Questions to ask or review with your lawyer before purchasing your house.


1.  How much do you charge and what am I getting for this service?

Not all lawyers charge the same, although generally legal fees for closing a home purchase are in the same range.

2. How many times should we expect to meet?

Generally, most lawyers will meet with you at least two meetings. Visit your lawyer a week or two ahead to determine the scope of what is happening, to get things in order and determine your balance due on closing. You will then meet again on closing day or the day before.

3. Review lawyer’s fees and disbursements.

The fee is the time a lawyer will spend doing things like your title search and meeting with you. Disbursements are the hard costs: preparing the file, time spent by a law clerk, travel, photocopying and incidentals. Your lawyer should clearly outline both.

4. What is the cost of title insurance?

Title insurance protects the homeowner against things like title defects, fraud, forgery and zoning noncompliance. Buy it once and it protects you as long as you own your home. “Although you don’t have to buy it, almost all homebuyers do because it can protect you against a number of issues that may arise.

5. What should I bring to my appointment when we close the mortgage?

You’ll need government issued photo identification like a driver’s license or passport. “This is required by the Law Society’s ‘Know your Client Rule’ to prove that you are who you say you are.”

6.. What is the statement of adjustments?

This document outlines of all your closing costs – things like tax adjustments, extras and upgrades and represents an entire list for the final amount due on closing. Be sure your lawyer walks you through this document..

7. What are some things I need to know about closing if I’m buying a condo?

Ask your lawyer to review what’s covered in your condo fees. “Also, be aware that when you purchase a newly built condo, there are two closings: one when your unit is move-in ready and then a final closing once the building has been registered and you take over full ownership.