Closing a Home Purchase


You've just made a big purchase!  It's normal to have some feelings of anxiety about how you will meet the new responsibilities, but if you've done your homework and gotten prepared, you should mainly be feeling elation.  Remember, no regrets.  If this is your first home, welcome:  you are now living the Canadian dream.  You're the owner of a lovely Calgary home that will be a major asset contributing to your wealth and enjoyment of life, now and in the future.  If you have just purchased a home for investment purposes, you've made a huge stride towards planning for your retirement and making sure your money makes money for you.  Either way, you can expect Calgary Real Estate™ to guide you through the closing and moving process.

Photo by Sean Dreilinger
Photo by Sean Dreilinger

Next Steps

Now comes the closing period, which typically ranges from 30-120 days.  You'll need to hire a real estate lawyer who will see to it that the property is transferred over from the seller to you.  We will be happy to recommend a legal professional to you.  You can expect your lawyer to review the Residential Real Estate Purchase Contract to make sure all is in order; ensure the seller fulfills any conditions stipulated in the offer; check the Land Registry Office to make sure the property title is in good order and taxes are paid up to date; review your mortgage documentation; calculate the land transfer tax and other closing costs you will owe; and much more.

Closing costs can easily add up to 3-4% of the purchase price of the home.  It is your responsibility to have that money available in time for closing day; your lawyer will advise you on the exact amount in an itemized statement.  Why so much?  By or before your closing date, you'll have to obtain insurance on your new home; have it appraised by the bank who's lending you the mortgage; pay insurance premiums if you have a high-ratio mortgage; possibly pay for a property survey and/or title insurance; and land transfer tax.  You will also need to reimburse the lawyer for his or her services and also pay the seller back any pre-paid bills they have already paid for that fall after you are set to own the home.

Closing Day

On the big day, your lawyer and the seller's lawyer will meet in the Land Registry Office.  You will have already given the down payment (less any deposit funds already paid) to your lawyer, along with a cheque for the remaining closing costs.  Your lawyer will exchange the deed, mortgage and any other documents related to the sale, pass on the purchase cheque, and register the deed and mortgage.

Here's the part you've been waiting for:  I will pick up the keys to your new home from the seller's lawyer, and meet you at the house on closing day!  Now all you have to do is celebrate…maybe renovate…and move in.

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