Hi there,

As a real estate lawyer who goes above and beyond the call of duty, I'm here to help you navigate the sometimes bumpy road to your new home. To help prepare you for the twists and turns of the next few weeks, I thought I should provide you with an outline of what to expect. Think of it as the Road Map to Your New Home!

Step 1 - We get busy on your behalf!

Now that you've retained me as your real estate lawyer, my office will contact your real estate agent for a copy of your Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS).

Step 2 - Title search

Once we receive the APS, I will review it and my office will open a file for you. We will also conduct a title search prior to the title search date contained in the APS.

Step 3 - Checking for title problems: No news is good news!

If there are no problems with your title, you may not hear from me for a while. As the old adage goes, no news is good news! If there are title-related problems with the property, I will contact you directly.

Step 4 - Finalize your financing ASAP

After you finalize your financing with your lender, we should get a solicitor instruction package from your lender. I must receive these instructions from your lender at least 48 hours before closing date or it could cost you an additional charge of $250 - so don't leave these important details till the last minute!

Step 5 - Arrange home insurance ASAP

During this time, don't forget to arrange home insurance for your new property. As with the mortgage instructions, I must receive documentation of the insurance from your agent at least 48 hours before closing date or it could cost you an additional charge of $250 - so don't delay!

Step 6 - Arrange utility hook-ups

Don't forget to advise all the utility companies of the possession date of your new home, so that there is no disruption in services. Click here for a helpful list of utility providers in your area.

Step 7 - Arrange final walk-through of your property

I recommend you arrange with your realtor for one final walk-through of your new property to ensure nothing has changed. If it is not in the condition it was in when you last viewed it, contact my office immediately!

Step 8 - We'll call you to make an appointment

One week prior to closing, my office will contact you to schedule an appointment with me to review and sign all final documents. The appointment is typically slated for one or two days prior to the closing date.

Step 9 - What to bring when you come to see me

When you meet with me, you need to bring, among other things, a bank draft covering both the closing costs and your down payment. You will be advised in advance by my office of the total owing in closing costs. As the closing date approaches, we will also

e-mail you a detailed list of what to bring with you.

Step 10 - Closing day: Transferring funds and changing the title

On the day of closing, as soon as the mortgage funds arrive, I will take all the funds provided to me (by you and the lender) and deliver them to the seller's lawyer. Together, the two of us must electronically change the title, naming you as the new owner of the property. When it has come to a successful conclusion, my office will call you to come pick up the keys to your new home.

Step 11 - The moment you've been waiting for: Getting the keys!

The most frequently asked question I get asked is: "When do we get the keys?" The short answer is: "It depends." Sometimes the buyer gets lucky and the mortgage funds arrive at my office first thing in the morning, before I even open the door, but there is no guarantee of this and it may take the better part of the day for the funds to arrive. Furthermore, as per the contract in the standard Ontario Real Estate Association agreement of purchase an sale, the seller has the legal right to occupy the property till 5:59 p.m., even if you have already received the keys. For that reason, we do not recommend that you schedule any appointments (utility hook-ups, cleaning services, deliveries, etc.) at your new home for closing day.

Step 12 - Move in and enjoy your home!

Step 13 - Wrapping up

Roughly six to eight weeks after you've taken possession, my office will send you an email link to your  final report.

I hope this e-mail has given you a clear idea of what to expect between now and the day you settle into your new home. Please contact us, if you have any questions, by e-mail: mark@grahamlaw.ca or by phone: 519-824-7100.

Kind regards,

Mark F. Graham


Mark F. Graham
Barrister, Solicitor, Public Notary
Mark Graham Law Office Professional Corporation