Real Estate Sales
Home Buyer's Checklist
This may look like a long list but it is not meant to be intimidating. Don’t forget, we are here to help you in any way that we can to facilitate a smooth and stress-free transaction. Please do not hesitate to contact us anytime you have any questions. We are always available at our office and by email after hours. For after hours emergencies, contact Kathleen Kelly by email.
- Please provide your lawyer with a copy of the Purchase and Sale Agreement as soon as possible, even if the deal is not firm. If you are working with an agent, please ask him or her to send us the Agreement and all related documentation as soon as possible. If you are not using an agent, it is best if you contact your lawyer before accepting any offers. We will review your Agreement or any offers and advise you.
- We will contact you shortly after receiving your agreement with some preliminary questions. If you would like to get ahead of the game or are curious about the information required, please take a look at the Home Buyer’s Questionnaire below.
- Please be sure to let us know if you or your spouse is a First Time Buyer or if you are taking title in the name of a corporation. Also, please inform us if you intend to use the property for anything other than a residential property (i.e. you want to start a restaurant, a store, etc.).
- Contact your mortgage broker or bank immediately after signing the Agreement (or even while you are house hunting). Find out what the requirements are to qualify you for the mortgage and what amount suits your needs. If you do not have a mortgage broker or lender, please contact us, we have fantastic contacts that we can recommend. Once you have your financing in place, please advise your mortgage provider that we will be acting for you and please give them our contact information.
- If you would like a referral for an inspector, mortgage broker, or insurance broker, please let us know. We would be happy to direct you to our trusted professional contacts.
- If you are purchasing a Condominium, we will order the status certificate and review it then call to discuss our findings with you.
- If you are buying a New Build, let the developer know we will be representing you and they will send us the signed agreement for our review. From the time you sign the agreement of purchase and sale, we have 10 days to review from the builder/developer. Your lawyer will review the agreement and call you to discuss the findings and provide an opinion on the Agreement. After the agreement firms up, if you receive any notices of delays of the closing date, please let up know right away. If the builder did not provide adequate notice of the delay, you may be entitled to some compensation in certain circumstances.
- As you waive the conditions, if any, in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale, make sure to inform your real estate agent so that he or she can send the seller Notices of Fulfillment before the condition expires. If you are not working with an agent, let us know and we will provide you with the forms and give you a hand.
- If, during the conditional period before your deal becomes firm, any terms are amended or renegotiated, please let us know as soon as possible.
- If you are buying vacant land and intend to build on it, please inform us.
- If the property is serviced by a well, a septic system or fuel tanks, please inform us.
- If you intend to lease the property please let us know as soon as possible and also inform your mortgage broker or bank. We would be happy to help you with a Lease Agreement if you don’t have one.
- Please provide us with the contact information for your home insurance provider so that we may obtain an insurance binder indicating adequate home insurance to cover the full value of the home.
- If you are receiving a bridge loan, please let us know.
- Let us know if you or any party going on title needs to sign by way of a Power of Attorney.
- Contact your telephone, internet, and cable service providers to set up an installation date after closing.
- We will call you shortly before closing to set your signing appointment.
- Shortly before your closing date, we will provide you with the amount of funds (if any) required to close. Please provide us with a Certified Cheque or Bank draft of that amount at your signing appointment. We will not be able to provide you with the exact amount of money required to close until we receive the adjustments from the Seller’s lawyer which is normally sent the week before or the week of closing.
- Please bring two pieces of Identification to your signing appointment. One piece of identification must have your photo. We are unable to accept health cards or debit cards but may accept a credit card. Even if your lawyer knows you well, we are required to keep copies of your identification to satisfy our reporting obligations.
- If you are buying a new build, please contact the builder for your pre–delivery inspection and be thorough when listing defects! They will provide you with a Tarion Warranty form, we need a copy of that document, please bring it to your signing appointment.
- Even if your spouse is not on title, they may be required to sign some documentation in front of your lawyer, nonetheless.
Moving and Closing
- On the closing date, we work with the seller’s lawyers, the mortgage company and our bank to close the deal. The time of day that we close is dependent on a number of factors that are out of control but we must close the deal by 5:00. We can only provide you with the keys after the transaction is closed. Commonly we close during the later afternoon and we will call you to let you know that the keys are ready for pick up. The latest you will be able to pick them up is shortly after 5:00 p.m. If you can’t pick them up, let us know who can come on your behalf and we will give the keys to that individual.
- If possible, plan to move in and order the moving truck for the day after closing. The timing of closings depends on a number of factors that are often out of our control. Most closings occur in the later part of the afternoon and you will not get your keys until then. We would not want you to incur any additional expense for having a moving truck sitting idle while you wait for the keys.
- If you are buying a condominium, you may want to contact the Condo Management company to reserve an elevator for your move.
- On closing, we will inform the municipality, Hydro One and Enbridge of the change in ownership but we cannot set up your new accounts. Please contact them directly to set up your accounts. If you are purchasing a Condominium, please inform the board or the management company of your arrival and set up your common expense payments with them.
