Real Estate


For most of us, our home is the most important investment we will make. At MacQuarrie Whyte, our firm will alleviate the worries of home purchasing, selling or refinancing. Our real estate lawyers in Ottawa ensure that your home investment is not compromised, and that you receive exactly what you expect to receive. We have extensive experience in handling all real estate matters, and in particular residential purchases, sales, and refinancing. We handle hundreds of transactions per year and our lawyers and support staff are thoroughly familiar with all of the intricacies and nuances in any situation involving the acquisition or disposition of real estate.

What is Title Insurance?

This is an insurance policy that insures against problems with title, zoning, building requirements and other defects that might diminish the value of your property. A title insurance policy may give you the option of avoiding more costly compliance searches with respect to building, zoning, work orders, subdivision agreement compliance, taxes, water, and sewerage charges. Another benefit is that an up-to-date survey may not be required. Your lawyer will discuss with you the merits of obtaining a title insurance policy.

For further information on title insurance please visit one of the title insurance companies, either Title Plus or Stewart Title Guaranty Company. We have been quite happy with the service and products offered by TitlePLUS.

What Can You Expect From Us?

As a purchaser, you expect to receive good title to your property, free of any liens or claims of others. You expect the home to meet all municipal, provincial or federal requirements, and we strive to ensure that your expectations are met.

As a vendor, you expect to receive the full amount of the sales proceeds, less any outstanding mortgages, real estate commission or other obligations to be paid out on closing. We ensure that this is done, the closing is handled smoothly, and that you receive your closing proceeds on the day of closing.

What Will it Cost?

The legal costs consist of three components: fees, disbursements and taxes. Fees are the cost of our firm's professional services. Disbursements are the out of pocket costs that we incur on your behalf to complete the transaction for you. Taxes are the Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) and, for purchases only, the Land Transfer Tax (LTT). Our typical fees and disbursements for a single family residence in the City of Ottawa are:


  • Fees ($700) Disbursements & HST approximately $1,025.00


  • Fees ($900) Disbursements & HST approximately $1,950.00
  • Registration fees are extra – i.e. transfer deed, mortgage, discharge or mortgage, etc.


Fees, disbursements and taxes will vary with each property. Examples of disbursement costs are:

  • Certifying cheques and/or wire transfer fees
  • Couriers as needed
  • Clearance certificates/Status Certificates
  • LSUC levy
  • Searching the title
  • Software licensing fees
  • Title insurance

We would be pleased to provide a specific, detailed quotation. If you are buying or selling property located in Ontario, Canada, please send us a request for a quote. There are no hidden costs, or extra charges in fine print. Quoted disbursement and tax prices are, however, subject to change due to tax increases or other cost increases beyond our control.

When Should I See a Lawyer?

You should see, or contact a lawyer certainly before signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Once signed, an Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a formal contract and you must ensure that your understanding is fully and clearly expressed in the Agreement. Verbal agreements, representations or promises are worthless. Get it all in writing!