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What is a "Standard Residential Sale"? What is included & what is not?


Barrister & Solicitor

Phone (519) 740-3888    or                               Toll free 1-866-656-3863                                                Fax (519) 624-4238


The Standard Real Estate Sale

When we act for you in a real estate sale transaction, we are working to produce all those documents which must be delivered by you as the seller to the buyer of your home.  We draft the transfer document which is an electronic document that is prepared, stored and finally registered, at closing on Ontario’s Teranet system.  We calculate the amount that must be paid by the purchaser in order to fulfil his obligation to pay the price stated in the agreement of purchase and sale.  In order to do this we produce a statement which is delivered to the purchaser containing adjustments of the purchase price to reimburse prepaid amounts (which almost always include your property taxes) that have not been used by you and to account for the deposit or other amounts that are paid (or should be paid) before closing.  This statement is called the statement of adjustments.  One of the most important things we do is to provide answers and assurances (usually in the form of documentation) to address the legitimate concerns (requisitions) raised by the purchaser’s solicitor as a result of his or her title search.  Another important task we perform is to communicate with your mortgage lender in order to obtain the exact amount to be paid out of the closing funds to clear (discharge) the existing mortgage from title.  In order to facilitate the delivery to us of the balance of the purchase price due on closing even though your mortgages have not been discharged we provide the purchaser and purchaser’s solicitor with my personal undertaking to obtain and register a discharge of existing mortgages after closing (provided they are not intended to be assumed by the purchaser). Without these undertakings most sellers would be unable to sell their home because they lack the necessary funds to discharge existing mortgages before the purchase price is paid.  This is a crucial service performed by lawyers for their clients and its importance is often overlooked or not realized by vendors.  Most importantly, though, we attend to the closing of the transaction by delivering the necessary documentation to the purchaser including the transfer for registration once the balance due on closing has been received by our office.    After the transaction has closed we see to the important task of paying the discharge amount to the mortgagee and making sure that a discharge is actually registered in fulfilment of your obligations to the purchaser.  We also see to it that the real estate agent is paid the balance of commission owing if any.  Most importantly, we make sure you understand all components and costs of the transaction so you know the disposition of every penny on your behalf and why the proceeds of sale are what they are.

Thus the fee for a “Standard" Sale Transaction includes

§  legal fees document preparation

§  preparing Statement of Adjustments

§  corresponding with the solicitor for the other party

§  preparation, review & registration of closing documentation

§  meeting with you to sign the closing documents

§  reporting to you

§  all photocopies, faxes & e-mails

All standard transactions do not include the government disbursements such as registration costs (register a new mortgage on a purchase or discharge of an existing mortgage on a sale) and Land Transfer Tax.  If you are unable to provide details of your property taxes (ie the amount of taxes and the amount paid in the year) it may be necessary to obtain a tax certificate from the municipality (and for which they charge a fee) in order to obtain sufficient information to do the statement of adjustments.  Often we can find the information we need by other means but sometimes we have no choice but to pay the fee and if this is the case we recover the disbursement from you because the obtaining of a tax certificate is not normally necessary and its cost is not therefore included in the fee for a standard sale transaction.  HST is, as always, extra as is the Law Society $65 levy plus HST charged on every transfer of land occurring in the province.  We will pay this fee but will recover it from you.