ROADMAP FOR SELLERS
Your offer to sell your home has just been signed. Congratulations. But the process of selling your house isn’t quite over yet. So, what’s next? To make the selling process as smooth as possible you have to complete the necessary steps ahead of closing. You will not be left alone, we will be with you every step of the way.
Please keep in mind, that in real estate transaction “time is of the essence”. Therefore, any conditions must be satisfied by the dates stated in Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Otherwise, your closing could be delayed or in the worst case scenario, the transaction could be voided. You and any other co-sellers, and in some cases spouses must be available to execute closing documents. If you anticipate that you or another person who is on the title to the property will not be available prior to the closing, it is recommended to prepare and execute a Power of Attorney for Property to a trustworthy person who will act on your behalf.
- Retain a lawyer. Discuss with your lawyer the closing costs, fees and disbursements and HST for the type of transaction you are closing.
- Promptly provide our office with relevant information about the property as soon as possible. Specifically, if you have knowledge of any special matters relating to the property such as unregistered easements, liens, any mortgages or lines of credit to be discharged etc.
- Advise our office about the spousal status of all the Sellers registered on title and whether the property being sold is occupied as a Matrimonial Home. If the property is a Matrimonial Home provide the names of any spouse. Also advise our office if anyone else has an interest in the property by way of a trust agreement or a constructive trust. If this is the case provide our office with the name or names and contact information of an owner or owners who are not registered on title.
- Advise our office whether property you are selling or any part of it, such as a basement is rented to Tenants. If the property is rented, and the buyer is assuming the tenancy, we will need all the details of tenancy contract such as: the date when the tenancy started, the name of the tenant, the amount of rent, when it is due, the amount of any last month’s rent deposit held by you and, who pays for the utilities. If a tenancy exist which the Buyers will not assume, advise our office immediately so that proper notices of termination of the lease to the Tenants are provided on a timely basis in accordance with the Landlord and Tenant Act.
- If the property you are selling is a recently-built home or condominium, let us know if the New Home Warranty Program is still in effect and provide our office with a TARION Certificate.
- Advise our office if any of the Sellers are or will be, at the time of closing, considered non-resident of Canada as defined by Canada Revenue Agency for tax purposes. If this is the case a Clearance Certificate will need to be obtained, or a substantial hold back will have to be kept after the completion of the sale until the Clearance Certificate is obtained.
- Notify our office immediately about any amendments or changes to the Agreement of Purchase and Sale such as change of the closing date, or price, to avoid any possible delays on the closing day.
- Keep the property and all items included in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale in the same condition as when the Agreement of Purchase and Sale was signed until closing. Make sure the property is heated during winter months, that there is no basement or roof damage. If there will be any damage to the property, the Buyer may refuse to close or ask for an adjustment in the price to reflect the costs of repairs needed.
- Don’t remove any fixtures and leave all the items listed in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, which form part of the Agreement such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, or window coverings you agreed to leave at the time of signing the Agreement. Also, do not remove new appliances from the property you are selling or replace them with older or cheaper models.
- Have the oil tank topped up the day before closing, if your property is heated with oil.
- Continue the house fire insurance coverage till a day or two after the closing to allow for unexpected extensions of the closing day at all times, no matter if you are living in the property or if the property is tenanted or vacant. From the time the Agreement of Purchase and Sale is signed until the closing date, the property remains at the risk of the Seller, regardless whether you are living in the property, the property is tenanted, or vacant.
- Continue making your regular mortgage payments and any property tax installments which may become due on or before the day of closin
- Meet with your lawyer. All Sellers and their spouses, if the property is a Matrimonial Home, will have to come to our office to sign the closing documents and provide us with the keys to the property, a day or two before closing.
- Remove your furniture, cloths, and other possessions from the property by the closing day.
- Contact your utility companies such as your water, hydro, and gas providers to arrange for your meters to be read on the day of closing and provide them with your forwarding address of your new residence, so that you may receive and pay the final bills. Additionally, make arrangements to cancel any pre-authorized payment plan you may have with the utility companies and insurance company only after your transaction has closed.
- If there is any lease that the Buyer agreed to assume such as lease for hot water tank or furnace bought on installments, contact the institution from whom you are leasing to obtain the required documents, if any, for the Buyer to sign.
- Pick up the cheque for the net proceeds of sale from our office in the late afternoon on the day of closing if available, or the next day in the event of a late closing.
On the day of closing our office will make every effort to close your transaction as soon as possible. However, there are many factors beyond our control that affect the closing time of your transaction, i.e. whether the Buyers have to sell first, the Buyer’s Lawyer schedule etc. Once your transaction is completed, which typically happens in the late afternoon, we will notify you promptly.