Buying An Existing Condo – The Process

The Process

I just bought an existing condo. What happens next?

Step 1:

Initial Contact & Communication

  • An offer to purchase is prepared and delivered to the sellers.  Your real estate agent handles this step.  If you have no agent, you should have us prepare the offer for you including conditions (a satisfactory status certificate, securing financing, a building inspection, sale of existing home, etc.)
  • After acceptance by the sellers, your real estate agent sends us the purchase contract documents (unless we prepared it for you)
  • We contact you by phone, email or in person to confirm our engagement
  • We order the status certificate package from the condominium corporation’s property manager
  • We receive and review the status certificate package and provide you with our written report for you to consider before removing that condition
  • Once all conditions are satisfied, the purchase contract becomes “firm” (goes ahead).
  • We firm send you a detailed letter covering the following:
    • Confirmation of the major terms of the purchase contract
    • Explanation of the anticipated expenses and other costs for budgeting purposes
    • Explanation of the steps involved including our tasks, your tasks and the anticipated timing for completing the various steps
    • Information we need from you
    • Other information we want you to know


Step 2:

Lawyer’s Searches

  • We obtain and review a full search of title to the condo unit to ensure you will obtain valid legal title to the property, free of legal defects and claims against the title.  Any problems are brought to the attention of the seller’s lawyer for them to rectify
  • We order title insurance OR secondary searches such as zoning compliance, outstanding building permits and work orders, fire department work orders, property tax and water arrears, etc.


Step 3: 

Document Preparation and Co-ordination

  • We receive mortgage instructions from your lender and prepare mortgage documentation for you to sign
  • We arrange for the lender to send us the mortgage funds on the day of closing
  • We prepare other documentation for the transfer
  • We notify the tax and water (if applicable) departments of the closing so they can arrange for a meter reading and changeover of accounts. You notify the other utilities applicable to the unit (gas, electricity, cable, etc.)


Step 4:

Pre-Closing Meeting

  • A few days before closing, we contact you to notify you how much money to bring in, who to make it payable to, other things to bring and schedule a meeting
  •  We meet with you before closing (1-2 days before closing):
    • Photocopy your ID (a legal requirement)
    • Review a detailed breakdown of the money coming in and going out of our trust account
    • Review, explanation and signing of transfer documents
    • Review, explanation and signing of mortgage documents
    • Explanation of the closing process and when you might expect to get keys


Step 5:

Closing and Reporting

  • Mortgage funds and your money are deposited to our trust account and we go to our bank and make certified cheques for the seller
  • We courier the cheques and other documents to the seller’s lawyer / receive keys and other documents from seller’s lawyer by courier
  • We register the transfer and mortgage in the Land Registry system, making the transfer of ownership complete
  • We contact you immediately to advise you of the closing and that keys are available for pick up at our office
  • You contact the condominium corporation’s property manager to provide your contact information and arrange for monthly condo fee payments
  • We send final reports to you, the lender and the title insurance company (a few weeks after closing)


Questions?  Give us a call at (613) 746-8115