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How much does it cost to close on a home?

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One your offer and mortgage have been approved, the only thing standing between you and your new home is the closing. During a real estate closing, the property title transfers from the seller to the buyer. You’ll sign several documents prepared by the escrow company and closing agent and pay your share of the closing costs. And when that’s all said and done, you’ll officially be a new homeowner!

Here’s a closer look at the process and how you can prepare for a smooth transition.

The closing process

Closing day is the day you sign the paperwork and take possession of the home, but there’s a lot of groundwork you need to lay first. Doing your homework ahead of time can increase your chances of a seamless closing process — and help you avoid costly delays. 

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of your responsibilities as a home buyer:

Step 1 – Offer and contract accepted by the seller

Step 2 – Deposit held in escrow account

Step 3 – Buyer completes due diligence (e.g., home inspection, review seller disclosures)

Step 4 – Lender conducts appraisal

Step 5 – Mortgage is approved by lender

Step 6 – Buyer obtains homeowner’s insurance & title insurance

Step 7 – Buyer completes final walkthrough of home

Step 8 – Lawyers facilitate land transfer documentation

Step 9 – Lender receives documentation and sends borrowed funds

Step 10 – Escrow funds are released

Step 11 – You receive the keys

Your real estate agent can provide more insight on how to navigate each step.

Typical closing costs

Closing costs are important to budget for ahead of time as they have to be paid in cash and can account for up to 4% of your final purchase price. The exact dollar amount will vary by property and area, but here’s a closer look the costs are and how they’re calculated:

Land transfer tax (LTT)

This tax is calculated based on a percentage of the home purchase price and varies by province. Certain cities may also have municipal LLT. Here are a few examples:

  • Toronto ON (2.1% ~ $16k on an average home)
  • Montreal QC (0.7% ~ $4k on an average home)
  • Winnipeg MB (1.3% ~ $4k on an average home)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo ON (0.4% ~ $2k on an average home)
  • Calgary AB (0.1% ~ $300 on an average home)

Professional home inspection

A home inspector will assemble a report on the condition of the home for a fee of around $500, depending on the complexities of the inspection.

Legal fees and disbursement

Legal fees include the preparation and recording of official documents and usually cost a minimum of $500, plus GST and HST.

Title insurance

In case of a property dispute, many lenders require title insurance to protect against losses. This is purchased directly through your lawyer or notary and costs between $100 and $300.

Deposit and down payment

When making an offer to purchase a home, you’ll need to pay a deposit to show that you’re a serious buyer. There’s no minimum required, but this amount is often equal to 5% of the purchase price and will count towards the down payment.

Many lenders generally require a down payment of 20%, although some accept less depending on the bank and mortgage product. The down payment is made at the time of closing in the form of a bank check.

Mortgage default insurance (CMHC insurance)

Mortgage insurance is usually required if your down payment is less than 20%. This protects the lender in the event of default, and regular premiums are generally rolled into your mortgage payments. 

In some areas, such as Manitoba and Ontario, provincial sales tax must be paid on CMHC insurance in cash at the time of closing.

Estoppel certificate fee (except Quebec)

A certificate fee may be payable if you are buying a condo or strata unit and could cost up to $100. Your real estate agent will let you know whether this is needed.

Other fees

If the seller has prepaid any utilities, your final purchase price will be adjusted for these. You’ll also need to consider moving costs in your grand total. A local move will typically cost between $300 for a small condo up to $1,500 for a three-bedroom home.

Ideally, you’ll consider closing costs in the home buying process at large. These extra fees can significantly impact your budget and may affect how much you choose to spend on a new home.

Buy your next home with Properly

With Properly, you can buy when you find the home you love, and sell without the stress. You’ll work with a dedicated local real estate agent and a team of specialists who are there to support you at every step in the journey, from finding and closing on your dream home to getting the best price on the market for your current one. Visit properly.ca to get started.

Properly is a Canadian tech-enabled real estate brokerage transforming the home buying and selling experience as the only service in Canada that helps homeowners to buy before they sell.

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