Closing day is here! But what happens before you get the keys? 

A lot of work goes into ensuring a smooth and timely closing — but often buyers don’t know just what must happen before the keys are handed over. 

Can some of the closing work be done before the closing day?

Searching title, arranging property insurance, securing title insurance and signing documents can all happen before closing day and is important, and in fact crucial, for a smooth closing.

If the advance work is done, what’s left to do on closing day?
Real Estate lawyers representing the buyers will do three things.

1.      If there is a mortgage on the home, they receive the mortgage money from the lender.  On the morning of the closing day, the lender will either wire the funds or deliver a bank draft to the lawyer’s trust account. Then, the required purchase funds (subject to certain adjustments, such as paid deposits, property tax adjustments, condo fees, etc.) will be sent to the seller’s lawyer, which includes the mortgage funds as well as the down payment and the other transaction costs.

2.      The second step is to verify all the paperwork. Making sure all the drafted closing documents are properly signed, the property insurance and title insurance are in place, and any conditions/subjects are fulfilled -  it’s a very thorough process.

3.      The last step — once both the buyer’s lawyer and seller’s lawyer confirm that everything is correct and in place – is to register the property, transfer ownership to the buyer and register the security for the lender.

What happens if everything doesn’t get done on closing day?

If the closing date needs to be extended for the buyer, it is typically mutually agreed upon by the buyer and seller — but there is often a cost associated with extending the date. Possibly, the buyer would have to propose to compensate the seller for costs that may be incurred by the extension, and the seller may accept to preserve the transaction and avoid lengthy and costly litigation.
But the law is such that if a buyer cannot close the deal on the agreed-upon date, the seller has the option to relist the property for sale and the buyer may lose their deposit (and the home). In other cases, additional costs may be incurred if the delay affects the seller’s ability to close a home they have purchased. A domino effect might be costly.
Buyers should be well prepared and very organized prior to Closing Day

Biggest surprise home buyers encounter?

Additional costs often surprise the buyers, make sure your realtor has gone through all the costs that a buyer is responsible for. Below are some you must be aware of:
·         Lawyer or Notary Fees and Expenses
·         Land Titles Registration Fees
·         Costs of Mortgage (appraisal fees, Land Title registration fees)
·         Fire Insurance Premium
·         Sales Tax (if applicable)
·         Property Transfer Tax
·         G.S.T. (of applicable) 
It takes time for funds to transfer from their lender to their lawyer. This is not always immediate, and so this is one reason that Closing or Completion Day is generally a day ahead of possession day! 

What can buyers do to have a smooth closing process?

· Get your paperwork done in advance. It’s wise to get as many documents gathered and signed in advance as possible, so your real estate lawyer can request mortgage funds first thing in the morning and leave enough time for the remaining steps required on closing day.
· Choose your mortgage provider sooner rather than later. While you may wish to shop around for a lender, it’s a good idea to make your decision well in advance of your home closing, as your lawyer needs time to work with the bank, understand the conditions of the mortgage and create the necessary paperwork.
· Read the documents — and ask questions. Even questions that may seem basic are important to ask so that you’re going into home ownership with your eyes wide open.· Understand the costs. Ask your real estate agent, your lender, and your lawyer to run through the costs involved to have the full picture.