Your Port Stanley, Ontario Real Estate Ambassadors
Serving Port Stanley, St. Thomas, and Elgin County

Frequently Asked Questions from Home Buyers

What costs do I have? What does it cost me to buy a house?

In addition to your offer, you should budget for items like Land Transfer Tax (in Ontario), legal fees, home inspection, survey and/or title insurance, and moving expenses.
  • Land Transfer Tax
The Land Transfer Tax is calculated in Ontario on a floating scale (RATES - CALCULATOR}. The Land transfer tax is typcially paid through your lawyer's account on date of closing.
First time buyers - If you are considered a first time home buyer (anyone that hasn't owned property within 5 years in Ontario) and buy a brand new house, you may be entitled to have the Land Transfer Tax rebated.
  • Legal Fees - Lawyer's Fees
In addition to professional fees for the lawyer's services, there will be additional disbursements for searching title, tax notices, mortgage document preparation, etc.
  • Standard Hook-Up Fees and Deposits for Utilities
The buyer must arrange for services (such as natural gas, hydro / water) for their new home. Contact the local utilities for actual costs and deposit requirements.
  • Survey or Title Insurance
Many buyers today opt for Title Insurance, which is typically less expensive than having a property surveyed.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses
We suggest buyers budget for additional expenses, for example special hook-ups including cable and telephone services. Buyers should also budget for moving expenses - even with friends and family (instead of a professional moving company), there will be expenses for food and refreshments!


  • One of the first steps in buying a home is to be pre-approved in writing, which is a commitment from a lender for a certain amount of money based on your income and ability to pay.
The benfits of pre-approval include strength at the bargaining table, confidence when making an offer to purchase, and provides a basis for the price range to search in (affordability).

Should I have a home inspection?

  • When we produce an offer, a home inspection clause is incorporated into the offer. The choice is yours to exercise that option, and we recommend buyers always have an independent, qualified third party opinion on a home purchase. A qualified and recongized home inspection firm would be members of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors and carry the necessary insurance.

Who pays the Real Estate brokerage?

  • In most cases, the home seller is responsible for any real estate commissions or fees payable to the agents and broker.

Sould I sign a Buyers' Agency agreement, and when?

  • Yes! The Buyers' Agency Agreement means you have a brokerage dedicated to you as a buyer, which will supply you with historical data, trends, information on neighbourhoods and schools, and provide a professional opinion and advice on any properties that interest you. Further, the brokerage will prepare all documents and negotiate on your behalf.
A Buyers' Agency Agreement is a commitment between the brokerage and yourself. The agent / broker commits that they will actively search out properties for you, offer professional information and advice about specific properties, and guide you through the process of buying property. Your commitment as a buyer is to work exclusively with that brokerage for a period of time, typically 90 days.
As a consumer, you should "interview" the brokerage you are considering signing the BAA with.

Down payments

  • For CMHC approved mortgages, can put a minimum of 5% down. If you put 25% down, CMHC services are not required, saving costs on insurance fees. From 5% - 25%, CNHC insurance fees on a sliding scale ... (link) Consult your lender for further information.


  • It is customary to accompany an offer with a deposit. In this region, buyers often attach a $500 - $1,000 deposit with an offer. It will be deposited into the Selling brokerage's trust account within 24 hours of acceptance of the offer until closing.


Page last modified on April 4, 2015.

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