When buying property in Toronto you will need to retain a lawyer to process the real estate transaction. Locate a Toronto lawyer who does much of his or her work in real estate law. If you do not already know a lawyer to whom you can turn, you can ask friends or relatives for referrals and ask your Realtor® for some recommendations.
Find out about their experience, ask for references, and ask about a breakdown of the costs involved in the transaction. Then, make a decision as much on their answers to your questions, as on how comfortable you feel with the individual. No matter how you find your lawyer choose one early before you place an offer on a home or condo.
Some questions you may want to ask when you are interviewing lawyers:
How do you work with your clients? Are you more price or service oriented?
Approximately what sort of cost should I budget for if I retain you? What does your fee include? Does it include the title search fee? (If not how much will that be?) Will you charge extra to act on behalf of the Lender and if so how much will it cost?
Do you have time to work with me? What happens if the purchase of my property closes when you are on holiday?
Ask about closing the transaction electronically and steer clear of lawyers that are not equipped to do so as they must go down to the Registry Office in person which will mean time delays on the closing day.
Never choose a real estate lawyer just because their fees are the lowest. As with any other professional, quality and experience are the key, not just price.
For the most part a lawyer will not get involved in negotiating the transaction but looks over the finer details of the contract to make sure that they are acceptable and that you understand them. Your lawyer is necessary to conduct the closing. They do the title search, deal with your lender, and review all the papers you have to sign ensuring that all the necessary steps are completed.
Closing Day As a buyer you do not need to be physically present in Toronto on the date of closing but notify your lawyer as soon as possible so other arrangements can be made.
On closing day it will be necessary for your lawyer to obtain the money from the mortgage company and work with the Seller’s lawyer to exchange the relevant documents, money and keys. A transaction is said to be “closed” when these exchanges have taken place. Your lawyer will then register the documents transferring title to the property from the Seller to you. Once this is completed, the keys to the property will be made available to you.
Lawyers often have many transactions closing on busy days, and it is often difficult for them to arrange a closing time until later in the day. You are not entitled to possession of the property until after the transaction has closed. It is therefore suggested that you do not order the moving truck to arrive until at least 4:00 p.m. so you are not paying the movers to sit outside your new home waiting for the transaction to close. Please discuss this with your lawyer. Your lawyer should be in touch with you within the week prior to closing to arrange an appointment to sign documents and bring in the money.