A very common question from prospective homebuyers and sellers is what are the disbursements for a real estate closing? Some real estate lawyers when quoting the price of a residential real estate home purchase or sale will only provide their legal fees.

At times, this might be confusing for a prospective client. As a result, it’s a good idea to understand what disbursements are.

Feel free to browse my other blog entry entitled, Working with a lawyer where I provide additional information about disbursements. In sum, disbursements are the expenses and costs related to the transaction.

Working With A Lawyer


For a residential real estate transaction there are common disbursements that a client can expect to pay. For example:

Of course one must keep in mind that disbursements can vary from file to file.

However, the above list should provide a prospective client with an idea of how many disbursements might apply in a typical real estate law transaction.


Below are frequently asked questions when it comes to residential real estate

closing costs charged by a real estate lawyer.



A status certificate is an important document that must be reviewed when it comes to the purchase of a condominium. This certificate provides insight into how the condo is managed, its by-laws and its financial status. Also, whether or not there are any outstanding lawsuits against the condo. A status certificate can also assist in determining access to condo facilities, services and ownership. Feel free to review the following article: Why a condo’s status certificate is important.

You can also review the following from the Ontario government entitled, Buying a condo (resale).

Generally, the fee is about $100.




On the day of the real estate closing and prior to and after there will be numerous important documents your real estate lawyer will have to send to the other sides lawyer. These documents are time sensitive. As a result, couriering costs will be incurred. Many lawyers have a preferred courier whom they have an account with. These couriering costs will have to be passed on to the client and are based on normal couriering charges.



Your real estate lawyer will perform a title search. This is done to ensure that your property is free from any liens, defects and any laws that could affect the property. A title search also ensures the sellers legal right to own and sell the property. Most real estate law firms will either outsource the search to a professional or use in-house legal services. In any event, this charge is passed on to the client. The cost of a Title Search can vary between $150 to $400.


Real estate lawyers in Ontario use computerized software when searching land. A fee is associated with using this service that is also passed on to the client.



A deed is your official confirmation that you own the home. When it comes to land your name must be officially entered and registered as owning the home. In Ontario the ownership, use and sale of land is regulated by the government. On the successful purchase of your home the lawyer will have to officially register your deed.


Similar to the registration of deed, folks with a mortgage will have to register the mortgage on the property. Essentially, this tells the Ontario government and anyone else that there is a mortgage on the property. More importantly, this is security and peace of mind for whomever is providing the mortgage. On the sale of your property a real estate lawyer will have to ensure that the outstanding mortgage is paid out from the value of the home. This is referred to as a discharge. Some lawyers might charge additional expenses and fees based on how many discharges the property has since it involves more work.


This is a fee payable by your real estate lawyer to his or her insurance company called Lawpro whenever he or she closes. For more information review the following link entitled Real Estate Transaction Levy Surcharge by Lawpro. 


Your real estate lawyer will order a tax certificate in order to determine whether there are any outstanding taxes prior to the day of closing. As the purchaser you will want to ensure there aren’t any outstanding taxes on the property once you become the owner. As the seller your real estate lawyer will ensure that the taxes are paid on sale of the home. This certificate will be ordered from the local municipality and the cost will be transferred to the client.


Real Estate Lawyers along with the title search also perform an execution search to ensure that the property you are purchasing is free from any court orders and for mortgage purposes. For confirmation an execution certificate will be ordered. To ensure that nothing has changed from the time period in which you agreed to the purchase and on the day of closing.


When it comes to a real estate closing real estate lawyers and financial institutions require that all funds be certified. Bank charges related to the certification of funds will be passed on to the client.


Your real estate lawyer will also include as disbursements expenses he or she has incurred for the closing. For example, any charges related to the use of legal software, faxes, printing and postage. All of this can really vary.


If you are buying a home or selling contact our office to speak with a real estate lawyer in Burlington.
I provide legal services in Burlington, Milton, Hamilton and Oakville.

My address is 901 Guelph Line, Burlington.
You can also call or text at 416-505-4901 OR call Toll Free: (800) 939-9211