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Pre-Possession Process: A Comprehensive Guide to Buying a House”

Buying a house is a significant milestone, and the possession date marks the moment when keys are handed over, officially turning a buyer into a homeowner. However, the road to possession is laden with essential steps that need careful attention well before the move-in date. Let’s explore the crucial tasks that buyers should undertake in the lead-up to possession day.

  1. Initial Steps: From Offer to Lawyer’s Office: The journey begins when the lawyer’s office receives the offer to purchase from the seller’s or buyers broker. Buyers should expect a call from their lawyer’s office, where they’ll be asked for basic information, details about their mortgage broker, and information on their chosen home insurance provider.
  2. Offer Conditions and Buyer’s Proactivity :Since the offer to purchase comes from the seller’s broker, buyers may need to be proactive in reaching out to their lawyer even before the official document arrives, especially if conditions have been satisfied. Open communication is key throughout this process.
  3. Working with the Lender: Mortgage Instructions :Buyers should collaborate closely with their lender to ensure timely completion of the mortgage application. Mortgage instructions are typically received a few weeks before the possession date, but sometimes they may only arrive a few days before. Once received, the lawyer schedules a meeting to review closing documents and explain the possession process.
  4. Understanding Closing Costs: During the meeting, the lawyer provides an “estimate of closing costs,” detailing the total amount required for the transaction. This includes land titles registration fees, land transfer tax, legal fees, and other necessary disbursements and taxes. Payment options are discussed, and the buyer is informed of the steps to be taken before possession.
  5. Insurance Matters: A Prerequisite for Mortgage Funds: The buyer’s lender will only release funds if the buyer has secured fire insurance before possession. It is advisable for buyers to arrange home insurance after mortgage confirmation, providing a copy of the home inspection report to address any potential queries. The insurance broker then sends an “insurance binder” to the buyer’s lawyer, a crucial document for advancing mortgage proceeds.
  6. Preparation for Possession Day: Buyers should ensure their availability on the possession day to thoroughly inspect the house. This allows time for a detailed check of appliances, electrical systems, and mechanical systems to ensure everything is in good working condition.


A successful and stress-free possession day starts with meticulous preparation in the days leading up to it. Communication with legal and financial professionals, understanding closing costs, and securing insurance are pivotal to a seamless home-buying experience. By following these steps, buyers can embark on their new life chapter as homeowners with confidence and assurance.

DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute any legal advice. The views expressed are solely authors and should not be attributed to any other party, including PPD LAW OFFICE. If you need legal advice, please call our office at 204-540-0414

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