The Notary’s Role in Ontario Real Estate Transactions: What we can and can’t do


Ready to buy or sell property in Ontario? Property laws vary by province, and so does the extent of what role the notary is able to fulfil in transactions. 

At Downtown Notary we often get requests to prepare real estate transaction legal paperwork for buyers and sellers in British Columbia, Florida and many other places. It can be confusing to know what notaries can do, when in BC or Quebec, for example, a notary has the authority to prepare the legal documentation. The rules for Ontario notaries are different and we want to help you by providing information on what we can and cannot do. 

Here is what Ontario notaries can do:

  • Witness the signing of the real estate transaction paperwork, prepared by a lawyer

  • Send the notarized documentation back to the lawyer in the other province/state

What Ontario notaries can’t do:

  • Prepare the legal documents, such as an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, Statement of Adjustment,

  • Conduct and review the title search

  • Request other relevant searches, such as work orders, zoning, tax arrears, etc.

  • Receive, review and respond to requisitions

To complete the above, buyers and sellers will need to retain the services of a real estate lawyer licensed to practice in the province of Ontario. 

At Downtown Notary we can witness the signing of your prepared documentation. We can also send it back to the real estate lawyer you have engaged outside of Ontario. To have your documents notarized quickly and cost effectively, call or book your appointment online today. 

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