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Real Estate Lawyer Toronto

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Real Estate Lawyers in Toronto

Buying a house is a significant investment, if not the most significant investment, for most individuals and families. A lawyer’s expertise is required in the closing stages of the purchase and sale transaction. As a result, clients want certainty with respect to their legal fees. Our aim at Costa Law Firm is to provide home buyers and sellers with clarity as to legal fees and disbursements. That said, it should be noted at the onset that not all transactions or mortgages are equal. In particular, some mortgage transactions are more involved and this translates into increased costs.

The legal cost of closing a transaction can be divided into two parts: legal fees (what you pay the lawyer for his/her services) and disbursements. As with all transactions, HST is applicable.

What are disbursements?

Disbursements are costs that are incurred in the process of closing a real estate transaction. These includes the following: search and execution costs; transaction levy surcharge (sale); conveyancing fee; photocopies; postage; fax transmissions; cheque certifications; couriers; long distance calls; travelling expenses (if any) etc.

What are not disbursements?

The following are direct costs associated with the closing a transaction and is not encompassed in the rubric of legal fees and disbursements:

1. Title insurance
2. Land Transfer Taxes (Municipal (if Toronto) and Provincial)
3. MLTT (City of Toronto administration tax)
4. Registration fees – charged by the registry office for each registration
5. Cost for tax and utility certificates

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Our Fees

The legal fees quoted below are for standard single-family residential costing up to $999,000 and where we are acting for a maximum of two (2) purchasers or vendors and dealing with one institutional (chartered bank) mortgage.

Purchase transaction and 1 new mortgage
$1100 + HST + Disbursements
Sale transaction and 1 mortgage discharge
$1050 + HST + Disbursements
Mortgage Refinancing
$750 + HST + Disbursements
Transfer of Title
$650 + HST + Disbursements
New Home Interim Occupancy Closing
$400 + HST + Disbursements
Additional mortgage or other discharge
$300 + HST

Some transactions fall outside the standard norm; as such any additional work that needs to be completed will result in additional charges. These may include issues with writs, extensions, multiple payouts to other debtors etc.

David Costa

Mr. Costa obtained his Canadian law degree from the University of Windsor. He also obtained his American law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

B.Mus., B.Ed., LL.B., J.D.

Call me: 416-535-6329 ext. 223

Mr. David Costa is the founding member of Costa Law Firm. Within a short period of time David generated a client base that recognizes his unique ability to achieve effective results. He has expanded the firm among specialized associates who together provide a wide range of legal counsel to local and international clients.

Costa Law Firm has developed the skills and experience needed to address the legal concerns of the local community. Mr. Costa leads the Criminal Law division at the firm. As well, he works with the associates in the Business Law, Municipal Law and Real Estate Law Departments to provide the best service to those wishing to realize their business objectives.

Partnering With A Real Estate Lawyer

Here at Costa Law, our Real Estate Group is recognized and well respected in the communities in which we practice. Although real estate is a much more complex area of law then it was a decade ago, our attorneys have the experience and skills necessary to handle the most complex issues.

We have successfully guided our clients through title searches, surveys, zoning requirements, the purchase and sale of residential property, the purchase and sale of commercial property, and more. Our real estate lawyer in North York and Toronto work hard to understand our clients’ goals so that we can tailor our services and our approach to their needs, in order to achieve a positive legal result. We take pride in our work and deliver efficient and creative solutions to the most complex problems. So if you are looking for a real estate lawyer near me – our convenient location in Bloordale Village and next to Korea Town in Toronto, is here to serve you better.

Real Estate Lawyer Cost In Toronto

Getting your home deal closed is no simple task. There are people working tirelessly to ensure that you get the home of your dreams. Unsurprisingly, none of them work for free, which is where closing costs come in. Buyers and sellers often must pay certain costs, some of which can be negotiated. Because you need to work with a real estate lawyer, you must be prepared to pay some legal fees and what is commonly referred to as disbursements. The total closing costs can be anywhere between 3 and 5 percent of the price of your home. Both buyers and sellers pay these fees, even though sellers pay typically lower closing fees than buyers. It’s important to understand these costs beforehand when involved in any real estate transactions.

Partnering With A Real Estate Lawyer

How Much Will It Cost?

