Typically, how much can I expect to pay a lawyer to handle my house purchase?
The range for combined fees and disbursements will run normally anywhere from $1,000 to $1,600. Anything less has to be considered a red flag that the level of service and/or quality of work will be sub-standard. Anything more should raise concerns that you are being seriously over-charged. We find that most of the purchase transactions we are involved with fall within the $1,300 to $1,500 range and that includes fees, disbursements and taxes. However, that amount does not include land transfer tax which is a one time levy by the Province that every purchaser pays on every purchase of land in Ontario. I point this out even though it is not technically "an amount paid to the lawyer to handle my purchase" but because it is a significant cost that purchasers must be aware of when they are budgeting for their home purchase. Land transfer tax is calculated using on a formula based on the value of the property being purchased. For properties costing between $50,000 and $250,000, which is common for most first time purchasers, the formula is one per cent of the purchase price less $275. There is a different formula for properties up to $400,000 and a different one for properties over $400,000.

If you are purchasing a new home that is under construction, you can expect to pay an additional amount to have your lawyer review the offer before it becomes a firm offer. The documentation for new homes and new condos is fairly detailed so expect to pay $150 to $300 for a lawyer to review the material.

Also if you are buying a new condo, typically you will have an interim closing where you take possession of the unit, and a final closing where you actually get title to the condo. Fees and disbursements for an interim closing would be in the $400 to $600 range, while the final closing will still be $1000 to $1600.