While every real estate closure is unique in some way, here are the steps and the timeline you should expect when closing on a home in Ontario, from a buyer’s perspective.
You’ve spent so much time focusing on finding your dream home and that now you have no idea what to expect next. If this part of the house buying research has got away from you, do not fret. Even for the most seasoned buyer/seller, the closing process can be overwhelming. With the guidance of your real estate lawyer and real estate agent, the experience should be as smooth and stress-free as possible.
How long does it take to close a real estate deal?
As every real estate closing is unique in some way, it is important you take the following information with the expectation that timelines are vary for every transaction. In Ontario, the majority of the work happens by the buyer and can ideally be completed in 30 to 45 days. If necessary, a closing can be arranged in as little as a couple weeks. Some of these steps can and will overlap.
Prior to beginning the outlined closing process, it is a good idea to understand the closing costs you should expect throughout. Click here to learn more about general closing costs or use our free Real Estate Fee Calculator for an estimate on the legal fees you can expect with closing a real estate deal in Ontario.
Negotiating the Offer: 1-3 Days | The very first step of the closing process is making your initial offer, likely followed by negotiation. In some cases, a counter-offer by the seller will occur after review. Since this step will cover all future steps (such as, the closing day, the escrow deposit amount, the inspection, etc.), this step required extra precaution. Negotiating the offer typically takes anywhere from one up to three days.
Escrow Deposit: 5-10 Days | Depending on how readily available the deposit is for the buyer, the timeline of this step may be reduced. The deposit is meant to assure the seller that you intend to buy the home/property. If the deal falls through, the deposit may be returned to the buyer by the real estate broker who holds it throughout the transaction (this depends on the circumstances of why the deal fell through).
Home Inspection: 1 Day | In many cases, the buyer will opt for a conditional offer based on a house inspection, which should be scheduled as soon as possible. While an offer may look more attractive without this requirement, skipping this step could lead you to additional expenses outside of your budget. Even minor defects can be negotiated on so that the seller is held responsible for the costs of rectifying deficiencies found in the home inspection before closing the deal.
Title Search and Title Insurance: 10-14 Days | Once the offer is negotiated and the deposit is made, our team at Titlers Professional Corporation will conduct a Title Search for the buyer to ensure the desired property indeed belongs to the seller. At this point, our team will also be able to flag any potential title issues and/or issues with transferring the property (such as unpaid property taxes or liens). At this stage, your real estate lawyer will need mortgage documents including any mortgage broker’s contact information, sales agreement, proof of title search, proof of homeowner’s insurance, etc., along with their photo identification with their full legal name to complete your purchase. While it may feel overwhelming reviewing all the steps at once, the moment you’re holding the keys to your new home, it’ll feel completely worth it.
Finalizing the Purchase Agreement: 1- 3 Days | Once the home inspection is complete, your real estate lawyer and their team will work with you to finalize the purchase agreement to be signed by both you (the buyer) and the seller.
Completing Your Mortgage Application: 1 Day | When the purchase agreement is finalized and signed, you will require final approval of your mortgage application.
Ordering an Appraisal: 5 to 10 Days | Along with the mortgage application, you’ll need to submit the results of an appraisal of the property. Depending on the circumstances, it is important to have the offer conditional on having the property appraised. Your pre-approval only indicates how much the bank is willing to lend you based on your down payment and income. The bank still requires an appraisal to ensure that the property is the worth the value that they are prepared to lend you.
Receiving the Final Loan Approval: 2-4 Weeks | Within a month, expect to have your final loan approval and begin your countdown to closing.
Final Closing: 1-3 Days | The closing day is the final (and a big) step in becoming a homeowner. Final legal documents will need to be signed, funds received from the bank and exchanged with the other lawyer and the electronic transfers (the modern deed) completed. Your real estate law firm will meet you two to three days before your closing date to sign these documents and collect the required money (with Contactless Closings, this can be done virtually).
As you can see, the timeline of closing a real estate deal in Ontario can differ at a number of individual stages, which can significantly impact the overall length of the closing process. At Titlers Professional Corporation, we utilize Our Unique Process alongside our Client Service Representatives to ensure you are fully informed at every stage of the closing process–all of which can be done in the comfort of your own home through Contactless Closing. To learn more about the experience working with our team, click here for Client Testimonials.