Are you buying or selling in Ottawa this year? Our clients have been sharing their stories of multiple offer situations and houses being sold for well over asking. Surely not a situation for the feint of heart. There are some ways that you can make your buying or selling experience, particularly for the day of closing, go as smoothly as possible.
As a buyer, Closing Day is the day when you finally receive the keys to your new, or ‘new to you’, house, and when you provide the funds for the amounts owing towards the purchase of the house. As a seller, Closing Day is associated with moving out of the place you called your home for some period of your life and receiving the equity you have built up and possibly paying off one or more mortgages secured against the property.
For both sellers and buyers, Closing Day, and the days leading up to the big day, can be confusing. Try not to get lost amidst the statements of adjustments, preliminary fund statements, direction re: title, copy of transfer itself, land transfer tax statements, charge (mortgage), undertaking to readjust, statutory declaration, direction re: funds, numerous possible undertakings/ warranties/ bills of sale, document registration agreements – among others.
Here are some tips for a stress-free closing day:
- Have the Agreement Reviewed by your Lawyer. The Agreement of Purchase and Sale may well be one of the most important contracts you ever sign. We suggest having it reviewed by your lawyer prior to signing or include a clause that the Agreement is conditional upon a review by your lawyer. It is critical that you clearly understanding the legal ramifications of what you are agreeing to and that your legal interests are protected in the best way possible.
- Avoid having Closing Day fall on a Friday. Although it may seem natural to want your Closing Day to fall on the last day of the week, picking a Thursday is a better option. In the event something goes awry and the transaction cannot close as anticipated, if it falls on a Friday nothing can be done until Monday. If it falls on a Thursday, it may be possible to rectify the situation and still have it close before the weekend.
- Limit the number of pre-closing visits. More and more often, parties are agreeing to one or more pre-closing visits by the purchasers. But sometimes the effects of last minute reviews, or imperfections the buyer didn’t notice on their initial visit, is underappreciated. It is in the seller’s best interests not to schedule any visits too close to Closing Day as there may not be enough time to rectify any issues that may arise.
Buying or selling a home, although it can be stressful, is one of life’s milestones and should be a positive experience for all parties involved. In view of the complexity of the purchase and sale of the home, allow your experienced real estate lawyer to create an atmosphere of excitement on Closing Day for the right reasons!