Real estate lawyer fees vary from law firm to law firm and property to property. It depends on the type of transaction involved and its complexity. When you’re looking to refinance, buy or sell property anywhere in Toronto or beyond, it’s important to work with lawyers who specialize in real estate transactions. This is because you’re always assured that they can identify issues and resolve them fast.

In most cases, you will pay a base fee whose amount will depend on the type of home you’re buying or selling, and then you’ll also be charged for disbursements. We’ll break down the different types of fees you’re likely to pay a real estate lawyer in Toronto below.

Mortgage Refinance

Most first-time property owners often find the entire experience a little bit daunting. The end of their first mortgage term is stressful due to changing rates and possible penalties or seeking a new lender. In such situations, refinancing a mortgage can be a challenging task, especially for property owners who lack in-depth understanding and guidance.

If you plan to refinance your mortgage, it’s time to ditch the DIY skills you have been learning on the internet. Hire one of our mortgage refinancing lawyers to ensure the process is seamless and successful. These lawyers have a wealth of knowledge regarding real estate laws and other details associated with mortgages. They can help you navigate the challenging decisions, handle all the necessary paperwork for you, and work tirelessly to steer your plan to full implementation. Some of the issues our mortgage refinancing lawyers can handle include commercial mortgage financing or refinancing, residential mortgage financing or refinancing, private lenders, non-mortgage refinancing, and more.

Property Title Transfers

The title transfer process involves the change of property ownership between a buyer and a seller. It happens at the end of the home purchase agreement and after an in-depth consideration of the overall value that has been exchanged. A title transfer may be necessary if you want to refinance your home or there is a transfer between friends, business partners, and family. Other family issues such as separation or divorce could also necessitate a title transfer.

No matter type of title you want to be handled, our property title transfer lawyers in Toronto work tirelessly to get the transfer handled professionally and in time. The lawyers can get all relevant documents prepared and signed within the shortest time possible. While paperwork preparation and signing might take just a few days, in North York, the entire process of registration and land transfer might take about a week.

Wills & Estates

A professionally-drafted will can prevent future uncertainties regarding the administration of your financial assets, properties, taxes, and other relevant assets and expenses. Unless you have an accurate will, the law of intestacy will definitely kick in to determine how your properties and other assets are handled and shared in case you are incapacitated or dead. That means you will lose control over the entire assets sharing process. However, things don’t have to be this way, you can trust our wills & estate lawyers in North York and Toronto for strategic planning and other solutions needed to manage and keep your home and other assets safe.

Our experienced lawyers can handle estate planning, the appointment of a guardian especially for incapable individuals, trusts, estate trustee applications with or even without wills, dependents relief applications, and more. No matter how complex your situation is, allow the experts to handle it for you.

HST Rebates Lawyer

If you got a condo or home recently, it’s time to get your HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) rebate. If you contracted a builder in Toronto or North York to construct your property, you’re entitled to an HST rebate for the new building. The HST rebate is also given to a property (new) buyer or a family member. It is intended to lower the property purchase price by the specific rebate amount and might make the buyer eligible for a mortgage large enough to finance the home fully. The property builder or condo developer can easily advertise the building at a lower price.

Our reliable team of highly skilled and experienced lawyers can help you acquire a rebate you’re eligible for. We offer free but comprehensive consultation to understand your situation. Upon your consent, our lawyers will gather the necessary details and do what they are good at – get you a refund of the exact amount you’re entitled to.

Private Mortgages Lawyer

A private mortgage is ideal where the credit provider is a private company rather than a bank, credit union, or any other mainstream lending institution. These credit services are usually sought by borrowers who cannot secure a mortgage at mainstream financial institutions such as banks due to the strict credit requirements set by these institutions. For instance, if you are a first-time property buyer, an experienced property owner seeking an alternative to mainstream lending or a self-employed and cannot provide proof of a reliable income, you might find private mortgages an ideal option.

Note that you need an experienced private mortgage lawyer who can help you decipher the fine print in a private mortgage commitment or contract. Our lawyers in Toronto offer you a chance to protect yourself and make choices based on the right information. You can’t afford to make a mistake when handling a mortgage.

