Purchasing and Selling FAQs

Why do I need a notary?

A notary is someone who is a legal professional working for you to ensure that your best interests are served and protected.

As a seller what happens once subjects of your sale are removed?

Once your transaction is firm and binding and we receive notification of your upcoming transaction, we gather the necessary information from various authorities, such as a Title Search from the Land Title and Survey Authority of B.C. The title search shows all encumbrances on title. The contract of Purchase and Sale dictates which encumbrances and charges (if any) are to be removed from title. Once the full information is collected, we contact you to set up an appointment to see our notary.

When does the notary typically get involved in a purchase or sale transaction?

Although we are available as a resource to our clients beforehand, we are typically notified of a transaction once it is firm and binding (after removal of all subject clauses). Hence, we cannot arbitrarily change any terms in the contract. We may receive a copy of your contract from your realtor and/or mortgage instructions from your lender, but we would not proceed without first contacting you for confirmation to act on your behalf. You have the right to choose who you would like to represent you in your conveyance.

What happens during the conveyancing process?

Once we receive notification of your upcoming transaction, we gather the necessary information from you by telephone or through our online documents. Additional documentation is received from your realtor and mortgage lender, as applicable. We perform various due diligence searches regarding title, property taxes, condominium accounts, etc. and prepare the appropriate documentation and statements for the transfer of title or placement of a mortgage. We liaise with the vendor’s representative and all other parties involved with the file. You will have an appointment with us usually within the week prior to completion to sign documents and review closing financial statements. No later than the morning of the completion date you provide us, in trust, with certified funds to complete the transaction. The exchange of title for funds takes place on the completion date and you receive keys through your realtor by noon of the possession date. Full reporting follows by mail. We are available at all times throughout this process and thereafter available to field your questions or confirm the status of your file.

What are the typical costs involved in the conveyancing process?

There are transaction costs and there are adjustments. Adjustments are debits and credits between the parties for costs of ownership such as property tax, condo fees, etc. and are accounted for in closing statements. Transaction costs, however, are costs over and above the purchase price and are out-of-pocket. Before the conveyance process begins, these may include mortgage application, appraisal and/or brokerage fees, home inspections, condo forms and the like. The main costs to be anticipated from the conveyance process are the Property Transfer Tax and/or G.S.T. (see our calculator tab to see how much transfer tax or GST may be applicable to you), and Survey/Title Insurance if required by lender and legal account.

How is Property Transfer Tax calculated and what exemptions are available?

Generally speaking, anyone who purchases or acquires an interest in property that is registered at the Land Title Office will need to pay property transfer tax based on the fair market value of the land and improvements.

The tax is calculated as 1% on the first $200,000, 2% on the value that is greater than and up to and including $2,000,000 and 3% on the portion that is over $2,000,000. If the property is residential, a further 2% will be levied on the portion that is greater than $3,000,000.

Please feel free to use our Property Tax Calculator.

There are a variety of exemptions for non-arm’s length transactions but the one most commonly used for unrelated parties is that offered by the First-Time Home Buyer program.

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