Disbursements are out-of-pocket expenses that are incurred by us with respect to your file. These include the fees that we pay to third party providers of specific goods and services. In a real estate transaction disbursements include fees that are paid to Teraview for completion of title searches and writ searches, fees paid to the courier company to send the closing package to the other party, fees paid to our bank to certify cheques, fees paid to our software vendor, fees paid to Law Society of Ontario and fees paid for printing, copying, telephone and fax.
When a price is advertised by a lawyer to act on a real estate transaction, the Law Society of Ontario requires that price to be inclusive of all fees for legal services, disbursements, third party charges and other amounts with the exception of HST and the following permitted disbursements:
- land transfer tax;
- government document registration fees;
- fees charged by government;
- Teranet fees;
- the cost of a condominium status certificate; and
- payment for letters from creditors’ lawyers regarding similar name executions and any title insurance premium.
This being said, our closing prices are inclusive of overhead costs such as courier costs, bank fees, postage costs and photocopy costs.
We have tried our best to come up with an accurate estimate of the amount that you should expect to see on your invoice for disbursements and we have set out these estimates below. You should note that disbursements will vary from file to file as the circumstances of each file are different and that the numbers below reflect the amounts that are incurred as disbursements on our real estate files on average.
We do our best to be efficient with disbursements but we don’t believe that efficiencies should be sought with respect to title searches. Searching title is one of the most important tasks of a real estate lawyer and the lawyer should never be incentivized to do fewer searches in the interest of saving a few extra dollars for the client on disbursements.
Purchase Transactions – $138.06
Our estimates show that on a residential purchase transaction you would incur an average of $138.06 in title searches.
Sale Transactions – $121.75
Our estimates show that on a residential sale transaction you would incur an average of $121.75. This is how we have arrived at this number:
- Title & Writ Searches – $56.75
- Law Society Levy – $65
Refinancing Transactions – $79.43
Our estimates show that on a residential refinance transaction you would incur an average of $79.43 in title searches.