What You Should Know Before Buying a House

Francis Lawyers

For most people, buying a home is their largest investment. Because of this, there are certain things you should know before buying a house. This article highlights some key players and their roles in the home buying transactions that you should know before closing the transaction. If you need help, be sure to consult with a real estate lawyer in Ottawa.

The key players include:

  • Building Inspector

  • Township/Town/City

  • Real Estate Agent

  • Financial Institutions/Brokers 

  • Insurance Broker

  • Real Estate Lawyer

Building Inspector

It is highly recommended that you include a home inspection in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale. 

Here are the things you should consider when selecting a home inspector:

  • A reputable company

  • Ensure the inspectors have formal training and are certified to do the home inspection

  • The home inspector should be a member of an association for home inspectors, such as the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors or the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors.

  • In order to protect yourself and the inspector, consider a company with Errors & Omissions insurance, General Liability Insurance and Worker’s Compensation.


You have an obligation to pay property taxes and utilities once you take possession of your home. Before closing the transaction, it is important to proactively contact the township/town or city to make arrangements for property taxes and utilities. 

Real Estate Agent

In Ontario, real estate agents are regulated under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act and must be registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). Before you buy a house, make sure you know your wants and needs and share them with your real estate agent because they will be largely involved in your home buying process. You want to ensure you review all the Agreement of Purchase and Sale details with your real estate agent.

When choosing a real estate agent to work with:

  • Confirm if they are registered with RECO.

  • Have a personal meeting with them to be sure they are the ones you want to work with.  

Financing Institutions/Brokers 

You will need help from a mortgage broker or a bank if you are financing your home purchase. You will therefore need to carefully select which mortgage broker or bank you wish to work with.

Here is what to do before choosing a mortgage broker or bank to work with:

  • Ask for references or recommendations.

  • Find out if they are credible.

  • You want to ensure they have been seen or worked in your community.

  • Check if they have a website.

  • Arrange a personal meeting with them just to be sure you really want to work with them.

Insurance Broker

Lenders will ask for proof of home insurance before financing your home purchase. It is, however, recommended that whether or not you are financing your home, you must buy insurance coverage to protect it. In Ontario, home insurance brokers are licensed and regulated by the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO). 

Here is what to do when selecting an insurance broker:

  • Confirm they are registered with RIBO

  • Ask for references or recommendations

  • Select a broker with experience and one who is recognized for excellent service

  • Go for a client-oriented broker who will recommend the policy that is in line with your needs

Real Estate Lawyer

Before buying a house and closing the transaction, you must involve a real estate lawyer. 

Here is the role of a real estate lawyer in the home buying process:

  • Assist with the review of your Agreement of Purchase and Sale

  • Conduct research on the property

  • Ensure the necessary documents are executed and provided to the right persons

  • Ensure you meet all your financial obligations

  • Help you obtain and secure mortgage funds until your transaction closes

  • Ensure your mortgage and transfer of title are registered on the day of closing

If you or someone you know is looking for a real estate lawyer in Ottawa for their home purchase process, contact Francis Lawyers for expert advice and personal help.