secure, online video conference and e-signing services. In a hurry? Make appointments online, in just minutes, with our easy-to-use online booking form.
Congratulations on completing your home sale! Wasn’t that easy?