Company Incorporation

Probably you have discovered that the incorporation process involving partnerships and sole proprietorships is incredibly complex. There may be numerous tax and legal issues that impact your daily operations. Business management structures, joint ventures, and liability top the list of the sensitive aspects of your business that you must get right. With many years of experience in various areas of commercial law, our lawyers have advised businesses of all levels and helped them handle the incorporation process successfully.

Our company, incorporation lawyers in Toronto are your trusted legal and business advisors during the preparation for your business incorporation. These professionals understand the different forms of business and can help you comply with the commercial laws while meeting your business needs in each phase of the incorporation process. Our experience, coupled with the in-depth understanding of both legal and business aspects of the incorporation process, guarantee our clients in North York exceptional results.

Commercial Lease Review Lawyer

Often, commercial leases are two-way contracts governed by the OCTA (Ontario Commercial Tenancies Act). With the help of our lawyers, you can understand the fine print associated with leases before you sign the contract. These lawyers are experts in tenant and landlord issues in relation to commercial law and leasing. Thus, they can help you comprehend both sides of the commercial lease agreement or dispute issue.

Our firm provides commercial lease review services for all landlords of retail, commercial, industrial, and even mixed-use buildings who intend to prepare commercial leasing contracts. You can count on us for expert guidance on leasing issues including fixtures, common area expenses, damages, rent default, property insurance, and different approaches to resolving conflicts with your tenants in case they arise. Our lawyers can also help draft the specific terms of a lease without compromising your interests.

Joint Venture Agreement Lawyer Toronto

Whenever disputes and other issues arise in a joint venture, the skill and professional thought put into the initial joint venture agreement can make a significant difference when it comes to finding a timely and equitable solution. An acceptable joint venture agreement that accurately identifies each partner’s responsibilities and roles can protect your rights and also account for a myriad of aspects that might go wrong in a joint project.

Our skilled lawyers work with our customers to fully understand, negotiate, accurately draft, and carefully execute the created joint venture agreement. These professionals are highly experienced when it comes to creating joint venture agreements that are straightforward and comply with the relevant law. They make sure that the agreements account for all foreseeable contingencies while helping the partners involved avoid costly and unnecessary disputes. Working with one of our lawyers guarantees a successful and harmonious working in your joint venture.

Legal Fees

In real estate transactions, lawyers are paid professional fees for drafting documents such as title deeds and preparing contracts like the mortgage agreement, and also conducting property searches. These legal fees usually vary depending on the property, and they do not include any taxes.

For a residential purchase transaction, the legal fees can start from $1,050. Sale transactions usually attract a lower legal fee starting from $600. If you are refinancing a property, expect to pay legal fees starting from $750. Other transactions such as transferring a title deed or a new home interim occupancy closing can start from $300.


Other than the legal fees, the real estate lawyer may also charge disbursements, which is basically the out of pocket expenses that are incurred by the law firm. They include things like registration fees conducting searches, or HST.

At Costa Law Firm, we are very transparent when it comes to our legal fees and disbursements. We never charge clients any hidden fees or unexpected costs. It’s important for us to retain our client’s trust, which is why we always give clients the expected costs before beginning any transaction. We even offer a free quote to clients which includes the legal fees we’ll charge and a proper estimate of the disbursements. We know how fast real estate transaction expenses can add up, and that’s why it’s important for us to remain reasonable when charging our clients these fees. If you need legal help when buying, selling, refinancing or any other real estate transactions, be sure to call us.

Real Estate Law

Real estate law is a branch of civil law that covers the right to possess, use, and enjoy property. This area of law also covers an owner’s interest in property, the transfer of interest in property, the financing of real property, deeds, mortgages, and leases. Real estate transactions – purchases, sales or leases – are the subject of both federal and provincial laws. The Agreement of Purchase and Sale with respect to real estate is a contract, and as such, it must be made in writing in order to comply with the Statute of Frauds. This agreement brings with it all the obligations, responsibilities, and procedures of contract law, and spells out the rights and obligations of each party to the transaction. With the recent introduction of a paperless, electronic land registration system, Costa Law can assist you with your property transactions, regardless of how complex they are.

