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Selling Real Estate Property: A Simple Checklist To Prepare For Closing

Please note all information shared herein is general information and not legal advice for which a lawyer must be retained. For more information about buying, selling or refinancing real estate in Kitchener-Waterloo or beyond, give us a call.

Although buying a real estate property, in Kitchener, Waterloo or Cambridge regions or beyond involves multiple steps, selling your real estate also requires you to be involved and organized to ensure that your lawyer has all the requisite information to complete the transaction.

If you decide to retain VRS Law to act on your behalf on the sale of your property, here is an example of what we may seek to obtain from you immediately in order to ensure a smooth closing:

1. Fax or e-mail

If you or your real estate representative has not already done so, we will need you to fax or email us a copy of the offer or the agreement of purchase and sale.

Please also email us all of your contact information including all cell phone numbers and all email addresses.

2. Mortgage pay-out statement

As part of the closing process, it is our job to ensure that we obtain an up to date pay-out statement from your bank or mortgage company so that we may pay-out your mortgage from the sale proceeds and discharge the mortgage from the title of your home, which is currently registered as a lien.

Accordingly, to ensure that we have accurate information such as an account number or a mortgage loan number when we write to your bank for a discharge statement, we will need you to fax or email us a copy of your most recent mortgage statement for references purposes. (If you cannot find one, just provide us with a contact name and phone number of your banker).

3. Property tax bill

We also need to adjust for your property taxes, especially if you have prepaid your taxes for the year or if you have paid taxes for a time period past the closing date.

Accordingly, please fax us or email your most recent property tax bill.

NOTE: If you are currently on a pre-authorized payment plan with the City whereby they automatically debit your bank account for your tax installments, monthly or otherwise, you will need to cancel this at the appropriate time to avoid any additional charges.

4. Condo fees

If the property you are selling is a condominium unit, we will also be adjusting for your monthly common expense payment with the buyers.

However, as in the case of property taxes, if you have arranged to pay your maintenance fees on a pre-authorized payment basis, you will need to cancel this immediately. (In case you have given post-dated cheques to the Management Office, you will need to get these cheques back).

5. Contact utilities

You will need to contact the utility companies, such as hydro, water and gas departments to give them your forwarding address so that they may send you the final bill after the meter reading on the closing date.

6. Appointment to see us

Our office will be setting up an appointment with you – usually a few days before the closing date in order to attend at our office to review and sign all closing documents.

It is important to note that all those who are currently on the title to the home must come in to sign.

Furthermore, if only one of the spouses is the owner and both spouses reside in this property, then the non-owner spouse must also come into our office to sign.

Finally, if one or all of the owners are not present to sign these documents and an individual under a Power of Attorney will be attending our office for signing, please provide us with the original copy of this Power of Attorney along with the contact information of the Attorney. For more information on this issue, please contact us.

7. Meeting before closing

It is typical for us to meet 1-2 days before the actual closing date.

Please remember to bring one (1) set of keys to the property with you to the meeting to leave with us so that we may, in turn, forward it to the buyer’s lawyer on closing.

Also, you will also need to bring two (2) pieces of identification.

8. Pick up funds

Once we have received the closing funds from the buyer’s lawyer on the closing day, we will electronically message the deed to the property to the other lawyer. It is only when he or she has registered this deed in the buyer’s name can we then consider this transaction as having closed.

And once the deal has closed, we will notify you immediately so that you may attend at our office to pick up the balance of the closing funds, which will be in the form of a certified cheque or a bank draft.

You may provide us with a VOID cheque from a major financial institution so we can directly deposit the funds to you after closing is complete. This usually takes place the day of closing or the morning of the following business day.

Should you have questions, VRS Law is here to help.