Are you buying or selling a house in Greater Toronto Area? Buying or selling a house can be exciting yet very hectic at the same time since there are lot of legal paper work is required and lot of things to be considered and taken care of. It is very important that both buyer and seller are prepared for it properly. To make this experience hassle-free for you and the other party, we have come up with checklist you should go through before the closing day.
- If you have a real estate agent, ask him/her to fax or email your Agreement of Purchase and Sale to your lawyer as soon as possible.
- Schedule your pre-closing visit before closing to do any final inspection to make sure that the house is in the same condition as when you signed the offer.
- If required, arrange mortgage for your purchase and advise your lender to send all mortgage documents to your lawyer at least 2-3 weeks before the scheduled closing date.
- The bank will be deducting certain costs such as tax, mortgage insurance and appraisal fees. Find out these deductions to make sure since you will have to pay the difference to close your deal.
- Make sure you have provided the lender with all required paper work such as proof of income, down payment, etc. to make sure it does not delay your closing.
- Give your lawyer all the necessary information about the buyer such as name(s), DOB(s) and any other information that is needed from them.
- Obtain fire insurance coverage for your new house at least two weeks before the scheduled closing date.
- If your purchasing property is a condo, you need a policy to protect your contents and liability.
- Ask your insurer or broker to send an insurance binder to your lawyer’s office. This is to confirm your policy.
- Contact your telephone and/or cable company in advance to arrange for a setup at your new place.
- Contact the municipality and other utilities (water, gas and hydro) to advise them of the ownership change.
- Make sure your utility companies read the meters on closing day so you’re only responsible for charges after you move in.
- Let your lawyer know if your new property has a well and/or septic tank.
- Advise your lawyer if the property will be used as a rental property.
- Book your movers later in the day of closing date or preferably the next day in case you don’t get the keys on time. There is no guarantee that you will obtain the keys to your new house prior to 5:30 p.m. on the day of closing.
- If your new property is a condo and you need use of the elevator, make sure to contact the management company well in advance of closing or whenever you decide to move in to reserve the elevator.
- Calculate the amount of funds that you need to bring to your lawyer’s office to purchase the property (the closing funds). Your lawyer will provide you with an estimate if you need one and will provide you with the final figures prior to closing.
- Your lawyer will be receiving a statement of adjustments just before closing. This could add to your closing costs if the seller has prepaid some expenses, especially property taxes. Find out exactly how much it is so you can arrange the funds.
- Obtain a bank draft or certified cheque for the closing funds.
- Visit your lawyer’s office 2-3 days before the closing date and take closing funds along with your 2 pieces of IDs –at least one ID must have photo. You can take your driver license, SIN card, passport or provincial ID.
- Let the lawyer know how you will be taking title to the property. If you take as joint tenants and one of you passes away, the other party immediately becomes the owner. If you take as tenants in common, you can transfer your interest to a beneficiary under your will.
- Pick up keys to your property from your lawyer’s office when he/she notifies that the property has been transferred to your name. This usually happen between noon to 5 pm on closing day.
By going through this checklist, you will be prepared well in advance to save yourself from any last-minute hassles and stress on your closing day. Hopefully it will be the beginning of happy memories for you and your family. Congratulations on your new house!
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