Proudly serving Northumberland residents

with competency, caring and compassion.


1 (905) 372-3395

We will help you draft and negotiate transactions, or review the Agreement prepared by your real estate agent. Once an Agreement has been signed, we will assist with the purchase, sale, or mortgage of your house, condominium, apartment building, store, farmland or industrial site. We also handle or assist with applications for: land severances; re-zoning; redevelopment of properties and creating condominiums and subdivisions.

Our Real Estate Team can assist you by representing you in the:

  • purchase of an existing home or home to be newly constructed
  • purchase of vacant land or commercial property
  • sale of your home, vacant land, or commercial property
  • preparation of offers to purchase where property is not listed through a real estate agent
  • review of offers to purchase prepared by real estate agents
  • preparation of documents required to mortgage or refinance property
  • inter-family transfers of property or for estate planning purposes
  • transfer or sale of property resulting from the death of an individual
  • lease of property
  • severance of property
  • completion of land development projects
  • arrangement of title insurance for new and existing properties

Choosing a lawyer

Buying or selling a home is one of the most important life decisions you will ever make. Let our real estate team help ease the stress by guiding you through the process.

While there are many things to consider in choosing a lawyer, two of the most important factors are that you feel confident and comfortable with the lawyers and their staff; and that the location of the office is one at which you will be able to physically attend to sign the closing documents. At SMM Law, we realize that everyone’s time is important and try to exchange most information by telephone, fax, email, or mail where possible. However, you will need to attend at the lawyer’s office a day or two before closing, in order to sign the documents necessary to complete the transaction, and to provide your identification. We generally advise that clients set up an appointment for a day or two before your closing date, as soon as possible after you enter into your transaction, for the best selection of available dates and times.

If a real estate agent is involved in the transaction, he/she will also need to know the name, phone number and fax number of the lawyer who will represent you in the transaction. The real estate agent will usually fax the Agreement to the lawyer’s office to notify the lawyer of the upcoming transaction. The choice of which lawyer is to represent you is yours. If you do not have a lawyer the agent can recommend lawyers to you. You are never obligated to use the lawyer that an agent suggests, and are free to choose any lawyer you wish. A lawyer may decline to represent you if their office has already been contacted by the other party in the transaction, or if their office does not feel that they can properly represent you due to time constraints or other conflicts of interest. At SMM Law, since we have three lawyers individually licensed by the Law Society to practice Real Estate Law, we can, where appropriate, assign one lawyer to represent the seller and another lawyer to represent the purchaser in the same transaction. Both parties must be comfortable with this arrangement also and must consent to the potential conflict of interest. Sarah will review the agreement and a subsearch of the property before agreeing to have two of our lawyers involved in the transaction.

Why do you need a lawyer?

In the Province of Ontario, a Transfer of real property can only be authorized for registration by a lawyer licensed to practice real estate law by the Law Society of Upper Canada. You cannot register a deed in the electronic registration system by yourself.

If you are purchasing a property, your lawyer will be responsible for searching the title to the property and requiring the seller’s lawyer to correct title issues and remove encumbrances or liens on the property prior to closing. The lawyer representing the seller will determine which requests made by the buyer’s lawyer are valid, and recommend possible solutions to the issues raised.

Your lawyer will prepare any necessary documentation and will review the documentation prepared by the other party’s lawyer. The lawyer will explain these documents to you before you sign them, and make sure that you only sign those documents that are required, or are in your best interests.

If you are arranging financing to complete your purchase, the financial institution usually will instruct your lawyer to act for them as well. In some cases, they will require a separate lawyer to act for them. Either way, you will be required to pay for the lawyer’s services to represent the lender.

What you need to know – Commonly Asked Questions regarding real estate

We receive many questions with respect to home purchases and sales. Most questions are related to the steps in the process and the costs related to the transaction. Clients are not always familiar with the terms used by lawyers and real estate agents and we have therefore prepared a brief explanation of some of the most common terms used in real estate transactions. Please browse the Real Estate FAQ sections to find the answers to our most frequently asked questions