Real estate transactions (also known as conveyancing) is the process for transferring title from one person to another.
I remember buying my first home and meeting with my notary for the first time. It was stressful! I don’t think it needed to be such a mystery or so stressful as to why things were happening the way they were.
That is why I made the following list for the home buying process to help you along the way. It doesn’t necessarily include everything, but hopefully you will find it helpful.
The first thing you will need is a written agreement (purchase agreement or contract of purchase and sale). If you are using a realtor they will take you through this. If you are not using a realtor yet I recommend using a realtor for this process, especially if this is your first home. Many realtors will act for the purchaser and work out fees either with your or with the Seller. My services do not replace a realtor. If you are not using a realtor or a lawyer or notary for the contract of purchase and sale, you will have to do it yourself. There are many contract of purchase and sale templates available online, most of them are sufficient for a residential real estate transaction. My role as a Notary in your property conveyance does not typically begin until you have:
- written contract of purchase and sale signed by all parties (all buyers and all sellers)
- subject conditions (such as financing, home inspection etc.) have been removed in writing
PREPARATION FOR CONVEYANCE OF PROPERTY
- Send or have your realtor send the signed and final contract of purchase and sale to my office – this is where I get most of the information that I need
- a minimum of two weeks is required from the time I receive the binding written contract of purchase and sale and the completion date (more during busier times); any less may incur rush fees and it is more likely I will have to decline the transaction
- Inform your lender/broker/banker of your Notary you have chosen – they will need to send documents and information directly to my office.
- To prepare documents for signing, I will need some information from you. Myself or my assistant will usually phone you to ask you these questions shortly after we receive a copy of the contract of purchase and sale.
- Correct spelling of your full legal name(s) and your occupation(s)
- Do you qualify for the First Time Homebuyer’s exemption for Property Transfer Tax?
- If there are more than one of you on title, do you want to own the property together equally so that if one of you dies the other on title gets full ownership (joint tenants) or in a way that your halves or proportions are left separately (tenants-in-common).
- What is your mailing address going to be after the purchase?
- Who your insurance broker is – I will usually contact them directly to get confirmation of insurance for the lender.
- Are there any restrictions on your in-person availability for signing during the week before your completion date, for example if you are out of town for work or vacation?
- if there is any reason this transaction may incur GST, such as it is a brand new home, it is vacant land owned by a corporation or for a business, or the home has been substantially renovated. It is up to the Seller to declare whether GST is or is not applicable, however 5% on the purchase price will be a substantial amount to have to come up with at the last minute and it is best for everyone that this not be a last minute surprise.
- Does the property have a tenant? If so I will need to find out what the monthly rental income and damage deposit is so you are compensated for your share.
- I will have everything ready for you to sign usually two-five days before your ‘completion’ date. At this signing we will discuss the property title, your mortgage, and I will provide you copies of important documents.
DAY OF SIGNING
You will need to bring:
- Two pieces of non-expired identification, at least one must be government issued and with a photo, a driver’s licence (or other BC ID) with passport works best (note that some lenders have their own very specific identification requirements),
- Proof of Canadian Citizenship if you are a Canadian citizen,
- Social Insurance Number if you are a Canadian Citizen.
- Allow up to an hour for the appointment, usually the process takes between 30 -45 minutes if there is a mortgage, less if there is not.
- I encourage you to ask questions,
- I want you to know what you are signing,
- I may explain things you already know, but be patient this is what you are paying me to do.
- I will review with you the breakdown of the property costs such as the adjustments for property taxes, the property transfer tax. It is at this signing that I will provide you with what we call the ‘balance to complete’ amount, or the amount I will need to hold in trust that includes:
- Your down payment,
- Property Transfer tax,
- Your share of the yearly property tax, water, and sewer cost
- Title insurance cost,
- My legal fees, including land title registration and search fees.
- You will need to provide to me with a bank draft of this ‘balance to complete’ the day before completion. If your down payment money is in an online bank or other place that takes some time to get at, please start to work on making it accessible well before this time.
- If we happen to be signing really close to the completion day (one or two days before) I will provide you the ‘balance to complete’ ahead of time if I can. If you want to save time and only make one trip into my office (in other words bring the ‘balance to complete’ in when you sign) just let me know and I will provide you the ‘balance to complete’ as soon as I know it.
- I need a lot of information from a lot of different sources to calculate the ‘balance to complete’. Therefore, it may take awhile to get this amount for you. On occasion, I will not have it until one or two days before completion. In some instances, I can have it weeks ahead of time. It really depends on when all the outside information such as your lender instructions, the municipal costs, and the purchase agreement have come to me. If you have time constraints please let me know and I will see if I can speed up the process.
DAY OF COMPLETION
Under the usual circumstances I perform the following:
- Search title to the property before I register the documents at the land title office, and then again one hour after to make sure no other charges or liens were added to the property.
- Receive mortgage proceeds In Trust,
- Pay sale proceeds to the Seller’s notary or lawyer, pay the realtors their commission, and the title insurance company,
- Contact you and the realtors to let you know the transaction has completed – this can happen any time between about 10am until 5pm, but usually happens between 11am and 3pm.
- Follow up with Seller’s notary or lawyer to ensure any mortgages the seller has on title were paid off and then discharged from title, or that anything else they promised to, such as pay an outstanding utility bill, was done.
- Once the property is in your name and with only your mortgage is on title, I will send you a State of Title Certificate- this can take two months. This is a confirmation for you that everything proceeded as it was supposed to.
If you have any questions at all about the above steps, please call me at 250-991-3696. I strive to provide you with excellent service in an approachable manner.