Every home buyer or seller looks forward to the moment of closing: the period where all involved parties put a bow on the sale and the keys get handed over to the happy new owners.
The closing is by nature the most complicated part of the home buying and selling process. It consists of tying together every loose end and officially sealing the deal. In this post, we'll take a closer look at each step of the real estate closing process in and provide helpful tips for homebuyers and sellers.
The Role of the Various Parties Involved in a Real Estate Closing
In a real estate closing, several parties are involved, including the buyer, seller, real estate agent, lawyer, lender, and title company.
Buyer: The buyer is the person or entity purchasing the property. The buyer's primary responsibility is to review and sign all the necessary documents and pay the balance of the purchase price.
Seller: The seller is the person or entity selling the property. The seller's primary responsibility is to ensure that the property is transferred to the buyer free and clear of any liens or debts.
Real Estate Agent: The real estate agent represents either the buyer or seller and has prepared and negotiated what’s commonly known as the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (or Purchase Contract)
Real Estate Lawyer: The lawyer represents either the buyer or seller and handles the legal aspects of the transaction. They review and explain all the documents to their client, ensure that everything is in order, and register the transfer of ownership with the appropriate government authorities.
The buyer’s lawyer conducts a title search to ensure that there are no outstanding liens or debts on the property.
Title Insurer: The title insurer provides title insurance to protect the buyer and lender against any future claims or disputes.
The Lender: Unless purchased for cash, a mortgage lender will fund their committed part of the mortgage. If a seller has a mortgage, their lender will receive a payout of their mortgage from the proceeds of the sale.
The Documents That Need to Be Signed at a Real Estate Closing
During a real estate closing, there are several documents that need to be signed. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Deed of the Property: This document transfers ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer.
- Mortgage Agreement: This document outlines the terms and conditions of the mortgage, including the interest rate, payment schedule, and penalties for default.
- Statement of Adjustments: This document outlines the adjustments made to the purchase price to account for things like property taxes, utilities, and other expenses.
- Title Transfer: This document transfers the title of the property from the seller to the buyer.
- Mortgage Discharge: This document releases the seller from any outstanding mortgage obligations on the property.
It's essential to review all the documents carefully and ask questions if there is anything you don't understand. Your real estate lawyer will go over the documents with you and ensure that everything is in order before you sign them.
Funds That Need to Be Exchanged at a Real Estate Closing
At the real estate closing, the buyer will typically pay the balance of the purchase price (after the down payment and any deposits) to the seller's lawyer. The seller's lawyer will then pay any outstanding debts or liens on the property, as well as any real estate agent commissions or legal fees. Any remaining funds will be given to the seller. It's essential to make sure that you have the necessary funds available to complete the purchase. Your lawyer will provide you with a detailed breakdown of the closing costs and any necessary adjustments, so you know exactly how much money you need to bring to the closing. Keys will be released after all funds have cleared and the property has been registered in the buyer’s name.
After the closing, the buyer's lawyer will register the transfer of ownership and any mortgage documents with the appropriate government authorities. This process may take several days or weeks, but once completed, the buyer officially becomes the new owner of the property.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, the real estate closing process in Canada can be complex and requires careful attention to detail. By understanding the steps involved, reviewing all the documents carefully, and working with experienced professionals, you can ensure a smooth and successful closing. Happy homebuying or selling!