Whether you have 30 days or several months before taking possession of your new home, there is plenty to do before you get the keys.
Here is a list of tasks that you will need to take care of as you count down to the long-anticipated closing day:
- If you have not already, choose a real estate lawyer to handle your transaction. Your realtor’s office will ensure that they receive all documents related to your purchase.
- Confirm financing details with your mortgage provider. Some buyers, despite having a commitment from one lender, shop around at this point to see if they can get a better deal on financing.
- If you are using RSP’s toward your down payment, talk to your bank or financial advisory to make sure the money will be available in time.
- Schedule movers or a truck rental. Depending on the time of year, you may find that you have to book a little farther in advance. Get recent referrals to ensure good service.
- If you will need a babysitter for your children, make these plans ahead of time.
- Arrange for pet care during the move. If you have fur babies, plan ahead for where they will stay on moving day. If you don’t have family or friends to leave them with, your realtor can help you find a kennel or pet-sitter.
- Will you need vacation time? Give as much advance notice as possible to ensure that you get the days you want.
- If you plan to hire help to do any work on the house before you physically move in, book your contractors, painters, cleaners, etc. well in advance.
- Service Ontario (or other provincial office)
- Tax office (CRA)
- Post Office
- Utility/cable providers: Enbridge, Union Gas, Alectra/Horizon, Hydro One, Reliance, Rogers, Bell, Cogeco, etc.
- Insurance providers
- Mobile phone provider
- Any subscriptions you have through the mail
You likely have a couple of further visits to your new house before closing. Unless the house is vacant, it would be considerate to limit the number of people who attend these re-visits due to health concerns.
Your first visit can be any time you like, perhaps to measure for blinds or furniture, to help decide on paint colours, and generally refresh your own memory.
We strongly suggest that you save your final re-visit to be used in the days just before closing. The reason for this is that it gives you a chance to ensure that there has been no significant change or damage to the property before you take possession. You will also get a chance to see that the current owners are taking appropriate steps to vacate, and that any chattels (appliances, etc.) you have included are still there. At this last re-visit, if you get a sense that anything is “off,” you can discuss the issues with your realtor and/or your lawyer.
MEET WITH YOUR LAWYER
In the week before closing, you will have a signing appointment with your lawyer to go over your final bill, make payment arrangements, and get instructions for taking possession of your keys.
If you are buying a condo, you may also have a meeting with the condo corp office to orient you and get access cards to building amenities, etc.
On closing day, there is a flurry of activity behind the scenes. Lawyers and lenders work furiously to transfer funds electronically before the close of business. You can expect to take possession of the house sometime in the afternoon.
Although the vast majority of transactions close on time, there are rare cases of delays that push the closing to the next business day. The most common cause of the delay is administrative – the lender could not get the money to the lawyer early enough in the day to complete the transaction before the 6:00 pm deadline. This is, of course, very stressful – but it usually gets worked out within 24 hours. If you are one of the few who have this unfortunate experience, stay in close contact with your realtor and your lawyer. These professionals will do everything they can to help until you can get into your home.
TIME TO ENJOY!
Once the whole experience is complete, it’s your time to enjoy! You have worked hard to reach the goal of home ownership, so celebrate! You’ve earned it.