Common Legal Questions by Homeowners

Common Legal Questions by Homeowners (answered by Bill Mitches, lawyer)


Selling your home is a major undertaking that should not be taken lightly. The decision to use a lawyer, a real estate agent or even to sell on your own should be well thought through with advice from professionals. Here for this blog, we have consulted with our business lawyer, William Mitches who specializes in Real Estate, Business and Financial Services at Harrison Pensa. Bill has extensive experience in many facets of business law and commercial transactions. He shares below his professional opinion on several common questions from homeowners when they are selling their home.

Note: The information provided below does not constitute legal advice and is for general information purposes only.  It should not be relied upon without consulting a lawyer licensed to practice law in the provide of Ontario.

1. Do I need a lawyer to sell my house? 

If you live in Ontario, the answer is yes.  Although a lawyer is not required before you enter into a contract for the sale of your home, you will be required to retain a lawyer to complete the sale.  Only lawyers have the ability to sign a Transfer/Deed of Land in the Ontario Land Titles system.

2. Can I sell my house without a real estate agent? 

Yes.  Listing your home with a licensed Realtor is not a legal requirement in the Province of Ontario.

3. Can I sell a house on behalf of my parents? 

Maybe.  If you have Power of Attorney for your parents, then you are legally capable of executing documents on behalf of your parents (subject to the limitations expressed in the Power of Attorney document).  Without a Power of Attorney, you cannot sell a house on behalf of your parents.

4. Can I sell my house by myself while it is listed with a real estate agent? 

If you have signed the standard OREA Form 200 (Listing Agreement) with an agent, then you are required to refer any enquiries about the property to the agent immediately.

5. Do I have to pay legal fees up front? 

If you are selling a house, most lawyers will deduct the legal fees from the sale proceeds on completion.  There is typically no upfront retainer or fee paid on a residential home sale.

6. Can I sell a house while it is in probate? 

Subject to a very limited exception, “probate” is required before the sale of a house can be completed (ie title transferred to a buyer).  However, the Estate Trustee is permitted to enter into a contract for the sale of a house prior to “probate” having been obtained or completed.

We hope these answers have been helpful! If you have any questions or would like to explore your options selling your home, contact us! At DCI Properties, all property transactions are done through lawyers so you can have a peace of mind when you are working with us! We will also be ready to answer any questions or concerns, at any step of the way from sale to close.

So fill in the form below and we look forward to chatting with you!

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