Nov 23, 2017 / Buying

Closing Day Checklists for Buyers & Sellers


I love checklists.

Not only do they simplify my life, but they keep things orderly during a real estate transaction when things can get so busy and sometimes go off the rails.

Real Estate Lawyer Mark Weisleder penned a real estate column for The Toronto Star from 2009 to 2012. He still has links to these articles on his website.

Weisleder wrote an interesting article on closing day establishing a checklist for both the buyer and seller. I’ve taken some of his great suggestions and added a few of my own insights after 35+ years of real estate transactions.

The Closing Date specified in your offer, is the date that the home purchase will be finalized. The purchaser officially received the keys to the new home while the vendor will receive the money from the sale. Normally the closing date is at least 3 weeks to a month after the offer has been accepted to allow time for ‘closing chores’.


? Make sure your lawyer a copy of any deed, mortgage, survey, title insurance and current property tax bills. The deed, mortgage and survey would have been provided when you purchased the house.
?  ONLY cancel your home insurance policy when you have confirmed that the deal has been closed. Notify your insurer if you move 30 days before closing. This way even if the home is vacant you will be covered.
?  Provide your lawyer with an extra set of keys before closing day. (Usually you bring them with you when you sign the papers.) Those are the keys that are given to the new owners by their lawyer at closing.
? Have all the utility meters read on the day of closing so that you are only responsible for your share. At the same time, ensure that you cancel any pre-authorized payments so that you don’t pay for anything after closing.

Your lawyer will receive the required money from the purchaser’s lawyer or his representative.  Your lawyer will then deposit this money into his Trust account. These funds will be used to pay out any old mortgage(s), real estate commissions or any outstanding tax balances.  The remainder of the funds from the sale of your home will be paid to you.  Your lawyer will contact you when the transaction is complete to make arrangements for you to pick up your cheque.


? Sometimes it feels like there are hidden costs when you purchase a home. Your lawyer will require, even 2 days before closing, the balance of any costs required to close the deal which could be:

• If you are arranging a mortgage for less than 20 per cent down, the bank will be deducting certain costs, such as mortgage insurance, appraisal fees and HST. Get all the details early as you are responsible for making up the difference when you close the deal.

• Your lawyer will receive a statement of adjustments that include some prepaid expenses that the seller may have already paid, such as property taxes. Get a fix on the amount of these items, as they will also have to be paid on closing.

? Schedule your pre-closing visit shortly before closing, so that you can conduct your final inspection to make sure that the home is in the same condition as when you signed the offer. This is when you want to inspect the appliances, heating and electrical systems. This is also the buyer’s chance to ensure that the seller removes all the junk from the basement and garage!
? While closing times vary, the seller can delay leaving the home up to 6PM. Arranging for movers the following day (depending on your circumstances) or late in the afternoon will ensure that there is no overlap. If moving into a condominium, reserve the elevator well in advance.
? Discuss with your lawyer, the best way to take title of the property. As joint tenants, if one passes away, the other party immediately becomes the owner. If you take as tenants in common, you can transfer your interest to a beneficiary under your will.
? Consider ordering title insurance. This will protect your property against title defects, survey issues, work orders and frauds while you own the property.

Your lawyer will transfer the necessary money to the vendor’s lawyer or his representative via courier on the day of closing.  The vendor’s lawyer will then send over the keys to the property as well as a number of important legal documents, including the deed that signs the ownership of the home over to you.  Your lawyer will check these documents to ensure their validity.  Your lawyer will then register the deed and your mortgage, and he or she will pay the registration fees and Land Transfer Tax on the purchase from funds that you have previously provided.  Your lawyer will then contact you to make arrangements to pick up the keys to your new home.

After the closing date, your lawyer will send you a final report that summarizes the transaction.

Sellers, buyers, making the offer, closing the deal, Karen Paul & Associates are with you every step of the way!


Our team of real estate sales professionals would be thrilled to work with you. Call us today!

Karen Paul & Associates | Real Estate
Ontario Is Our Game ~ Come Play With Us

905-333-6234 | | [email protected]
Burlington • Oakville • Hamilton • Milton • Niagara

Credit to posts by Mark Weisleder

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