- If the home will be your primary place of residence, change your address on your Driver’s Licence, Health Card, and inform any parties necessary of your change of address. Consider contacting Canada Post to have your mail forwarded.
- Consider changing the locks.
Congratulations and enjoy your new home!
Home Buyer's Questionnaire
Home Seller's Checklist
The lawyers at Noble Gadient Kelly are dedicated to facilitating your home selling process. Most Canadians consider their real estate property to be their biggest assets and selling them can be stressful. We are available to help along the way to ensure that your sales transaction is a successful one.
- Please provide your lawyer with a copy of the Purchase and Sale Agreement as soon as possible, even if the deal is not firm. If you are working with an agent, please ask him or her to send us the Agreement and all related documentation as soon as possible. If you are not using an agent, it is best if you contact your lawyer before accepting any offers. We will review your Agreement and contact advise you.
- We will contact you shortly after receiving and reviewing your agreement with some preliminary questions. If you would like to get ahead of the game or are curious about the information required, please take a look at the Questionnaires page under Real Estate Sales on our website.
- Please provide us with a copy of a survey if you have one in your possession.
- Inform us if your property is serviced by a well, a septic tank, a fuel tank (i.e. oil or propane) or borders on a body of water. In the case of an oil tank, you will be required to fill up the tank, the cost of which will be adjusted on closing. Please inform us of the rate of the fuel and the size or capacity of the tank.
- Please provide us with a copy of your last property tax bill. The interim bill or final bill for your taxes must be paid in full according to the time of year of your closing. The taxes will be adjusted on closing so that you only pay for the amount of time you own the property during your last year of ownership. If you pay your property taxes through your mortgage company, please let us know.
- If you have made substantial renovations or additions to your home or condo, or built a new home on vacant land please inform your lawyer. If you have made changes to your condominium’s common elements, please let us know.
- Please provide us with the mortgage lender’s names and reference number for any mortgages or secured lines of credit.
- If you are selling a condo or a POTL, please confirm the value of your common elements fees. You are required to pay for the entire month of your closing but the amount will be adjusted on closing.
- If the property or a portion of it is rented, please let us know and provide us with a copy of the lease. Inform us if you have a security deposit or collected “first and last months” rent.
- Discontinue alarm service, landlines and internet services for the closing date or shortly before. Request that Enbridge and Hydro One complete a final reading of your meter.
- On closing, we will inform the municipality, Hydro One and Enbridge of the change in ownership but we cannot close your accounts. Please contact them directly. If you are selling a Condominium, please inform the board or the management company of your departure and discontinue your common expense payments.
- Maintain your property insurance until the end of day on closing, in the off chance the property transaction does not close on the date expected, you will have to extend your property insurance until the title is transferred.
- We will contact you to set up an appointment to sign the documents shortly before closing. More often than not, we must wait to finalize our documents until we receive the buyer’s documents and figures from their lawyer. These documents are often not sent to us until the week before or the week of closing.
- Even if your spouse is not on title, they will likely be required to sign some documentation nonetheless.
- Please bring two pieces of Identification to your signing appointment. One piece must have your photo. We are unable to accept health cards or debit cards but may accept a credit card. Even if your lawyer knows you well, we are required to keep copies of your identification to satisfy our reporting obligations.
- Bring a void cheque, if you have one, so that we can deposit the closing funds into your bank account directly.
- Provide us with a key to the main door, the unit door, the mailbox and any garage remotes at your signing appointment. Leave any additional keys and manuals on the kitchen counter before you leave.
Moving and Closing
- Clean out the home a few days before closing. Take all our belongings except those identified as chattels or fixtures to remain in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Please leave the property in a clean, broom swept condition.
- If the home was your primary place of residence, change your address on your Driver’s Licence, Health Card, and inform any parties necessary of your change of address. Consider contacting Canada Post to have your mail forwarded.
Home Seller's Questionnaire
An Overview of Wills
What happens to your assets after death and why everyone should have a Will.
Your ESTATE is all of the assets which you own after your death. Not all property that you own before your death goes into your estate. For example, if you own your house ‘jointly’ with another person, that person automatically becomes the owner on your death. The house does not become part of your estate. If you owned life insurance which was payable to a named person, the proceeds of that insurance are paid directly to the person and do not become part of your estate.
A WILL is a written document prepared and signed in a specific form which specifies how you want your assets handled following your death. The estate trustee is the person you name in your Will to carry out your instructions.
The ESTATE TRUSTEE is the person or people who are responsible for administering your estate.
The RESIDUE of your estate is what is left after specific bequests are made. The residue is divided by percentages.
A SPECIFIC BEQUEST is a gift of a certain item to a certain person. For example, you might wish to leave $10,000.00 to your brother Bill or your wedding ring to your eldest daughter Sue.
