Standard Real Estate Transaction Information

May 16, 2024

MHR Law LLP commence working on real estate files as soon as our office receives conveyancing from the real estate brokerage. We will not provide a fee quote unless you specifically request one prior to our office receiving conveyancing.

The following services are included in a standard real estate transaction:

  • Receiving conveyancing from the real estate brokerage
  • Receiving and reviewing mortgage instructions from the lender (purchase/refinance)
  • Giving you information and advice on all matters in connection with the sale or purchase of property
  • Reviewing the contract
  • Performing a title search and reviewing registrations on title
  • Obtaining a tax certificate
  • Obtaining an estoppel certificate (condo sale)
  • Preparing:
    • Mortgage and/or loan documents (purchase/refinance)
    • Direction to Pay, Statement of Adjustments, and other necessary documents
    • Transfer of Land (including Dower consent if applicable) (sale) or Affidavit of Value (purchase)
    • Assignments of Leases (for oil companies, pipelines, tenants)
  • Advising non-resident sellers to prepare and file tax returns and obtain a Clearance Certificate from CRA (sale)
  • Calculating shortfall funds (purchase)
  • Meeting with you to sign all necessary documents and answer any questions
  • Disbursing funds held in trust according to the Direction to Pay
  • Paying out property taxes and one registered mortgage (sale)
  • Advising the realtor to release keys when the transaction is completed and paying the balance of commission owing (sale)
  • Providing documents to the purchaser’s lawyer (sale) or to the Land Titles Office for registration (purchase/refinance)
  • Providing a Certified Copy of Title to the purchaser’s lawyer (sale)
  • Reporting to you

Without limitation, services that are NOT INCLUDED in a standard real estate transaction (and therefore are subject to additional fees):

  • Amending documents if not all the parties are able to sign at a single, in-office appointment (including spouses signing Dower consent for sale)
  • Drafting amendments to the contract including extensions to closing (if your realtor is unable or unwilling to do so)
  • Holdback of funds for any purpose, whether or not you have agreed to a holdback in the contract (including non-compliant Real Property Report, insurance repairs, septic installation, etc.)
  • Drafting documents necessary for you to comply with the terms of your contract, such as encroachment agreements, easements, etc. (sale)
  • Contacting a surveyor and/or the municipality to arrange for completion of a Real Property Report and/or Certificate of Compliance (sale)
  • Applying for a relaxation or variance with the municipality on your behalf so that you comply with the terms of your contract (sale)
  • Communicating with your realtor and/or the lawyer on the other side of the transaction following closing to resolve any issues with the transaction (including disputes over payment of holdback, etc.)
  • Arranging payout of debts as instructed by you or your lender (e.g. credit card, personal loan, etc.) which are not registered on title (sale)
  • Payment and discharge of registered writs, liens, certificates of lis pendens, or any charge other than a registered mortgage charge (sale)
  • Holding back a portion of mortgage funds for renovations as instructed by your lender (purchase/refinance)
  • Preparing documentation necessary to request draws on your mortgage (new construction purchase)
  • Removing a name from title prior to the transfer (Affidavit of Surviving Joint Tenant) (sale)
  • Preparing a Bare Trust Agreement if one or more people are co-signing so that you qualify for financing (purchase)
  • Payment of property tax or condo fee arrears (sale)
  • Analysis or advice regarding tax implications. Any tax questions should be directed to a Chartered Professional Accountant.

Rush Fee

  • A rush fee will apply if we receive conveyancing within 10 business days of the closing date.

Private Transactions

  • If you are selling or purchasing privately (without a realtor), we would be happy to assist with drafting the purchase contract for an additional fee. We typically recommend that the contract drafting fee be split between the seller and buyer.

Acting for both sides

  • Our office may act for both buyer and seller as long as both sides agree and there are no disputes. However, we are limited in what advice we can give you if a dispute arises on your file, and information you or the other side provides to us is not confidential if it is relevant to the other side. There is a slight cost savings on disbursements if we act for both sides (i.e. we only need to obtain a single tax certificate rather than one for each side), but buyer and seller are still responsible for their own respective legal fees.


  • The Law Society of Alberta requires that our office confirm and record the identity of our clients. If you are getting financing to purchase a property, your lender may have further identification requirements. To comply with these requirements, our office must review your original identification documents and keep copies on file. When you attend your signing appointment you will need to bring in two pieces of unexpired ID; at least one must be photo ID (driver’s license or passport) and the other can be anything government issued or any major credit card.


  • Marital status – Please let us know if you are separated from your spouse but not legally divorced.
  • GST – Please advise our office if the residence on the property is newly built, has recently been substantially renovated, is being used for a commercial/business activity, or consists of more than 5 acres. If you are unsure whether GST will apply, you should speak to a Chartered Professional Accountant.
  • Residency – Please advise our office immediately if you are not a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident as we may be required to hold back a portion of the sale proceeds until you (and/or your Chartered Professional Accountant) have applied for and received a non-resident clearance certificate from Canada Revenue Agency.


  • Martial Status – Please let us know if you are separated from your spouse but not legally divorced.
  • Residency – Please advise our office immediately if you are not a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident. Federal law now prohibits certain non-Canadians from purchasing certain types of property.