What Information will my Real Estate Lawyer Need for my Home Purchase?

In Ontario, when you select a real estate lawyer for your home purchase, you will be required to provide the lawyer with a number of materials prior to closing.  Below, we explain what those materials are, how you can obtain them, and why your real estate lawyer will need them.

Here’s What You Need

  1. Agreement of Purchase and Sale: You or your realtor should provide your real estate lawyer with a copy of your Agreement of Purchase and Sale as soon as possible so that your lawyer can begin work on your file.
  2. Mortgage Lender: If you plan to have a mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC) on your home, you will need to provide the name of the mortgage lender(s) to your lawyer as soon as possible.
  3. Fire Insurance Binder/Certificate of Insurance: Your lawyer will require a copy of your fire insurance binder/ certificate of insurance prior to closing. If you will be getting a mortgage on your home, your bank will require you to have insurance in place.  Part of your real estate lawyer’s job is to obtain this document from you and provide it to your bank. If you are purchasing a condominium, you will not require fire insurance. This is because the condominium corporation has fire insurance in place already (the fire insurance for the entire condominium building is contained in the status certificate, which we will touch on next).
  4. Status Certificate: If you are purchasing a condominium unit, you will need to provide your real estate lawyer with a copy of the status certificate for the condominium.  The status certificate includes information on the physical and financial status of the condominium corporation. You can generally obtain a status certificate from the seller or from the property management company that manages the condominium (there is typically a fee of approximately $100 for this document).
  5. Identification: You will need to provide two pieces of I.D. prior to closing.  These should either be two pieces of Primary I.D. or one piece of Primary I.D. and one piece of Secondary I.D.
    1. Primary I.D.: Ontario Driver’s Licence, Passport, Ontario Photo Card, Canadian Citizenship Card with photo or Canadian Permanent Resident Card with photo.
    2. Secondary I.D.: Birth Certificate, Social Insurance Card or Major Credit Card with your name on it.
  6. Bank Draft/Certified Cheque: A few days before closing, your real estate lawyer will let you know how much money you will need to bring in to purchase your home.  The exact amount is usually not known until right before closing since there are several small items which affect the total amount owing.  

While this may seem like a lot of work to gather all of this information, the timely delivery of these materials to your real estate lawyer will help your purchase go smoothly and get you into your new home headache-free.

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