Writing Agreements of Purchase and Sale

Close your real estate transaction with confidence. Available for virtual and in-person closing, we bring legal expertise to you in the most convenient and affordable way.

What to Include when Writing Agreement of Purchase and Sale

Axess Law helps you amend any real estate agreement to get better terms that work to your advantage. Ontario agreements of purchase and sale contain standard legal clauses developed by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). Your rights and obligations are limited by what you agree to when you sign standard agreements of purchase and sale.

Proceed with caution when you write an offer to purchase or, as it’s more commonly called, agreement of purchase and sale. Your offer is subject to an irrevocable period, during which you cannot alter or revoke it. If the seller or buyer accepts your offer or counteroffer during that time, it becomes legally binding on you.

Most agreements of purchase and sale have standard clauses, such as if fixtures like kitchen cabinets attached to a property are included, or if chattels like a garden shed belonging to the owner stay or go. What you include in an offer is between you and the buyer or seller. You can even agree to nullify the contract by mutual consent and return the deposit without penalty. Axess Law can advise you what to include in your offer when you bring your draft agreement to us.

How It Works


Request Quote

Click on ‘Get Started’ button to receive a quote from us. If you decide to proceed, our customer care team will reach out to you within minutes to discuss the next steps.


Upload Closing Document

You will receive a secure intake link in your inbox to submit your closing documents. After receiving your documents, we will work with the lender to prepare for closing while keeping you informed at all times.


Sign Agreement

Once your closing documents are ready, we will book an appointment to review and sign the documents with you. Depending upon your convenience and location, you can meet your lawyer in person or virtually. 

Documents We Need

Our virtual real estate lawyers close your home purchase or sale by video conference call. We make it easy for you to complete real estate transactions on time, from the comfort of your home or office. Arrange a remote video conference with our licensed real estate lawyers anywhere you are in Ontario.

Prior to closing, Axess Law will ask you for two pieces of ID. Proving your identity is obligatory to prevent mortgage and title fraud. You may use either two pieces of primary ID (Ontario driver’s licence, passport, Ontario photo card, Canadian citizenship card with photo or Canadian permanent resident card with photo) or one primary and one secondary ID (birth certificate, social insurance card or major credit card with your name on it).

Bring a draft or signed agreement of purchase and sale from the buyer or private seller to your initial appointment.

Whether you are buying, selling or refinancing your mortgage, Axess Law will need the name and contact information of your mortgage lender. Information your lawyer may require includes:

  • mortgage loan agreements
  • payoff amounts showing balances owing
  • expiration dates for mortgages
  • and per diems, which is the daily interest rate for a mortgage.

If you are paying off a home equity line of credit (HELOC), tell us the outstanding amount owing. Your mortgage lender can provide copies of mortgage documents on request.

Fire insurance is mandatory in Ontario when you have a mortgage. Your proposed insurer will give you a one-page fire insurance binder and our lawyers in turn confirm whether the certificate is valid and forward it to your mortgage lender.

Condominium corporations carry fire insurance for the whole building, including common parts of your unit, such as balconies. The details are contained in the condo status certificate you provide to us. We’ll touch on that next.

If you are buying a condo, contact the condominium corporation directly for a status certificate showing the building condition, reserve fund, and expenses. The certificate includes the condo bylaws and rules, and any legal actions that may be outstanding. A small fee may apply.

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer's Advice

Taking possession of a property without having a professional real estate lawyer review your agreement of purchase and sale can leave you vulnerable. Axess Law pays particular attention to all the clauses in your agreement of purchase and sale. We review the fine details and point out clauses you need to be aware of before you finalize your offer. Mistakes in the contract may create legal liabilities for you. More concerning, structural problems or hazards like asbestos can leave you with a home you would rather not own.

If your contract is missing important details, Axess Law real estate lawyer adds clauses to protect your legal and financial interests. We advise you if an agreement leaves out provisions that may affect your ability to satisfactorily complete the sale, such as making your final offer subject to mortgage financing or a home inspection. Your lawyer goes over all the technical aspects of your agreement and answers any questions you may have.

