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You and Your Lawyer

Buying a home may be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. Your lawyer, realtor and financial advisor work together to protect your investment, prevent surprises and help you work through any problems.

1. Contact you, the client, to let you know that they have received instructions to act on your behalf and to obtain your personal information regarding how you wish to be described on title, etc.

2. Search the title to the property and review any encumbrances that are registered against the title. If there is anything other than the vendor’s mortgage to pay out, your lawyer obtains copies of whatever is registered and determines whether or not the vendor must discharge the encumbrance along with his or her mortgage (caveats regarding development guidelines and such). Other encumbrances, such as utility right of ways, of course, stay on title. The lawyer’s job is to make sure the purchaser obtains a clear title to the property with encumbrances remaining only if they do not affect the marketability of the property.

3. Search the applicable municipality office and inquire as to the state of the realty taxes for the property. There is an adjustment that is made between the seller’s lawyer and the purchaser’s lawyer with regard to the realty taxes that is based upon the amount of the taxes and the possession date.

4. If the property is in Saskatchewan, a writ registry search is done on the names of the purchasers and the vendors to determine whether any party has registrations against their name in the writ registry that may affect title. If there are, they must be dealt with prior to any transfer or mortgage registering.

5. Prepare documents that are required by the seller’s lawyer and the bank to meet all trust conditions that the seller’s lawyer will impose and to protect the bank’s interest in the property (tenancy agreement, assignment of mortgage proceeds, GST certificate).

6. Prepare a Statement of Adjustments which sets out the following:

a) the purchase price
b) any deposit that is made
c) the tax adjustment
d) lawyer fees and disbursements
e) the mortgage proceeds – to ultimately arrive at what is called the “cash to close”
f) and any other payment that is required to be made

This would be the difference between the purchase price, less the deposit and tax adjustment, plus payments that must be made, and the mortgage proceeds that are advanced to the lawyer’s office.

7. Prepare the mortgage document and any ancillary documentation according to the bank’s instructions.

8. Contact you, the client, to attend at the lawyer’s office to execute all the required documents.

9. Receive and review the seller’s transfer and his or her lawyer’s trust conditions and undertakings to be certain your interests are looked after.

10. Forward the transfer and mortgage to the land titles office.

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Mortgage Pre-Approval Form

A mortgage pre-approval is a great first step in your homebuying journey. By being pre-approved, you can confidently begin your house search.

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