Frequently asked Questions


Do I need to engage a lawyer for property transactions in Ontario?

While it’s not mandatory to engage a lawyer for real estate transactions in Ontario, it is highly advised. The process is intricate and involves substantial financial dealings. A lawyer can safeguard your interests, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, ensure contractual legality, and offer valuable legal counsel in case of any disputes.

What documents should I examine when purchasing real estate?

In Ontario, during a property purchase, you’ll be given an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) detailing the transaction specifics, such as the price, closing date, and pre-conditions for the sale. Additionally, it’s important to conduct a title search and check for any property-related covenants, easements, or liens.

What are the typical steps in a real estate transaction?

Initially, you’ll sign an Offer to Purchase (OTP), specifying the sale conditions. Following acceptance, arrange financing and conduct due diligence on the property. Then, finalize a legally binding Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Your lawyer will manage the closing documentation and other necessary formalities.

What's the usual duration for closing a real estate deal?

The closing time for a real estate transaction varies but generally spans 30-90 days post-offer acceptance. During this period, key tasks like securing financing and performing property inspections need completion.

How do realtors differ from lawyers in real estate?

Realtors, as licensed professionals, manage the marketing and negotiation of real estate sales for clients. Lawyers, conversely, offer legal assistance in property transactions, including drafting contracts, conducting title reviews, and providing tax advice.

Should I consult a lawyer for a real estate transaction even if I have a realtor?

Indeed, it’s highly recommended to engage a lawyer during the purchase or sale of property in Ontario, regardless of having a realtor. A lawyer will ensure your rights as a buyer or seller are safeguarded throughout the process.

What are the consequences of not closing on the scheduled date?

Not closing on the agreed date can lead to various consequences. The seller might pursue legal action for compensation or look for another buyer. Moreover, either party can request the court to issue an order for specific performance, compelling necessary actions.

Are there extra taxes involved in Ontario property transactions?

In Ontario, additional taxes such as Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and/or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) might be applicable in certain real estate dealings. Also, you might encounter Large Business Property Transfer Tax and Vacant Land Tax, depending on your transaction’s specifics.

Is anonymous property purchasing possible in Ontario?

Anonymous property purchases are not permissible according to the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). Buyers are required to disclose their full name and contact details to proceed with any property transaction in the province.

What if I don't complete the purchase after my offer is accepted?

If you don’t complete a purchase post-acceptance of your offer, you might face penalties such as liquidated damages or loss of any deposits made, depending on your Agreement of Purchase and Sale. It’s crucial to have a lawyer review all documents before you sign them.