Rights and Obligations in Real Estate Forms

  • Ontario agreements of purchase and sale contain standard legal clauses developed by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). Realtors can fill in the blanks, but all those terms — future property uses, inspections, documents and discharges, irrevocable clauses — may affect your ability to complete the deal to your satisfaction. Your rights and obligations are limited by what you agree to when you sign standard agreements of purchase and sale.
  • By the book arrangements for 24- to 72-hour or less irrevocable periods, 10% down deposits and 30-day closing periods are fine if they suit your purposes. But what if you are moving to a new city to start a job or selling prime property in a hot market where you need a solid buyer commitment? Axess Law’s legal professionals revise standard real estate forms to give you flexibility to make a purchase or sale easier to accept.
  • Protect your deposit if a home or property is in sale-worthy condition, just not to your high standards.

Can I Cancel My Offer?

How you write the offer can determine if the seller or buyer can cancel and who keeps the deposit. Tips for writing yours:

Make it conditional in case you have to withdraw
Be specific about what fixtures and chattels (moveable items) are included
Specify a date for possession
Have Axess Law review your agreement before it's finalized

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Convenient Appointments

Make an appointment by calling +1.877.402.4207 or fill out our online booking form. Axess Law gives you the choice of booking an online or in-person appointment. Our lawyers are available 7 days a week, at times convenient for you. We can meet in person, by phone, email, or via a remote video call. In addition to these, there are 5 Axess Law offices located across the Greater Toronto Area – all with onsite parking or easily accessible by public transit.

Some FAQs

Our Ontario real estate attorneys add specialized legal clauses to real estate sales or purchase contracts if you are:

  • in a bidding war
  • acquiring a heritage home
  • buying a condo subject to repairs or fees
  • purchasing waterfront property in Ontario
  • waiting for the buyer’s home to sell
  • and more.
Axess Law can resolve almost any situation you can think of, from who owns the alarm system to rarely-used holdback or cashback agreements by sellers for missed deadlines or late repairs. Ask us if you are uncertain your purchase or sales agreement includes worst-case scenarios. Sellers or buyers don’t have to accept add-on legal clauses, but there’s no harm in asking.
Age and condition aside, heritage homes can be subject to municipal designated heritage property or heritage conservation district renovation and design bylaws. Getting insurance or a mortgage may rely on proving the home you want passes structural integrity and servicing standards. We write conditions into your APS to cover home inspection scenarios.
Leaky condos are almost a thing of the past, but buying condos in Ontario could subject you to special assessments or HOA-type (home owner association) fees you didn’t expect. Buyers can be surprised to discover condo special assessment disclosures that add thousands in home buying expenses or monthly fees to maintain common areas. Our legal clause add-ins give you a way to recover extraordinary expenses or back out of legal purchase contracts if needed.

Buying a rural waterfront home in Ontario cottage country is exciting. We’ve got your back on water issues. Your mortgage lender or home insurance agent may only agree to a purchase if you include these water potability, private water well, or co-op water clauses in your offer. Axess Law reviews your agreement to make sure you won’t run out of drinking water or find the water is too contaminated to drink after you close a real estate sale.

Competitive Clauses for Bidding Wars

Bidding wars are won because prospective buyers are first to the table with conditions sellers desire. Our competitive clauses make your offer flexible enough to outdo other purchasers who make offers you don’t know about.

Warranties for Rural Septic Systems

Who wants to make their first big purchase installing or replacing expensive septic systems? Before you look forward to relaxing weekends or vacations, let Axess Law amend your agreement to include legal clauses that put the onus on the seller to produce warranties the septic system is permitted, inspected and operating, and meets Environmental Protection Act provisions. Representations or warranties can be used to make a legal or financial claim if something goes wrong before or after you move in.

Escape Clauses for Conditional Offers

Seller escape clauses unbind your hands when buyers have to sell property before purchasing yours. Escape clauses give buyers first right of refusal if you accept other offers so they have time to close the deal or walk away without penalty.