Selling a Home

What must your lawyer do to complete your sale?

Collect information from client:

  • Obtain copy of Agreement of Purchase and Sale and Survey
  • Determine title issues which require resolution before closing eg mortgage(s) to discharge, deceased title holders, tax arrears, other encumbrances, etc.
  • Obtain Mortgage and Property Tax information from the client
  • Deal with special Clauses - Agreement of Purchase and Sale/Verbal Promises

Respond to REQUISITION LETTER from Purchaser’s lawyer including problems with title revealed by their search such as:

  • Encroachments indicated by survey
  • Utilities/tax liens
  • Executions
  • Mortgage(se discharged) to
  • Estate matters (Probated Wills/Affidavits of Executors)


  • Prepare Transfer (Deed) and forward to Purchaser’s lawyer
  • Review documents provided by Purchaser’s lawyer for Vendor’s signature and make changes as necessary
  • Prepare additional Vendor Documents as necessary
  • Meet with client to sign date to closin
  • Exchange documents with Vendor’s Solicitor
  • Deal with releasing of documents for registration on closing
  • Arrange for payout of mortgage(s) as soon as possible after closing
    • Closing Disbursements:
      • Registration $60.00-71.50 per doc.
      • eg. Private mortgage discharge, POA registration, Applications to Delete Executions, Survivorship Applications
      • Fee to conveyancer $85.00+


  • Reporting letter and copies of all documents to client
    • Office Disbursements: (usually $40.00-80.00)
      • Photocopies
      • Facsimiles
      • Courier
      • Long Distance
    • Law Society Insurance Levy $50.00

How much will all of this cost?

Disbursement costs quoted above are estimates only and exact amounts will vary with property location, price and title problems. It is impossible for a lawyer to give an exact amount for the disbursements for your purchase. If a lawyer gives you an exact amount, a little scepticism on your part is healthy! When considering the overall cost of your transaction, remember that none of these disbursements go into the lawyer’s pocket—these are all expenses she or he incurs on your behalf.

Fees that a lawyer will charge are slightly easier to predict but, again, they will vary with the difficulty and nature of the problems that become apparent as the deal progresses. Most lawyers will charge a set fee for the sale and perhaps another for the mortgage payout and any bridge financing which needs to be paid out. Lawyers’ fees are subject to GST.

How can I find a lawyer to assist me in my purchase?

Recommendations from friends, relatives, real estate agents and other trusted professionals are one of the most dependable ways to get a lawyer. Lawyers rely heavily on these types of referrals and you will be getting a “known quantity”.

The most important factor in choosing a lawyer is to find one who you are comfortable with and who you feel will keep you informed. You are the client and it is the lawyer’s job to protect your interests, let you know in advance of closing about problems that are encountered and answer any questions that you may have.

Real Estate is a very competitive area of law at the current time but the old rule that “you get what you pay for” still holds true. Be wary of fee prices that are so low that they seem too good to be true. They probably are and you may get charged with enormous disbursements that greatly inflate the total cost of the deal.