What exactly are disbursements?


In Ontario, closing costs on a real estate transaction are divided into fees and disbursements. Fees are fixed by lawyers for their time; disbursements are costs that are incurred by the lawyer on the client’s behalf, and are reimbursed by the client on closing.

Disbursements can be for a variety of items. The most common are searches, both on title and off title. Other disbursements can be for septic or well certificates, corporate searches, or hydro or tax certificates. These are all necessary in order to ensure that you are purchasing the house you intended to buy in the way you intended to buy it.