Closing the Deal and Moving
Make a smooth transition to your new home by taking care of all the small details ahead of time.
Closing is a process during which all the legal and financial obligations stated in your Offer to Purchase will be met. Your real estate representative or lawyer should keep you informed of the steps involved, but here’s an outline of what to expect.
- Show your lawyer (notary) the agreement.
A copy of the signed Offer to Purchase is sent to your lawyer, who will examine any conditions of sale and note the closing date. You’ll also tell your lawyer how you, and any other co-buyers of the house, will be registered on the title to the property.
- All conditions of your offer are met.
During closing, all conditions in the Offer to Purchase must be satisfied by the stated dates. For example, you may have made the sale conditional upon a home inspection. This inspection should be completed before you continue closing.
- A land survey is done.
You’ll have to arrange for an up-to-date land survey on the property. Your lender will insist on this survey so, if you did not receive one from the vendor, you’ll have to pay to have one done.
- Your lawyer (notary) searches the title.
Once all specified conditions have been met, your lawyer will search the title to the property. This ensures that the vendor does really own the home and that you can purchase it without any legal problems.
- Check into taxes and liens.
Your lawyer will also be checking into government regulations and other legalities. These include ensuring that the property taxes on the house are up to date and that there are no liens on the chattel, that is the personal property the vendor has agreed to sell with the house.
- Mortgage details are finalized.
Your lawyer or lender will also draw up and finalize your mortgage documents. If you are using financing options, such as a vendor take back mortgage, you’ll need your lawyer to prepare this document too.
- Arrange your utilities.
It’s up to you to make arrangements for final payments of utilities at your old home and to begin service at your new home. Now is also the time to make arrangements for moving.
- It’s all over but the signing of the cheque.
Your lawyer will prepare a Statement of Adjustment, which will confirm the selling price, the amount you have to pay the vendor, the balance of the down payment and adjustments. A certified cheque for this total should be made payable to your lawyer in trust. You’ll also owe your lawyer for legal fees, which include closing costs and disbursements.
The day you finally succeed in realizing your goal! It’s the day you can actually call your new home yours. Closing is the day you get the keys and legally take possession.
It’s a day for feeling great satisfaction at reaching your goal. But the process isn’t quite over yet. There are a lot of other things that also happen on closing day.
- Your lender will provide the mortgage money to your lawyer (or notary in Quebec).
- You must provide the balance of the purchase price to your lawyer.
- You will also be responsible for paying legal fees, disbursements and land transfer taxes.
- Your lawyer pays the vendor, registers the home in your name and provides you with a deed and the keys.
Moving from one home and neighborhood and discovering a new one is an exciting process. But it can also be hectic and, if it’s not well planned, it may seem to get more frenzied as the big day approaches. To help make moving a smooth transition for everyone, plan ahead!
Hiring a Mover
Friends or relatives may be able to recommend a mover, but you can also ask the mover for references. You’ll also want the mover to give you an estimate and outline of fees. Is there a flat rate or hourly charge?
During the move, you’ll want to ensure that your belongings are insured. Your home or property insurance may cover goods in transit but call your broker to make sure and to see what the limits are. Many moving companies offer additional insurance coverage.
Once you’ve selected a mover, have a representative come to your home to see what will be moved. Tell the mover how much of the packing you will do yourself.
Packing for yourself will save money but could take up to three days.
If you decide to do your own packing to save money, keep in mind that you need the proper materials and the time. Experts estimate that it takes two people approximately two to three days to prepare and pack the contents of an average three-bedroom home — that’s a full-time job!
Professional movers have special crates and wooden cases for mirrors and dishware. But they are not responsible for items such as jewelry, currency or important papers. You will have to move these personally.
On moving day, go through the house with the van supervisor and give any special instructions. For example, if you want a certain item, such as a crib, to be the first out of the van at your new home, it should be packed last. The movers will also make note of the condition of your goods on an inventory list.
Accompany the supervisor through the house as the list is made to make sure it is complete and accurate. Then, when the van arrives at your new home, mark off the items on the mover’s list as they are unloaded.
You’ll sign for the receipt of goods, subject to complete unpacking and inspection.
Most movers will unload and unpack boxes and remove packing materials, but movers do not put dishes or linens into cupboards.
There are a variety of people and companies to inform when you’re moving into your new home.
You need to call the phone company and other utilities to discontinue service at your old address and start it at your new home. You may want to notify them as soon as possible and then confirm with them closer to your actual moving day. It’s also a good idea to send written notifications of change of address to friends, family, and various other interested.