Real Estate Law

Acting For Purchasers

Here at Costa Law, our attorneys want to help you find the perfect home or property for you, and ensure that you make informed decisions throughout your purchase. This is why we start by thoroughly examining your needs, wishes, and budget, and then guide you every step of the way. We can also help eligible first-time home buyers save money by obtaining a full or partial refund of the Land Transfer Tax (LTT), and the Municipal Land and Transfer Tax (MLTT). Our real estate lawyers will give you advice that is tailored to your individual needs, and help answer any questions you may have.

Acting For Vendors (Sellers)

Selling your house or property involves many steps. Regardless of whether you are a first-time vendor or not, you are likely to have numerous questions about the current market value, need for an appraisal, paperwork involved in completing the sale, inspections, closing date of the transaction, and more. Our team of real estate lawyers will help you sell your home and answer any questions you may have.

Residential & Commercial Properties

Buying or selling a residential or commercial property is a very significant investment, which is why it is important that the transaction is completed properly, through courteous, reliable, and professional representation. Real estate transactions may become especially complex when they involve detailed commercial leases. At Costa Law we handle both residential and commercial transactions, regardless of how big or complex they may be.


The purchase and sale of a condominium units is of provincial jurisdiction and requires a detailed consideration of the Condominium Act. This Act consists of many provisions and regulations which govern the purchase, sale, formation, and maintenance of condominiums. The Act outlines the rights and obligations of the purchasers, sellers, managers, and boards. The Act is extremely complicated and involves many provisions. That is why we encourage condominium owners to seek legal guidance if they have any questions about the purchase and sale of condominiums.

Save Money, Time, Energy, & Avoid Litigation

Real Estate Law involves a wide variety of legal issues, and can be quite complex. In order to avoid unwanted litigation expenses, we recommend that you consult with our legal team at an early stage in your transaction. Not only will this save you time and money in the long-term, but it will ensure that your real estate transaction runs smoothly.

Title Searching, Surveys, Zoning & Other Requirements

Real estate contracts often require the title of the property that is being sold to be marketable. This means that the seller must have proof of title to the property he or she is selling. As an alternative, purchasers now have the option of obtaining title insurance as an alternative to a new survey of the property. Title insurance can have a lot of benefits. It can eliminate the need to obtain municipal tax, zoning, and building certificates, as well as protect against property owners against any claims arising from title defects. A title insurance policy gives the buyer a peace of mind and protects your title to your new property against any survey title defects, fraud, forgery, liens and other problems.

Once an Agreement of Purchase and Sale is accepted, our real estate attorneys will work diligently to complete the transaction, and ensure that your interests are protected by:


Conducting a title search in order to determine the chain of title and check the ownership of adjoining lands
Conducting a review of the land survey in order to determine whether a new survey is required
onducting a property insurance check
Reviewing the relevant sections of the Municipal Zoning By-laws to ensure that the property and its use complies with local requirements
Reviewing the relevant sections of the Municipal Zoning By-laws to ensure that the property and its use complies with local requirements
Conducting a corporate search to confirm that the vendor corporation was a valid and subsisting corporation during the time in which it held title to the property
Determining if a purchaser is buying a condominium unit or ordering an estoppel certificate
Reviewing any executions against parties
Ordering a tax certificate
Checking any outstanding utility accounts
Conducting an inquiry as to the compliance with registered and unregistered restrictions
Requesting an occupancy permit, and obtaining evidence of HUDAC enrollment and warranty (If the purchaser is a new home buyer)
Conducting an examination of the validity of rents and the compliance with the appropriate legislation (if purchaser is acquiring rental property)
Maintaining open communication with the client to address any and all other issues which may arise

FAQ for Real Estate Lawyer Toronto

What happens after the vendor accepts your offer to purchase?

Generally, the offer is the starting point of the complicated process of acquiring a home. Once your offer is accepted, your lawyer can begin working on various fronts. He or she can start asking you different questions about the particular house you intend to buy and how you plan to use it. Additionally, the lawyer can complete a series of legal inquiries, extensive fact-checking, and searches of records to ensure that you own the property and can live there, upon successful purchase.

Your real estate lawyer can be a trusted legal advisor. Here are some of the things he or she can handle for you.

• Prepare mortgage paperwork. He/she can also help you understand the mortgage terms.

