Real Estate Law

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Real Estate Law


What we do

Our real estate lawyers have vast experience in the area and are there to protect your legal rights throughout the process of selling, buying or refinancing your home.

Purchase:

Buying a house can be a very stressful process and we are helping to ensure it is a smooth transition. We will review your Agreement of Purchase and Sale to ensure that it meets your needs and that you fully understand the legal rights and obligations under the contract. If necessary, we can make changes to reflect your individual needs. We will assist and help coordinate your financing, working with your lender to ensure the purchase is completed. We will search title and bring any issues to resolution while securing title insurance to protect your interests. We go through a detailed analysis of any matrimonial issues that may arise as a result of ownership or contribution to your home and can assist you with any form of domestic or trust agreements respecting the ownership of a home. On a new build purchase, we deal with Tarion Builder’s enrollment, builder adjustments, levies, surcharges and attempt to obtain caps on all costs allowable under an Agreement of Purchase and Sale with the builder. We ensure that each client in all purchase situations is met personally by our lawyers and understands all the requisite paperwork and answer any questions you may have.

Sale:

On a sale, we will help you gather the requisite documentation needed, verify your taxes, provide the purchasing lawyer with the survey if called for under the agreement. We will review your Agreement of Sale and explain to you any obligations you have to the new owners and warranties you may or may not have given. We will ensure you make arrangements to recoup overpayments of property taxes on closing, and any other credits under your agreement. Our lawyers will ensure all necessary payouts are made on existing encumbrances including liens, mortgages and lines of credit. We ensure you understand that on most institutional and private mortgages involving banks or trust companies, you are being charged penalties of the greater of 3 months interest or the interest rate differential and that Banks will charge discharge fees on payout in addition to balances owing. We will work with purchaser’s counsel to obtain the sale funds you are entitled to in a timely fashion upon closing. We ensure that each client is met personally by our lawyers to explain all documents and the process.

Mortgage/refinance:

On a new mortgage, line of credit or refinance, we will work hand in hand with your lender to obtain all instructions and ensure all necessary paperwork and conditions are met to secure the necessary financing to achieve your goals. We will coordinate any payouts to prior debtors, ensure prior encumbrances are cleared where necessary and submit all documents to the lender in a timely fashion. We ensure that each client is met personally by our lawyers to explain all documents and answer any questions.

Additional costs for home buyers

In addition to the purchase price, legal fees and disbursements, you will normally incur a number of additional expenses, including land transfer tax, HST, and adjustments.

Land Transfer Tax

One of the largest additional expenses when purchasing a property in Ontario is the Provincial Land Transfer Tax (PLT) and in Toronto, the Municipal Land Transfer tax (MLT), if applicable. This is calculated on a sliding scale based on the purchase price and a first-time home buyer’s rebate is available to a maximum of $4000.00 (if you have owned property before or are married to someone who has, you lose this rebate). Your lawyer or your real estate agent can provide you with more information about land transfer taxes and the first-time buyers rebate.

HST on the purchase price

HST only applies to properties purchased from a builder/developer and does not normally apply to resale homes. If the new property will be your primary residence, you may be entitled to an automatic Federal HST rebate up to $24,000.00. The builder is entitled to have you assign the rebate and make the application on your behalf which is factored into the closing costs. In certain circumstances, purchase of properties intended to be rented or as an investment may also qualify for a residential property HST rebate. Your lawyer will provide you more information about HST as applicable.

Adjustments

The closing will be “adjusted” to reflect the expenses of the property that should be paid by the seller and those that should be paid by the purchaser for the number of days of the year each of the parties will own the property. For example, the purchaser will be required to reimburse the seller if the seller has prepaid any property taxes. If a home is heated by an oil furnace, the seller will usually fill the tank before closing and the purchaser will pay the seller the cost of the full tank.Purchasers may also need to pay for mortgage insurance if they have less than a 20%down payment, or for a survey of the property if the seller is not able to provide them with one.

How to determine your total expenses

It is very important to know in advance how much money you will actually receive from the sale of a property and how much you will need for your purchase on the closing date. We will be able to calculate most of these costs for you and provide you with an estimate of these total amounts in advance.

Professional home inspections

Many purchasers decide to make their offers conditional on receiving a satisfactory home inspection by a professional home inspector. This can be especially important if you are buying an older home.Professional home inspectors will thoroughly check the home for defects and assess what kinds of repairs may be required in upcoming years. This will include the quality of the roof, the plumbing, the insulation, and the electrical, heating, and cooling systems. If you purchase a property conditional on receiving a satisfactory home inspection and the inspection reveals problems, you will have a legal right to terminate the contract to this effect. Some purchasers who find problems will negotiate a reduction in the purchase price to cover the cost of repairs instead of cancelling the agreement, although the seller has no obligation to accept this.

To have a right to conduct a home inspection, you must include a specific written provision into the offer to purchase to this effect. In many areas of Ontario, there are commercial inspection services and home owner’s associations who will perform a full home inspection for you. The fees typically range 400-600 depending on your area and the type of home. Since these services are not closely regulated, we can refer you to a reputable company. This inspection can usually detect leaks, roof problems, Mould, structural problems and other visible latent defects, which may impact on the decision to continue with this purchase or impact in the negotiation of a decrease in the sale price.

