Sale of a House
SALE OF A HOUSE
When you sell the house we need information from you to prepare the sale documents and statement of adjustments. The purchaser’s lawyer will search the title and make requisitions to us to answer questions on title.
Where you are buying a new home at the same time from the proceeds of sale you should let us know well in advance we make difficult but appropriate arrangements to close both on the same day.
It is important to not that the level of service provided by each lawyer varies in quality and efficiency. The fees we charge reflects our standards of service.
Please complete the seller’s instructions on the website and email or fax to us. See address below. This list shows the documents we need to work on your file including the survey, the details of the current mortgages on title, the name of the agent etc. If you have the old report from us when you bought the property or from another lawyer please bring that to us as soon as possible.
AGREEMENT OF PURCHASE
Where the sale is complicated it is important that you review the offer to sell with us. If you have already signed the offer it is too late to change it. Offer to sell signed by both parties is a binding legal contract.
You should bring in the signed agreement of purchase and sale to us as soon as possible. We will open a file and start work on it when we receive it with your instructions. It is preferable that a copy of the originally singed offer be brought to us by the agent instead of a fax which may not be fully legible.
The survey shows the location of the house on the land and will show the distances of the front and side of the house from the boundary of the property. This location survey is not a plan of subdivision. If you have a survey it should be brought to us so it can be given to the purchaser. If there are any easements on the survey they may cause concern to the purchaser.
The closing of a transaction on the day shown in the purchase and sale agreement is a formal contract and failure to observe the terms of the that contract can result in an action for damages. You should provide full cooperation to us to complete the transaction on time. On the closing date you should vacate the property.
On closing we will provide a direction to the purchaser’s lawyer to pay the amount required to pay off the outstanding amounts of the mortgages. We will need for this purpose the mortgage statements form the existing banks ( mortgagees). We will request these statements when we have the name of the bank and address.
If you have a private mortgage we will need the discharge in advance. It is advisable for him to have his own solicitor who can provide us the discharge figures and agree to provide the discharge to us.
If the mortgage on the house is from a chartered bank we will direct the funds from closing to be paid to the bank and we will arrange for the courier to take the funds to that bank. The discharge of the mortgage will likely be provided well after closing and usually in about 2 months time.
We had some problems dealing with some banks which are not providing discharges for a long time even after being paid the full amount because of their administrative problems. The responsibility for ensuring that the discharge is provided is yours as this is your transaction. We will give them our undertaking to discharge with explicit understanding that we are doing this on your behalf. We will hold back about CAD$. 500.00 from the closing funds and we will refund this amount to you when the discharge is received. If you have not received this amount in about two months after the closing you should contact our office for further instructions.
If you are selling mechanical appliances like the fridge, stove and washer and dryer you should make sure that the appliances that where shown on the buyer are the same that you are leaving behind after closing. In the event of dispute on this matter if we get involved there will be additional fees as we are not including the cost of these additional problems in the fees quoted for the sale.
We will write to the gas and electricity authority to change the name of the customer to the name of the purchaser. It is still your responsibility to tell the utilities and the telephone company that you are leaving the house on the closing date and wish to terminate your account with the particular utility.
On closing an undertaking will be given you to the effect that if any utility amount has not been paid you will be responsible. If you do not direct the utility company to forward the last bill to your new address and we need to get involved in this matter we will charge additional fees for the additional time required.
If are any tenants on the premises that you are selling it is your responsibility to ensure that the tenant has left the premises on or before closing unless your agreement states otherwise. If the tenancies are going to be assumed by the purchaser we will need the names of all tenants and copies of the leases you have with them. You will need to sign a direction to the tenants, which we will prepare, which will authorize the new owner to receive the rents. The deposit amount paid by the tenant will be adjusted in your favour in the statement of adjustments.
When you come to sign the documents for the sale of the house you should provide us with one set of keys and remote control units to the office and we will subject to closing give them to the lawyer of the purchaser. If it is more convenient to leave it with the agent arrangement should be made with our office to make sure that the keys are not released until we advise such person that the transaction has closed.
The purchaser’s lawyer will do the search and will ask us to answer questions on the title to the property. If there are any title problems other than the mortgages you should let us know in advance because these title problems cannot be solved on the last day of closing.
On the closing date we will arrange for the exchange of funds against the keys provide the deed and other documents to the purchaser who will register the deed on title.
We will need to communicate with you to carry out the sale agreement. Please let us have all the phone numbers including mobile numbers, your fax, email and other contact information from you and your spouse. After closing your home telephone number will not be operative so we should have your mobile telephone or new work telephone number.
The details of the closing will be completed by our staff and we will provide you with the details of the contact persons and you should deal with them directly.
MEETING BEFORE CLOSING
One or two days before closing we will need to meet with you to sign the title documents and you should arrange a meeting for that purpose. Please remember to bring the keys of the house with you.
STATEMENT OF ADJUSTMENTS
A Statement of Adjustments is prepared by us to adjust over payments or under payments made for items such as municipal taxes, insurance, tenants and common expenses for condominiums etc. Expenses which are prepaid by the vendor are adjusted as of the date of closing on a daily basis and charged to the purchaser who will take benefit of those prepaid items after the date of closing.
On the right hand column of the statement of adjustment are the amounts charged by the vendor such as the purchase price and other prepaid items. On the left hand column are the amounts deducted from the purchase price such as the deposit and the amount of mortgage assumed and the like. At the bottom it shows the balance due on closing to the vendor.
We will prepare the Statement of Adjustments. When we meet for the signing you should check this statement and if there are any question you should advise.
We will also prepare the Statement of Trust Funds to show you the funds received by us from the other solicitor and the amounts paid to the bank or mortgagee.
STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT & TRUST
Unless otherwise agreed our current amount of fees for the sale and discharge of the mortgage plus all disbursements will be charged to you. The statement of trust funds will show the amounts paid and the net amount due to you after deductions of our fees. We will endeavour to arrange for bulk of the funds due to you paid to you soon after closing. The balance will be provided after the report and account are completed. Some funds will be held back until we have the discharges and the completion of the undertakings given.
We will prepare the final report on closing of your sale to you within about three to four weeks of closing. Please arrange to pick up the report personally. You should read the report and if you need any further documents please advise within 30 days. If you require documents after that time additional costs for copying and retrieving the records and file will be charged.
SUGGESTIONS AND REFERRALS
We take pride in doing the work with courtesy and efficiency. If you are pleased with our service please refer our names to other friends.
A good long term solicitor-client relationship can be advantageous to both parties. Such a relationship cannot be established overnight with a single transaction.