• Explain the different ways in which you can own the home in case you are purchasing it with someone else.

• Check the right statements to make sure you’re paying the right share of utility bills, taxes, and other costs.

• Help you comprehend the terms and conditions for any relevant contract before signing.

• Make sure you get reliable property insurance.

• Make the right arrangements for you get the keys to your property after closing.

Why is obtaining good title so important?

Getting the right title ensures that you own the home that is well-described in official documents. That means your property is registered and no one else has a lien or claim to, that you aren’t aware about. For instance, contractors, mortgage holders, the property seller’s spouse, and tenants may have rights to the home that should be resolved before the property sale could proceed.

Additionally, getting a good title is essential for you to to be able to sell your property in the future. Your real estate lawyer can help you handle the following:

• Find out if the property seller has a right to sell it, and that nobody else has a lien or claim on the home.

• Consider survey-related issues. For instance, find out whether or not something in your home encroaches on the nearby properties.

• Find out from the municipality whether or not there are work orders against the home which the buyer could be forced to comply with after acquiring the property.

• Determine if there is any organization with interests in the home that could restrict how you use it.

Do You Qualify As A First Time Homebuyer?

The eligibility requirements listed here apply and continue to apply for both resale homes and newly-constructed properties.

• The buyer should be 18 years or more.

• An application for a refund should be filed within 18 months after the day of the disposition or conveyance. Your lawyer should complete the application during the property closing to ensure you get an immediate rebate.

• The property buyer should occupy the home as a permanent residence within nine months of the date of closing.

• The buyer shouldn’t have owned a home or had interests in a house previously.

• The buyer’s spouse shouldn’t have owned a home or had interests in a house previously while he or she was still the buyer’s spouse.

In case one of the home buyers isn’t a first-time property buyer, the refund amount will be reduced proportionately to the interest in land acquired by the people who aren’t first-time home buyers.

Purchasing a property from a Builder

The process of acquiring a home from the builder involves two types of transactions. These include:

• Condominium purchase

• Freehold purchase (semi-detached homes, detached homes, and townhouses)

In case you are buying a condominium, you are legally entitled to a 10-day cooling-off period which starts on the day when the property builder signed the consent of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and a copy had been presented to the buyer. During these ten days, you (the buyer) can review the agreement, and when necessary, provide written amendments to the contract. In case you don’t want to proceed with the purchase, you can terminate the agreement.

For property buyers acquiring a freehold home, they don’t have the right to a cooling-off period unless there is a specific condition included in the agreement. Contact an experienced lawyer today to discuss how he or she can help you with your real estate transactions.

First-time property buyers land transfer tax refund

If you’re buying a home for the first time, there is a good chance you have many questions about the entire process of acquiring a home. Having an excellent real estate lawyer guarantees professional and reliable counsel at no additional cost.

The land transfer tax refund refers to the amount of tax payable and is being claimed as a refund up to $2,000. Note that a first-time property buyer can claim the full amount or a fraction of the full refund amount. Check this illustration.

If the cost of a home is $100,000, the amount of land transfer tax payable is $725. In this case, the amount of land transfer tax refund is likely to be $725. Consult with your real estate lawyer for an in-depth explanation of the land transfer tax refund concept.

Mortgage Approval – making mortgage arrangements

Real estate experts often advise first-time property buyers to apply for a mortgage prior to shopping for a good home. This is an important step. However, it is way better to get preapproved for a mortgage than to get preapproved. Once a lender hands you a preapproval letter, it means you can:

Check the right homes: In case your real estate agent is sending generic listings of all homes available, you can request him or her to send the properties you already qualify to purchase.

Spend your time examining the right properties: By minimizing the number of properties you need to check, you can allot more time to thinking about the nuances each property has to offer.

Increase your bargaining power: Home sellers are more likely to accept your offer, even if it’s less than the list price. This is because you’re giving the seller peace of mind that his or her property is being sold.
Note that mortgage approval is the longest contingency to satisfy in a property purchase contract. Therefore, getting preapproved is to your advantage.

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    Costa Law Firm

    Costa Law Firm is a law firm located in Toronto with exceptional credentials that stands out for its commitment to client service. Our service minded approach has led Costa Law Firm to be one of the most reliable law firms in Toronto.

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