Buying/Selling a home
Property Transfers / Conveyancing
Generally a home is the most valuable and important asset you will acquire in your life, and that is why you want to leave the paperwork in our hands. As a Notary Public, we are trained professionals in the area of property transfers, and unlike most law firms, we devote a bulk of our time to real estate conveyancing. We are dedicated to your real estate needs. Whether a purchaser or a seller, you can depend on us to process your transaction on time and at a reasonable cost. We strive to make the real estate experience as easy and stress-free as possible for you.
First time Home Buyers
We know that a first home purchase is an exciting time in the life of anyone fortunate enough to realize this dream. While there is a lot to know and organize in what seems to be a relatively short period of time, remember to keep it fun! Use our experience and resources available here and those available through your Realtor to become informed and in control of your home purchase. We spend the extra time with our first-time home buyer clients to explain and guide you through our part of the property transaction.
To get started:
1) We recommend that you begin with a look at the General Information found on this page.
2) Then below you will find First-Time Home Buyer Specific Information which will be of particular interest to First Time Buyers.
If you have questions that are not addressed here, we encourage you to ask them. If you require a more immediate or transaction-specific response, however, do not hesitate to involve your real estate professional or contact us directly.
Why Should a First Time Buyer Use Us?
- Experienced with legalities of buying and selling a home.
- Specializing in real estate transactions.
- Reliable, efficient and affordable sevices.
- A trusted tradition for your real estate transactions.
How it Works
1. Call/Email or drop in talk to our experts in real estate.
2. Let your realtor and mortgage broker know that we are representing you.
3. We will contact you close to your completion date to gather information and discuss the transaction.
4. Appointment will be set up with Aubin and Associates for an in person meeting.
5. Legal document signing session.
6. Transaction is completed.
7. Reporting letters are then sent out.
Frequently Asked Question
BUYERS FAQ's - About Property Transfers
While available as a resource to you beforehand through your Realtor, we are generally notified of a transaction once it is firm and binding (after the removal of all subject clauses). You will also want to confirm with your banker or mortgage broker to have the lender send instructions to our office.
If you are buying a property without a Realtor, we can draft the Contract of Purchase and Sale for you. This gives you the benefit of legal advice and you are assured that the proper clauses are included so as to protect you and the sellers. If you already have a firm contract, just bring the contract to our office in order for us to get started and confirm with your banker or mortgage broker to have the lender send instructions to our office.
Once we are notified of your upcoming transaction, we gather the necessary information from you. From that point, the burden is shifted from you and your Realtor and rests with us, the Notary. Additional documentation required is received from your Realtor and mortgage lender, as applicable. We perform various due diligence searches regarding title, property taxes, condominium accounts, etc. We also 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 date) to sign documents and review the 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 to the property through your Realtor by noon of the possession date. Full reporting follows by mail in due course. At all times throughout the process and thereafter, we are available to answer your questions or to confirm the status of your file.
There are two types of costs in the conveyancing process: transaction costs and adjustments.
Adjustments are debits and credits between the parties for costs of ownership such as property tax, condo fees, etc. These costs 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 the lender and the legal account.
Generally, 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 the First-Time 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.
Basically, 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 properly 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 more 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, specifically Bulletin PTT 024.
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 Kelowna city lots range from $375 but individual circumstances must also be taken into consideration and could impact the 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 $180 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), as compared to a survey certificate. Most banks and credit unions require title insurance.
Because GST is handled at closing, we will assist with your remittance to the developer of the GST and we will also calculate and complete the requisite form(s) regarding a Home Buyer's Rebate, as applicable, as part of our service to you. Application for post-closing rebates such as those associated with rental property or GST rate transitions would be made by you directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). For your convenience, the rental rebate application, among others, is available online. Due to changes in the GST rate you may be entitled to a transitional rebate depending upon the timing of your contract and completion/possession dates. Section 17 of this recent CRA publication clearly sets out the remittance and rebate expectations regarding new property purchases. The current transitional rebate application remains available for your completion and submission directly to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Selling Residential Real Estate Property in BC
If you have any charges on your title to be released or arrears to be paid from sale proceeds you will need legal representation to assure the purchaser, by way of professional undertaking, that funds will be directed to pay these charges first. A notary can do this for you.
