What to Expect on Closing Day

By Jessica Kaulback 

You are purchasing or selling a home and your closing date is quickly approaching. You have already met with your lawyer to sign your closing documents, you have provided your lawyer with all the information they have requested, and now it feels like you are just waiting for that much anticipated date to arrive – the finish line is in sight! 

It is important to understand the closing process and be prepared! On, or very close to, the closing date, the purchaser will complete a final inspection of the property. This will be their final opportunity to walk through the property and ensure that it is in the condition agreed to for closing. 

If you are a seller, it is important to leave the property clean and have all personal items that are not negotiated to remain under your Agreement of Purchase and Sale removed from the property prior to this final inspection. While you may believe that you are doing the new owner a favour by leaving behind that China cabinet in the dining room that you thought they might like, or the paint cans in the basement for each room in the house for any necessary touch ups, the purchaser may not see it that way. The purchaser may not have any China to display or may be planning to repaint each room and see those paint cans as garbage you have left behind for them to deal with – it is always best to have your real estate agent check with the purchaser’s agent before leaving items behind that have not been included in your Agreement. 

As the purchaser, you will want to take your time during your final inspection to satisfy yourself that the property is in a similar condition to when you originally viewed and agreed to purchase it. It is possible that in between the time you originally viewed and offered to purchase the home and the final inspection, that damages or defects occur. In this event, the purchaser has the option to request the issue be repaired or remedied. In some instances, the best way to value the cost of such a remedy or repair would be to obtain an estimate from a professional for the work to be completed. The purchaser would then request their agent or lawyer propose that the issue be fixed by the seller before closing, that the cost be credited to the purchaser on closing, or that the amount be held back by the lawyer in trust until the repair can be completed, at which point the funds would be released to the seller.

If the final inspection is acceptable, or once all parties have agreed on how to proceed in the event there is an issue, the final piece of the puzzle is obtaining the funds for closing from the purchaser. The purchaser will provide their portion of the closing funds to their lawyer and if the purchaser is obtaining mortgage funding their lender will provide the mortgage funds directly to the lawyer’s office. The purchaser’s lawyer will provide closing funds to the seller’s lawyer in exchange for the deed and closing documents. Once this is completed your lawyer will advise you that your transaction has been completed and will let your agent know they may release keys. 

This article is for information only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions or would like further information, you should consult a lawyer.