When purchasing a property, one of the most important things your lawyer will do is conduct a title search. A title search certifies that you are purchasing what we call a “clean title”. The lawyer will write a requisition letter on your behalf asking for information regarding the registrations on title and request that the title be cleared before the closing day and that proof be provided. We also obtain title insurance, which is a policy taken out on your behalf that protects you and your mortgage lenders against property loss or damage due to liens, encumbrances, identity theft and/or defects on the property’s title.
In a purchase transaction, the lawyer receives the Statement of Adjustments from the Seller’s lawyer. This document outlines the purchase price, any deposit paid to the real estate agent or to the lawyer in trust, credits the Seller may have agreed to in the form of an abatement and for expenses such as property tax paid by the Seller up to the date of closing. The Purchaser’s lawyer is also responsible for the transfer of funds to the Seller’s lawyer.
A lawyer is registered with the Land Registry Office of Ontario which authorizes them to sign and register Transfers/Deeds on behalf of their clients on the day of closing. This can only be done by a lawyer. Following the closing of the transaction, your lawyer will send you a reporting letter together with copies of all documents that you have signed. A separate reporting letter will also be sent to the mortgage lender, if applicable. The lawyer will notify the municipality of the new owners. The role of the real estate lawyer in a real property transaction is essential.