To assist you in your sale transaction, we have prepared some “Helpful Hints” which are intended to assist you in the sale of your home and answer many of the usual questions which arise in a typical sales transaction. We hope this will help us serve you more efficiently and make the transaction more understandable to you.
Specific topics covered below include:
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale which you will have signed is a contract for the sale of your home. It is this “contract” which details the terms of your sale and will regulate most of what occurs thereafter until such time as your sale is completed.
To assist in your sale, you should deliver to us all documents in your possession reflecting your ownership to the home including the following:
- Deed – (if you are selling a mobile home, there is no deed but your lawyer will need your Bill of Sale) for your home.
- Mortgage Details – a copy of your mortgage or your most recent mortgage renewal agreement.
- House Insurance information – a copy of your policy or the most recent premium notice.
- Tax Bill – the most recent one.
- Survey for your property.
- Type of Heating System – if you have a propane tank or oil tank, the size of the tank and the name of the company that fills the tank.
If there are tenants who are to be assumed by the Purchaser, the details of the Tenancy (Full Name, amount of rent, amount of prepaid rent, lease start date, next rent increase date, appliances owned by tenant).
- If you are selling a mobile home on a rental property, a copy of your lease.
Although it would often appear confusing to most Purchasers and Vendors, the typical Agreement of Purchase and Sale recites that the price which shall be paid shall be “subject to the usual adjustments.” This means that the net number of dollars to be paid shall be higher or lower than indicated as required by the facts which are peculiar to your particular deal. Typical adjustments are as follows:
- Taxes – Taxes are usually paid four times per year. As a result taxes are never paid exactly to the date of closing. It is the Vendors obligation to pay realty taxes up to the day before closing. The day of closing and thereafter are the obligation of the new owner. An adjustment is made depending on whether the taxes are ‘overpaid’ of ‘underpaid’
- Fuel Oil/Propane Tank – If your home is heated by fuel oil or propane, it is not possible to tell with certainty how full the tank is. The usual procedure is to have the tank filled on the date of closing and to have the Purchaser pay for the full tank of fuel.
A Purchaser must place their own fire insurance and liability coverage. You should speak with your agent to determine the best method of dealing with your coverage. NEVER cancel the policy until you have confirmed that you sale has closed!
You should speak with each of your utilities companies and make sure that they do a final meter reading on your closing date. Advise them of the name of the Purchaser (the name is on your Agreement of Purchase and Sale) so that the account is switched into the name of the Purchaser on Closing.
Although it is sometimes confusing, a solicitor’s account is composed of two general categories of charges. Your lawyer can provide you with details of these charges once you have sold your home.
- Fees – this is what you pay your lawyer for the services rendered and liability undertaken
- Disbursements – expenses incurred by your lawyer on your transaction Frequently occurring expenses are typically set out below:
- Mortgage Discharge – If there is a mortgage on the property that is not being assumed by the Purchaser, a Discharge of Mortgage must be registered. The Registry Office charges for each Discharge that is registered
- Law Society Insurance Levy – the Law Society charges as an insurance levy on every sale file handled by a lawyer.
- Miscellaneous Disbursements – there are expenses incurred for photocopies, faxes, long distance phone calls, postage etc. Ask your lawyer if they estimate these charges or if they track your expenses using cost tracking systems
We will sign all of the closing documents with you a few days before closing. You should contact our office one week prior to the closing date to make your appointment to sign the documents.
Please leave one key with your Realtor and bring one key with you. When you leave your house, leave all of the rest of the keys on the kitchen counter.
On the closing date our conveyancer will take your file to the Registry Office. The Purchaser’s lawyer (or conveyancer) will arrive at the Registry Office (generally we do not know in advance when they will arrive), searches will be updated, documents exchanged and registrations effected. When all of the documents have been registered, your deal is ‘closed’.
It is difficult for us to predict in advance when your sale will be completed. If the Purchaser has to sell their house before they buy yours, this may result in a delay. If there are numerous transactions that have to be closed before yours, your deal might close late in the day. We like to call you when your deal has closed, so we need to have a phone number that we can reach you at on the closing date. Since your phone will be disconnected that day, we will need the number for a cell phone, pager, neighbour, relative, friend, etc.
The proceeds of sale will be paid as we direct – we will pay the following things for you:
- Real Estate Commission – The deposit on your deal is held by your Real Estate Office. We will pay the balance of the Real Estate commission.
- Mortgage Discharge – If you have a mortgage, we will pay the amount necessary to discharge the mortgage (including any penalties and discharge fees).
- Final Utility Accounts – We do not generally pay final utility accounts. If we are required to pay these accounts, a holdback will be made and applied against the final utility accounts. Any balance will be forwarded to you after the accounts have been paid.
- Our Account – will be paid out of the proceeds of sale. We will not know the precise amount of all disbursements prior to closing, so some of the disbursements will be estimated at closing. When we generate our account to you we will forward to you the balance remaining.
- Balance of Funds – The exact balance of the funds will be paid to you as promptly as possible. It occasionally takes a few days to ascertain exact balances remaining, but we will try to have the majority of funds available to you on the day after closing by 12:00 noon.
We hope these notes are helpful to you. It is our desire to assist you to understand the sale process as much as possible and to provide a service to you which is worthwhile and mutually beneficial. If any part of these notes or our process is unclear to you, please ask us about it – clarifying it for you will assist us in making it clear to others.
Feel free to contact us at any point for assistance or advice with respect to Real Estate law. We may be reached at 705-435-4339 / 1-877-85LEGAL (1-877-855-3425) or contact us via email .