FAQ – Real Estate


Q: When should I finalize mortgage arrangements?

A: Just as soon as you can. Make certain you have given everything required to your bank or mortgage broker. Make certain the lender has had you sign everything they require. The lender has to provide us with mortgage instructions and they will not do so until you have fulfilled all of their requirements.

Q: When do I get my keys?

A: The time cannot be predicted. The keys cannot be released to you until the closing has taken place. Most typically it will be mid to late afternoon and before 5:00 p.m.

Q: Where will I pick up my keys?

A: If you are purchasing a new home they will normally be given to you by the builder at their construction or sales office. If it is a resale property you will receive them from us at our office. We will call you when they are available. If the property is a long way from our location we may be able to make arrangements with the Seller’s lawyer to keep the keys in their office if it is close to the property or we would suggest you contact your real estate agent to make arrangement to get the keys for you.

Q: How is the money handled?

A: If you have a mortgage or a bridge loan the money is usually transferred to us by the lender. The funds that you are providing are to be delivered to us by way of a certified cheque or Bank Draft payable to SBMB Law. You will be told the amount required when you come in to sign your documents generally a day or two before closing. If this is not possible or not convenient to you we require your funds as early as possible on the day of closing.

Q: Should I contact utilities?

A: Yes, they will require personal information from you to open your new account. For some services you may need to arrange an appointment for installers to attend.

Q: Is there anything else you will require?

A: You must arrange for the appropriate insurance coverage. Generally, for “full replacement value” for the structure and adequate coverage for your contents and liability. It is all generally wrapped together in a “home owner’s policy”. In the case of a condominium you require “condominium owner’s insurance” as the insurance arranged by the condominium corporation will generally not cover the interior of your unit. You should provide the name and address of your lender to your insurance broker and have the lender named as a mortgagee. Have your insurer send us proof of insurance. We cannot release the lender’s money until this insurance information is in our possession.

Q: Do I need to come to your office?

A: Yes I do need to meet with you on one occasion generally a day or two in advance of the closing date. My office will contact you to arrange an appointment time or you may call to set up a time. At this time you will need to sign all required documents with respect to the closing.


Q: What do I need to give to you?

A: A copy of the agreement of purchase and sale. If you request your realtor to do so, they will provide us a copy. We will require a copy of your most recent property tax bill. You are responsible to pay any installments that are due prior to the day of closing.

If you have a mortgage and/or a secured line of credit we will need the most recent statement(s) in your possession together with the address of the branch with which you deal and your mortgage or loan reference number(s).

If you pay your taxes and/or common expenses if applicable, by way of pre-authorized cheques or automatic debits from your account, be certain to cancel these arrangements so that no payments will be taken from you on any date after the day of closing.

If you have a plan of survey for your property I will require a copy along with your indication of whether there are any new structures not shown on the survey or any structures on the survey that have been removed.

Q: What do I do with my keys?

A: You will deliver a key or keys to our office that will enable the buyer to enter the property. Additional keys, postal box keys and garage door openers can be left on the kitchen counter or in some other obvious place when you vacate the home.

Q: When do I have to be out of the property?

A: At the time the closing occurs.

Q: How do I get my money?

A: Usually your money will be available for you to pick up at our office on the day of closing. We will call you when it is ready. It will be in the form of a cheque drawn on our trust account or a certified cheque from the Buyer’s. Be advised however, most banks will hold both our trust cheques and certified cheques for a period of time. The time involved depends on your banks policies. If you need the money immediately, you should make arrangements with your bank well in advance.

Q: Should I contact Utilities?

A: Yes, in the case of utilities with meters you will need to request a final meter reading on the day of closing and provide a forwarding address so the final bills may be sent to you. Others you will need to terminate or transfer service to your new address. If your home is heated by oil or propane you have to arrange for the tanks to be topped up on,  or just before the day of closing. You will pay for the final fill and the cost of the full tank will be added on to the purchase price.