Expert Advice

Agreement of Purchase and Sale Explained

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Buying and selling real estate is an exciting experience: thoughts of summer BBQ’s enjoyed with family and friends in your new backyard make us smile with anticipation. Wow! What a great time it’ll be. My job, as a real estate lawyer, is to minimize the likelihood that something could spoil the good times. I probably won’t be invited to the BBQ, but I want you to enjoy the celebration. The best way to do this is by building protection into your Agreement of Purchase and Sale at the outset.

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It’s what’s inside that counts. You want to be sure, among other things, that all the personal property, fixtures, heating, cooling, electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems and equipment are in good working order on closing, that there are no water leaks, termite or insect infestation or structural problems, and that you are entitled to inspect the property before closing to ensure that nothing has changed. If the property is in Toronto, you should be concerned with the continuation of use of any existing parking pads and that insurance coverage is available (as oftentimes insurers won’t insure properties with knob and tube electrical systems). If you are buying a condo, you want to review the status certificate to determine the financial and legal position of the condo corporation that you are joining.

Once signed, and once all of the conditions (for example, financing and home inspection, and status certificate, if a condo) have been waived or fulfilled, your Agreement of Purchase and Sale becomes an unconditional firm and binding contract between the buyer and seller which cannot be changed unless both parties agree to do so. Usually, if one party wants a change to the Agreement, it is to benefit that party, to the detriment of the other, in which event the other party will not agree.

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It’s easy to see that if you want the BBQ to be a success, your Agreement of Purchase and Sale has to be as well planned and thought out as the guest list and culinary menu.

For More Information:

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 Jay Teichman

Barrister & Solicitor




5255 Yonge St., Suite 800,

Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6P4

Telephone: (416) 512-1072

Direct Line: (416) 229-5461

Facsimile: (416) 512-9992