Surveys: Detailed property drawings

A survey is a detailed drawing of a property, including the exact dimensions of the land and the location of any buildings, fences, driveways, and adjacent roads. It will also show easements or rights-of-way which utility companies or others may have over the property.

A survey is very important to a purchaser because it will help make sure that the size of the property stated on the listing and in the purchase, agreement is accurate, that the buildings do not encroach onto an adjoining property, that neighbour’s buildings do not encroach onto your property, and that the property conforms to municipal requirements such as the minimum distances of buildings from the property line.A fairly recent survey is usually required by your financial institution if you are taking out a mortgage loan to finance the purchase of your home. In many cases, a survey that is 15 or 20 years old will be sufficient, as long as there do not appear to have been any significant changes to the property.

If you are buying a home, you should ask whether the sellers have a survey. If they do, you can include a clause in your offer that the seller must provide you or your lawyer with the survey shortly after the agreement is accepted. If the seller does not have a survey, you may want to include a clause that the seller must provide you with an up to date survey at the seller’s cost. If you are purchasing a new home, the builder will usually provide you with a copy of the survey. You should, however, make sure that this is written into the purchase agreement.

There are many steps to purchasing and selling a home. We are here to help and answer any questions you may have to ensure a smooth transaction.

Real Estate Service Package and Pricing

REAL ESTATE CLOSING COSTS The closing costs in a standard Real Estate Purchase transaction with no complications are based on the following four items:
1. LEGAL FEE + HST
For all legal fees on a purchase, sale or mortgage/refinance, please contact our lawyers for information.

2. LAND TRANSFER TAX OWING TO THE GOVERNMENT LESS ANY REBATES

Many purchasers are unaware of their obligation to pay Land Transfer Tax to the Province of Ontario on registration of their Deed. The rate of tax is based on the purchase price and is on a sliding scale. Double Land Transfer tax is charged in Toronto since a Municipal Land Transfer tax is charged to the purchaser.  Any first-time home buyer in any jurisdiction, provided they have never owned property before or been married to someone who has owned property before, are entitled to a Land Transfer rebate of up to $4000.00.  Our team of lawyers will calculate Land Transfer tax owing before your closing so you can plan ahead.

Example:

Purchase Price of Home Land Transfer Tax
$150,000 $1,225
$260,000 $2,375
$500,000 $6,475

3. TITLE INSURANCE
Almost all lenders and lawyers mandate purchase of title insurance policies as a condition of acting or lending on a mortgage.  It avoids costly searches and protects against unregistered liens or easements, unpaid tax arrears and protects against title defects.  Title insurance insures you, as a purchaser for losses associated with title fraud, survey and title issues/defects and challenges against ownership of a property.  Title insurance does not just cover things that may happen in the future but title defects that have already occurred in the past, prior to purchasing your home.  A low one-time premium is arranged through your real estate lawyers and ranges on purchase price.  Please contact our lawyers for information.

4. DISBURSEMENTS
In addition to legal fees, all purchases, sales and mortgage transactions incur disbursements. Such include and are not limited to include searches, registration costs, conveyancer costs, cheque certification fees, execution searches, law society levies, status certificate costs, tax certificate fees, photocopies, faxes and couriers.  Each file is different and your lawyer can be contacted for more information.

REAL ESTATE SERVICE PACKAGE AND PRICING At Dale Streiman Law LLP, we strive to provide the best possible service at an affordable price. Please contact your lawyer for more information.

The following services are included:
Purchase Sale Mortgage
We meet with you and provide you with a written estimate of the total amount required to complete the transaction. * * *
Review of Agreement and point out any issues of concern * * *
Written amendments to the agreement as may be necessary. Please contact lawyer
Review of documents relating to the condominium unit and provide a written report of the issues arising from our review. Review of Status Certificate relating to the condominium unit and
provide a written report of the issues arising from our review.
Please contact lawyer
Minor delays: we will re-schedule the closing on one occasion should same be necessary. Please contact lawyer
Pre-Closing issues: We will address any issues of concern to you or as may be required prior to closing. Please contact lawyer
Post-Closing issues: We will address any issues of concern to you or as may be required after closing. Please contact lawyer
Executions i.e. Similar Name (declarations Letter inquiries): If your name is similar to someone who has a judgment against them, we will take the necessary steps to verify the identity of similarly named person. Please contact lawyer
Demand Letter: Should there be a breach of the agreement of purchase and sale, we will prepare a letter requiring compliance with the agreement. Please contact lawyer
Draft Claim: We will prepare a draft statement of claim should there be a breach of the agreement of purchase and sale which remains unresolved. Please contact lawyer
Mortgage Payout: We will pay the funds to your bank or financial institution on closing to discharge same out of the closing proceeds. Please contact lawyer
Other Payouts (3 or less): We will pay off debts as may be required by you or your bank on closing. Please contact lawyer
Evening Appointments: We offer appointments as late as 6:30 p.m. to accommodate your busy schedule. Please contact lawyer
Power of Attorney for Property: We will prepare a power of attorney for property for you on closing. Please contact lawyer
Direct Deposit: We will deposit the mortgage or net sale proceeds into an account as you may direct on closing rather than providing you with a cheque. Please contact lawyer