May 30, 2023

The Seller’s Guide to Closing on Your Home in Ontario


Congratulations! You’ve sold your home in Ontario and are now on the path to closing the deal. As you approach the final stages, it’s crucial to be aware of the necessary steps to ensure a smooth and successful closing.

In this guide, we will walk you through the important aspects of closing on your home in Ontario. Whether you’re a first-time seller or looking for a refresher, our informative steps will empower you to make informed decisions and achieve a successful home sale.

Table of Contents

Inform Providers/Change Your Address

One of the first things you should do when closing on your home is to inform your service providers and change your address accordingly, to help you avoid any inconveniences and potential issues down the road. Here are the key providers and entities you need to notify:

  • Mortgage: Contact your mortgage advisor and inform them about the upcoming closing. Be prepared to provide them with relevant documentation.
  • Home Insurance: While it might be tempting to cancel your home insurance immediately after accepting an offer, it’s crucial to keep it in place until you have officially closed the deal. Notify your insurer about the impending sale and change your policy to match your needs.
  • Utility Provider: Don’t forget to notify your utility providers, including electricity, water, gas, internet, cable, and other services you may have. Arrange to have your utility meter read on the day of closing to ensure that you are only responsible for your share of the utilities.
  • Bank and Finance: Inform your bank about your new address. Ensure that all your financial institutions, credit card companies, and other relevant parties are aware of the change.

Prepare Documents for Your Lawyer

To streamline the closing process, we suggest preparing the necessary documents for your real estate lawyer ahead of time. Providing them with a copy of the deed, mortgage, property survey, and current property tax bills allows them to review them thoroughly before closing, and effectively prepare the closing documents needed.

Plan Your Move

As you approach the closing date of your home sale in Ontario, it’s crucial to plan your move carefully. Whether you haven’t moved yet or need to finalize the preparations, taking the necessary steps will help ensure a smooth transition from your old home to your new property.

Be sure to get packing and hire your movers ahead of time to transfer your belongings to your new residence. It’s also important to remember that if you’re still moving on the closing date, your belongings must be out of the house on or before closing day at 6 pm at the latest.

Anticipate Closing Costs

When preparing for the closing of your home in Ontario, it’s important to anticipate and budget for the additional costs involved as a seller. These closing costs typically range from approximately 1.5% to 4% of the home’s sale price. Here are some common fees you should consider:

  • Mortgage penalty fees
  • Prorated property tax
  • Legal fees

Prepare for the Final Walkthrough

It’s important to prepare for the final walkthrough, which serves as a last inspection to ensure everything is in order before the official transfer of ownership. During this walkthrough, the buyer will examine the property to verify that there are no damages and that all items stipulated in the contract are still present. To ensure a successful final walkthrough, we recommend you take the following steps:

  • Clean the House: Before the final walkthrough, thoroughly clean your home to present it in the best possible condition. A clean and well-maintained property gives a positive impression during the inspection.
  • Leave Owner’s Manuals and Warranties: Gather and leave behind any relevant owner’s manuals, warranties, and instructions for appliances, fixtures, or systems that will remain in the house.
  • Lock Up for Safety: Prior to the final walkthrough, ensure that all windows and doors are securely locked. This step not only demonstrates your commitment to maintaining the property’s security but also provides peace of mind to the buyer during their visit.

The Final Walkthrough

The final walkthrough is a crucial step in the home closing process as it allows the buyer to inspect the property one last time before the transfer of ownership. During this walkthrough, the buyer will be keen to ensure several key aspects are in order:

  • The seller has left any items stipulated in the contract
  • The property is broom-swept clean
  • Last-minute repairs are completed
  • There have been no damages between the final offer and closing
  • HVAC and hot water are working
  • Personal belongings are gone or are in the process of being moved out

Collaborate with your Realtor to understand the buyer’s expectations during the final walkthrough and address any concerns or questions they may have.

Complete Closing with Your Lawyer

To complete the closing process of your home, it’s essential to schedule a meeting with your lawyer a few days before the official closing date. During this meeting, the following key steps will be taken:

  1. Finalizing Legal Aspects: Your lawyer will guide you through the necessary documentation to release you from your mortgage and transfer ownership of the property. You will be required to sign these important documents to ensure a legally binding transaction.
  2. Handing Over Keys and Access Codes: As part of the closing process, you will be responsible for bringing all keys, fobs, openers, and access codes necessary to control appliances and doors in the home. As a courtesy, it’s also helpful to indicate where your community mailbox is in the neighbourhood, and which box belongs to the new owners.
    Once the closing is completed, these items will belong to the new homeowner. Typically, a lockbox is installed at the property’s door, with a code provided to the buyer by their lawyer after the closing. Fobs, garage door openers, extra keys, mailbox keys, and other related items should be left inside the house.
  3. Financial Details: Your lawyer will walk you through the financial aspects of selling your home during this meeting. They will outline where the funds will come from and how they will be dispersed, ensuring a clear understanding of the financial transactions involved in the closing.
  4. Required Paperwork: Depending on your specific situation, your lawyer may request certain paperwork for the closing. This can include mortgage documents, land survey information, home appraisal reports, inspection reports, the home purchase agreement, and two pieces of photo identification. Providing these documents promptly will help facilitate a smooth closing process.

Closing on your home in Ontario requires careful planning and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the process with confidence.

If you’re seeking professional assistance and personalized support while selling your home, reach out to SAUNDERS, SAXTON & WINTER for a complimentary home evaluation and consultation. Take the first step towards a smooth and successful home sale today!

Are you a first-time home buyer?

Buying your first home can be both exciting and overwhelming. Saunders, Saxton & Winter have created this helpful guide to walk you through the process, along with tips and advice from our team!
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