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Add a lawyer to your team

  • s/he can handle the legal documents involved

  • shop around for someone with experience

  • ask about their fees

  • get an estimate of the legal costs involved


You may already have an estate lawyer

The most logical candidate is the lawyer you hired when you bought your home. S/he is already familiar with the property and could easily draft the required documents.

Other ways to find a lawyer

Ask people you trust for recommendations – friends, family, business associates. 

REALTORS® can give you the names of several lawyers so you know your home will be in the right hands.

Your lawyer should help you review important documents you have to sign and answer any of your questions about these papers. Know exactly to what you are agreeing. 

Receive an offer

You’ve been working hard towards this point. Now you get to see how much your efforts are paying off. 

Your realtor can walk you through the process

Your realtor will present every offer that is submitted for your review. The buyer’s realtor may be present, too. However, the buyer will probably not be there, so you can review and respond to the offer without any awkward pressure. Stay calm, whether good or bad, and stay focused on what you want to do next. 

Discuss the offer

You may ask your realtor for advice regarding the offer. Maybe it’s time to celebrate, or it could be time to plan a counter offer. If your partner and family are involved, you can request private time to discuss matters. At this point, you have three options:

  • Accept the offer – sold!

  • Reject the offer

  • “Sign back” the offer – negotiate some more


Reasons why you want to “sign back”

  • You want more money that what was offered

  • You want a different closing date

  • There are other details with which you’re not satisfied 

Points of Contention:

  • Buyer to obtain financing – this means the buyer doesn’t have a mortgage in place yet

  • Approval to assume mortgage – you have a great mortgage rate and the buyer want to take over these payments

  • Sale of purchaser’s home – they are still trying to sell their home and don’t want to pay for two homes at the same time

  • Property inspection – this is becoming standard industry practice, so to refuse this condition could ruin the sale of your home.


Close the sale

  • Before your house is truly sold, your realtor and lawyer have to help you through the final steps known as the “closing.”

  • This is where your realtor and lawyer take care of the time-consuming and complicated legal work.

Canada's money laundering reporting requirements

By the time you accept an offer, your REALTOR® will also advise you of reporting requirements by FINTRAC, the federal agency responsible for administering Canada's Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing legislation and regulations. Your REALTOR® is required by federal law to complete a client identification form, and must ask you as the vendor or seller for verified ID such as a driver's license or passport. You can find out more on the FINTRAC web site at

Your closing checklist:

  • Advise your lawyer that an agreement has been signed; make sure your lawyer is ready to close the transaction

  • Immediately start satisfying any conditions of the agreement that require action on your part

  • Notify your lawyer and lending institution whether the buyer is assuming your mortgage

  • Notify the utilities, telephone, and cable companies about transferring or removing service. Often, your lawyer handles the utility transfer.

  • Cancel or transfer your homeowner’s insurance

  • Contact a moving company to arrange your move on or prior to the closing date.

  • Fill out a change of address card at the post office and send out your new address information. Contact the Ministry of Transport about updating your driver's license.

  • Notify your realtor immediately if anything about your property or situation changes


Contact with your lawyer

  • If you plan to pay off your mortgage with proceeds of the sale, your lawyer will obtain a statement from your lender showing your outstanding mortgage balance and any penalties owing to discharge the mortgage

  • Before closing, your lawyer will help you sign over the title of your property to the buyer.

  • On closing day, your lawyer will receive and distribute the proceeds from the sale, pay off your mortgage and other costs, and give you a cheque for the net proceeds.

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