Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor in Canada

Selling a house without a realtor, also known as a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) transaction, can save you money on commission fees. However, it also means you’ll be responsible for handling all the necessary paperwork and legal requirements. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the paperwork you’ll need when selling your house without a realtor in Canada.

1. Property Disclosure Statement

What It Is: A Property Disclosure Statement (PDS) is a legal document where you disclose any known issues or defects with the property. This could include information about past renovations, structural problems, or issues with the plumbing or electrical systems.

Why It’s Important: The PDS protects you from future legal disputes by ensuring that buyers are fully aware of the property’s condition.

2. Sales Agreement

What It Is: The Sales Agreement, also known as the Purchase and Sale Agreement, is a legally binding contract between you and the buyer. It outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the purchase price, closing date, and any contingencies.

Key Components:

  • Buyer and seller details: Full names and contact information.
  • Property description: Address and legal description of the property.
  • Purchase price: Agreed-upon sale price.
  • Deposit: Amount and terms of the deposit.
  • Conditions: Any conditions that must be met for the sale to proceed (e.g., home inspection, financing).
  • Closing date: When the property ownership will be transferred.
  • Signatures: Both parties must sign and date the agreement.

3. Title Deed

What It Is: The Title Deed is the legal document that proves ownership of the property. During the sale, this document will need to be transferred to the buyer.

Why It’s Important: A clear title ensures there are no disputes or claims against your ownership of the property.

4. Certificate of Location or Survey

What It Is: A Certificate of Location or Survey is a document that outlines the boundaries and physical features of the property. It shows the exact dimensions and any structures on the land.

Why It’s Important: Buyers and lenders often require this to confirm that the property matches the legal description and that there are no encroachments.

5. Mortgage Documents

What It Is: If you have a mortgage on the property, you will need documents from your lender outlining the balance and any penalties for early repayment.

Why It’s Important: These documents are necessary to discharge the mortgage on closing day.

6. Proof of Identity

What It Is: You’ll need to provide government-issued identification to prove your identity as the property owner.

Why It’s Important: This ensures that all parties involved in the transaction are dealing with the rightful owner of the property.

7. Land Transfer Tax Declaration

What It Is: In some provinces, you’ll need to complete a Land Transfer Tax Declaration form to outline the amount of land transfer tax due on the sale.

Why It’s Important: This document is necessary for the legal transfer of property ownership and ensures the correct taxes are paid.

8. Bill of Sale

What It Is: The Bill of Sale is a document that itemizes personal property included in the sale of the house, such as appliances or furniture.

Why It’s Important: This clarifies what is included in the sale and helps prevent any disputes.

9. Closing Statement

What It Is: The Closing Statement is a detailed summary of all the financial transactions involved in the sale. It includes the purchase price, deposit, adjustments for property taxes and utilities, and any other fees.

Why It’s Important: This document ensures transparency and helps both parties understand the final financial details of the transaction.

10. Real Property Report (RPR)

What It Is: A Real Property Report is a legal document prepared by a licensed surveyor that illustrates the property’s boundaries and improvements relative to those boundaries.

Why It’s Important: It is often required by the buyer or their lender to ensure there are no issues with the property lines or structures.

Steps to Handle the Paperwork

1. Gather Necessary Documents: Start by collecting all the documents listed above. Some of these you might already have, while others might need to be obtained or updated.

2. Hire a Real Estate Lawyer: Even if you’re selling without a realtor, hiring a real estate lawyer is crucial. They can help draft the Sales Agreement, conduct a title search, and ensure all legal requirements are met.

3. Fill Out the Documents: Complete the necessary paperwork with the help of your lawyer to ensure everything is accurate and legally binding.

4. Provide Documents to the Buyer: Share the Property Disclosure Statement, Certificate of Location, and any other relevant documents with the buyer. Transparency is key to a smooth transaction.

5. Finalize the Sale: On closing day, your lawyer will handle the transfer of funds, title, and keys. They will also ensure that all documents are correctly filed and registered.


Selling a house without a realtor in Canada involves a significant amount of paperwork, but with careful preparation and the help of a real estate lawyer, it can be a manageable process. Understanding the necessary documents and their importance ensures that you can navigate the sale smoothly and confidently. By taking these steps, you’ll be well on your way to successfully selling your house on your own terms.

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