While available as a resource to you beforehand, we are typically notified of a transaction once it is firm and binding (after removal of all subject clauses). While we may receive a copy of your contract from your Realtor, presumable with your consent, we would not proceed without first contacting you for confirmation to act on your behalf.
If you are selling a property without a Realtor we can draft the Contract of Purchase and Sale for you. This way you get the benefit of legal advice and are assured that the proper clauses are included so as to protect you and the buyers. If you already have a firm contract, just bring the contract to our office in order for us to get started.
Once your transaction is firm and binding and we receive notification of your upcoming transaction, we gather the necessary information from you. 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 liaise with the purchaser'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. The exchange of title for funds takes place on the completion date and you provide keys through your Realtor by noon of the possession date. Full reporting follows by mail in due course. At all times throughout the transaction process and thereafter we are available to answer questions you may have or to confirm the status of your file.
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 sale itself. The main costs to be anticipated are any mortgage payouts including their discharge penalties or fees levied by the lender, any other registered charges or debts that must be paid on completion along with the legal account.
On the completion date the purchaser, through their legal representative, is obligated to "make available" to the vendor the sale proceeds – usually by the close of business on the Completion Date. As your representative, we receive the funds to our trust account before disbursing funds as previously authorized by you. Whether the funds can be provided to you on the same day or early on the next business day depends on the time of day we receive the funds. Since the purchaser is not contractually obligated to a particular time of day and is often relying upon the funding of a mortgage, it is best to anticipate a next day payout. As part of our service to you, however, we will upon request deposit your proceeds to your account at a local branch of your bank.
As discussed above, you may not receive sale proceeds until the next business day following completion. At the very least you will lose the weekend's interest on your money but even more annoying is that you would pay per diem interest on your still outstanding mortgage until it is repaid on Monday. Long weekends are that much worse! Avoid Friday completions.
First-Time BC Home Buyers
A good place to start is be CMHC. They have general information regarding home buying. As a first-timer, you may also want to investigate the CRA Home Buyer Program to allow the use of RRSP funds toward the down payment of your first home. Please note that the criteria to qualify as a "First-Time Home Buyer" vary from program to program.
There are a number of criteria which must be met prior to and for the first year after the registration of your first home in order to qualify under this program for exemption from the PTT. Having never owned a home before is just one of many factors to be considered. If you are expecting to participate in this program, we recommend that you preview the conditions for exemption and review the explanatory brochure.
- Purchaser must never have owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time;
- Purchaser must be a citizen of or a permanent resident of Canada and have resided in B.C. for at least one year prior to the purchase, or have filed two income tax returns as a BC resident within the last 6 years;
- To obtain full exemption, the purchase price must not exceed $425,000.00. A partial exemption is available for homes between $425,000.00 and $450,000.00 (see formula below);
- Purchaser must move into the property within ninety-two days after registration of the purchase of the property and reside in the property for at least one year;
- Pro rata exemption where property exceeds .5 hectares or a portion of the property is not residential (i.e. commercial lofts) - purchase price of entire property must not exceed the price limitations.
NOTE: These notes are not intended to replace the guide used by the Provincial Government. Please refer to the official guide for detailed instructions. If you are still unsure about their interpretation for your particular circumstances, you may also contact the PTT Info Line by telephone at 1 (250) 387-0604 (tip: once the menu is offered, hit "0" to reach a real person).
As part of our service to you, we will complete the appropriate PTT Return/Application for Exemption form for you to be signed at your appointment.
Property Transfer Tax is a provincial tax triggered upon transfer of property.
Property taxes are paid annually (usually in the middle of the calendar year for which they apply) to the taxation authority or municipality responsible for the area in which the property is located. Rural taxes are collected by the BC Government Agent for areas in the Province that are not within a municipal jurisdiction but most property taxes are billed by and paid to the appropriate "City Hall".
Regardless of the collector, however, a provincial grant (the Home Owner Grant or HOG) is available, subject to eligibility, to those who own the property in which they live and is claimed at the time of payment.