Buying Real Estate
Congratulations on finding a home you like! An Axess Law real estate lawyer can review your offer to purchase and advise you on how to buy a house in Ontario without the expensive legal bills or hassles home ownership can bring. We help you close the deal to make the home you want your own.
Hiring a Buyer's Real Estate Agent
Do you really need a real estate agent for buying property in Ontario? No, but having one can be advantageous. Most Ontarians have limited experience buying a home. Real estate agents find deals that suit your lifestyle and budget and negotiate with sellers, especially if multiple or counter offers are made. Realtor's commissions are paid by seller's listing agents and there is no direct cost to you.
Making an Offer of Purchase or Sale
Now you have an agent, the next step in buying property in Ontario is signing the agreement of purchase and sale. Your realtor can prepare the offer to purchase for you, but for peace of mind, legal advice is recommended.
Your offer is a written contract that includes terms and conditions you and the seller must meet within very specific timelines. It will be irrevocable for an agreed-to period and, once accepted by the seller, is legally binding on you. Unless the seller agrees or your offer is subject to terms such as mortgage financing or a satisfactory home inspection, you cannot cancel an accepted offer without legal consequences.
That's why Axess Law legal advice matters.
Making a Home Buyer's Deposit
Most sellers expect a good faith deposit of $5,000 to $10,000 and possibly more, depending on the home's value. The deposit goes toward the purchase price and will be held in trust until the transaction is complete.
Getting an Independent Home Inspection
Your offer is in. What's next? Independent home inspections are your best ally. You won't regret the small price you pay ($300 to $600 on average).
Qualified home inspectors find hidden problems that affect the overall condition and sales price of a new or previously owned home you are seriously considering buying. They do a visual inspection and tell you if roofs, insulation, heating, plumbing, wiring, doors or windows need repairs or replacement. They assess if a condo's common areas require major structural repairs that will be added to monthly strata fees.
While home inspections can't find every defect, they can give you some reassurance you are buying a move-in ready home worth the price the seller is asking. Making offers to purchase conditional on home inspections allows you to back out if the home you want is in less than desirable condition. Axess Law can advise you on asking for a price reduction or negotiating to get the seller to make repairs if that happens.
Buyer's Cooling Off Periods
Newly built condos in Ontario and some new homes give you up to 10 days to call off your purchase within 10 days of discovering a significant or material change in a disclosure statement. Your purchase deposit is held in trust and must be refunded with interest, if payable. We show you where to get information on vendors, developers and new condo project statuses.
New Home Warranty Coverage in Ontario
Newly built condos and single and multiple family homes are also covered for certain defects and deficiencies for up to seven years by the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Warranties protect your purchase deposit and may compensate you if closing or move-in dates are delayed. An Axess Law Greater Toronto Area real estate attorney can discuss these with you.
What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do in Ontario?
If you're getting the idea home buying is complicated, you're right. Having an Axess Law attorney examine your offer saves you financial grief later on if you need or want to amend or cancel your offer. Only a licensed Ontario lawyer can answer legal questions for you and close your real estate deal.
Our local real estate attorneys advise you on signing a binding exclusive buyer representation agreement (BRA) with a realtor. We explain your legal rights before you sign to prevent misunderstandings or potential conflicts of interest, such as having realtors represent both you and the seller.
Once your offer is accepted, our real estate lawyers do all the work of closing for you. We receive legal documents from realtors and mortgage lenders, discharge existing mortgages and search the title to the property for liens or rights of way that might delay or prevent a sale. Most important of all, we ensure you meet all the legal deadlines to transfer a property title to you.
Calculating Buyer's Taxes
Our real estate lawyers can also explain what taxes you owe and if rebates apply. For example, Ontario home buyers pay property taxes plus a provincial land transfer tax of between 0.5% and 2.5% of their home's assessed value. Toronto buyers pay an additional municipal land transfer tax (MLTT), but like other eligible first-time home buyers, may be eligible for tax rebates. Foreign buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe of southern Ontario are responsible for a 15% non-resident speculation tax (NRST). We review your tax situation and ensure all taxes are paid in full.
Buyer's Remorse and What to Do
If you get buyer's remorse after closing a real estate transaction. Axess Law can advise on when to take a home seller to court. We inform you of your legal options if you cancel a sale and:
- are held liable for the difference between your offer and the final purchase price the next buyer paid
- are sued for moving expenses, financing or other costs the seller incurred.
Find Ontario Real Estate Lawyers
Axess Law's flat legal fees making buying a home easy. You pay just $999.99 and up to consult by real-time video call anywhere in Ontario or meet with you at any of our Greater Toronto Area law offices.
We're open 7 days a week, with convenient day or evening appointments that fit your schedule. Dial 1-647-479-0118 for a free quote on buying your next home or stop by our Greater Toronto Area law offices to speak with an experienced real estate lawyer.
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