A TRUST separates control of an item from the benefit of the item. For example, if you leave $100,000.00 to A in trust for B, A makes the investment decisions, but B gets to spend the money. The terms of the Trust will describe when and how much money B is to get.
What Can I Say in My Will?
You are generally free to dispose of your assets as you wish. However, if your Will does not make adequate provision for those who are financially dependent upon you during your lifetime, a court may order a part of your estate used to make proper provisions for these people before the estate is distributed according to your Will.
What Happens If I Don’t Have a Will?
If you have no Will, your assets will be distributed among your spouse, children, or nearest relatives, according to law. The actual divisions depend upon your living relatives and the size of your estate.
Administration of your estate is more difficult without a Will.
If you do not have a Will and a child is entitled to all or part of your estate, and that money is not given to the child or his guardian but is invested by a department of the Provincial Government. Upon the child reaching the age of majority, currently 18, the full amount of the inheritance together with accumulated interest is paid to the child. As a result, the money is not available to pay child expenses while he or she is growing up and a large amount of cash is paid to the child at an age when they may not be able to handle it.
What Should I Consider When Making a Will?
First, consider the size and nature of your estate. Remember that some of the items you own, such as life insurance or your house may not become part of your estate.
Next, consider the legal and moral obligations on you have to your dependents. These may include your spouse or partner, your children, a previous spouse, or business associates where you are a partner or shareholder in a private company.
If you have a spouse or partner consider the size of the joint estates if you die at or near the same time. Often the amount going into one or both of your estates will be much larger than you had otherwise considered.
Who Should Be the Estate Trustee?
You may name one or more persons or an institution as Estate Trustee. The Estate Trustee or Trustees may be members of your family, close personal friends, a trust company, a professional advisor such as lawyer or accountant, or a combination of them. The choice will depend upon the abilities of the people involved and the demands that will be made on them. Any Estate Trustee is entitled to apply to a court to be paid a reasonable fee. Often if the Estate Trustee is a Beneficiary under the Will or a close friend they will choose not to claim compensation. A trust company or other professional advisor will expect to be paid and may request that you enter a payment agreement during your lifetime.
Specific Bequests should be kept to a minimum. You may wish certain items to go to certain people and want to include these items in your Will. However, if you do so you will be required to change your Will every time the item or beneficiary changes. Specific items can change in value over time and what was intended to be a minor bequest may become a significant portion of your estate. Often your Estate Trustee can be informally advised of how you wish certain assets distributed. While not legally binding, most trustees will follow these instructions if they do not conflict with the intentions in your Will.
If you have young children you will want to recommend a person who will look after them while they are growing up, provide for their expenses while growing up and perhaps during post secondary education, and to provide for a division of whatever is left once they are beyond a certain age.
You may wish to say something about funeral arrangements in your Will. Ironically your Will cannot legally require an estate trustee to dispose of your body in any particular fashion. However, most trustees will respect your wishes and a direction may be helpful if the trustee is not a person who would otherwise know your wishes.
We have prepared a Wills form to assist you in your consideration and to organize information for the Will.
At the same time as you are considering a Will you should consider the preparation of a Power of Attorney for Property and Power of Attorney for Care.
An Overview of Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney gives someone other than yourself a right to make decisions on your behalf while you are alive. The powers given by a Power of Attorney cease on your death. At that time the estate trustee named in your Will becomes the person who makes decisions guided by your Will.
There are two kinds of Powers of Attorney: Power of Attorney for Property and Power of Attorney for Care. Very different considerations may apply to your choice of these people and they may or may not be the same. A person named in a Power of Attorney need not be a lawyer.
Power of Attorney for Property
A Power of Attorney for Property gives another person or people the right to sign most documents on your behalf. The power may be general or may be restricted to certain areas such as power to write cheques on a certain bank account, or be limited in time, such as between January 1 and December 31, 2003, or come into effect only on the happening of a certain event, such as a doctor declaring you incapable of looking after your own affairs.
You may specify that a Power of Attorney continues even if you become incapable in the future.
A Power of Attorney for Property does not deprive you of the right to sign documents. It simply gives someone else the right to sign them as well.
Power of Attorney for Care
Power of Attorney for Care gives someone else the right to make decisions on your behalf relating to your care. The most common application is consent to or refusal of medical treatment. However, there are many other areas in which decisions may be made as well.
By definition you must be incapable of making a decision before the attorney can make a decision on your behalf. You are aware if the attorney has made the decision because actions are taken on your person.
An Overview of Probate Taxes for Estate Planning
For every $1000.00 of your estate, $5.00 dollars is charged up to the first $50,000.00. The value of your estate that exceeds $50,000.00 will be taxed at $15.00 per $1000.00.
Estate planning is important for many reasons, one of which is to reduce the amount of money that falls into your estate pursuant to your will in order to reduce the amount of Probate your estate must pay after you pass.
Designating beneficiaries in RRSPs, life insurance policies, etc. is one way of doing so.