When does the Notary typically get involved in the transaction?
While available as a resource to our clients beforehand through
their Realtor, we are typically notified of a transaction
once it is firm and binding (after removal of all subject
clauses). Presumably with your consent, 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.
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 Client
Registration form. From that point, the burden is
shifted from you and your Realtor and rests with us. 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/placement of a mortgage. We liaise with the vendor's
representative and 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. Not 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 at all times throughout the process and thereafter
available to field your questions or confirm the status of
What are the typical costs to anticipate from the conveyancing
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 the
out-of-pocket costs incurred in the purchase itself. 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,
Survey/Title Insurance if required by lender and legal account
How is the Property Transfer Tax generally calculated
and what exemptions are available?
Generally speaking, the tax is triggered at the time an interest
in land is transferred and calculated as 1% of the first $200,000
plus 2% of the balance of its market value. 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
Home Buyer program. For greater detail and additional
FAQ's about the PTT, we recommend a visit to the PTT
info pages of the BC Government site.
Is there a way to reduce the Property Transfer Tax payable
other than by way of an exemption?
Under certain circumstances involving multiple, unrelated
owners we are able to mitigate the PTT payable by up to $2,000.
If you will be co-owning a property with one or more other
person(s) not related to you (including siblings), we can
discuss such options with you when confirming your file matter
How is the Property Transfer Tax calculated for Pre-Sold
In simple terms, pre-sold units are those where the purchase
contract is made with the developer before the strata plan
is filed, sometimes months or years ahead of title transfer.
In order for purchasers of pre-sold strata units to be better
able to anticipate their PTT obligations, the Ministry amended
the Act in 2004. Accordingly, the PTT for such units is calculated
as 1% of the first $200,000 plus 2% of the balance of net
consideration paid rather than market value and ALL pre-sold
strata unit PTT returns will be audited. For greater detail
and additional FAQ's about the PTT generally, we recommend
a visit to the PTT
info pages of the BC Government site and, in this regard,
PTT 024. The administrator of this section will also field
enquiries for unique situations such as assigned units or
other ownership changes made between the time of original
contract and title registration.
What is a survey and what does one cost?
A survey certificate perform by a BC
Land Surveyor is an accurately measured diagram of the
footprint of the improvements to a property and its relation
to the boundaries of the lot. Surveys of dwellings on typical
Lower Mainland city lots range around $350 but individual
circumstances must also be taken into consideration which
could impact on the cost.
What is Title Insurance and what does it cost?
Some lenders will accept Title Insurance as an alternative
to their survey
requirement. While relatively new to BC, title insurance
has existed in other jurisdictions for over a century. Starting
at $164 (to afford protection only to the lender) it is recommended
that you contact a provider directly to assess for yourself
the relative merit of title insurance for you, the equity
holder (for an additional fee based upon property value),
as compared to a survey certificate. Three popular title insurance
providers are Chicago
Canadian Title, and Stewart
How is the HST handled if I am buying newly constructed
As it takes place at closing, we will assist with your remittance
to the developer of the HST and will complete the requisite
forms regarding applicable
Home Buyer's Rebates as part of our service to you.
Application for post-closing rebates such as those associated
property or GST/HST
rate transitions would be made by you directly to Canada
Revenue Agency (CRA). For your convenience, the federal
rental rebate forms and current transitional
rebate application is available online for your completion
and submission directly to CRA.
How will HST and GST be handled as we transition back
to the PST system April 1, 2013?
On February 17, 2012, the BC government issued a Tax
Information Notice describing new housing transition measures
which include raising the BC new housing rebate threshold
from $525,000 to $850,000 and imposing a two percent transition
tax in addition to GST payable on new homes transferred between
April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2015. Also helpful is the Return
to PST website.