Types of Real Estate Transactions we do:
- Houses: Sales, Purchases and Refinances
- Land: Subdivisions and Development
- Cottages: Leased land and titled land deals
- Business Asset Transactions: Land, Buildings, Fixtures
- Mobile Homes
What to remember when you are SELLING:
Will you have a mortgage payout penalty? Often people forget to look into this VERY IMPORTANT question BEFORE they list their property for sale. Some mortgage penalties could be in the TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars. Be informed and remember that if interest rates change, that your penalty may also change. Some lenders have options to port your mortgage to your new home. Find out if that will work for you, and what the precise rules are to make that work. Time is of the essence for those rules to apply. Be very well informed.
Keys: If you don’t have a key to your home, please be sure that you do for the day of closing. One will be expected of you, to be provided to your buyer. The rest of the keys that you have, should be left in the home for the time of possession, for your buyer.
Insurance: Don’t cancel your insurance until you have your SALE PROCEEDS in your bank account. It can sometimes take two to three weeks to get your sale proceeds and until you do, we want you insured. Having said that, make sure you do remember to cancel your insurance once you have your funds.
Clean your property: Don’t leave garbage and other items on the property unless the offer to purchase agreed that it could remain. If an item is not attached to the property, unless the offer said it stays, it must go. Leave the property in a state that you are proud of, and that you would expect from your own seller.
Including items in the sale that you don’t own? If you have rented or leased (or purchased on terms) any items that are attached to your property and included in your sale (prime examples are your air conditioner, windows, furnace, hot water tank, security system, hot tub, and the list goes on) you must budget to have those paid in full prior to closing your transaction or ensure that is done by your lawyer from your sale proceeds. Your sale price of your home needs to contemplate those payouts.
Alternatively, you must disclose any rented/leased items right in the listing (and offer to purchase) and state that the buyer needs to take over the terms. Planning ahead will help to ensure that you have everything budgeted. Sometimes sellers hold off on selling until they have all of this budgeted and paid out prior to closing their transaction. No one likes surprises.
Meter Reading: Don’t forget to call in your meter readings for your gas, hydro, and water and sewer accounts, and advise the service provider of the change of ownership. All accounts must be paid up to the date of possession.
Buying and Selling? Be sure to talk to your lender right away, to determine if you will need (and will qualify for) bridge financing to purchase your new place. If you are relying on your sale proceeds of your old place to help you buy your new place, then you will likely need bridge financing. Start on this asap as it sometimes causes issues if not arranged well enough in advance.
Budget: Before you decide to SELL be sure to:
I) get a quote for your legal costs and disbursements;
II) determine what your additional costs to move will be: Realtor? Comfree? Purple Bricks? Advertising? Time off work? Moving costs? Mail redirection costs?
What to remember when you are BUYING:
Keys: We always recommend that you arrange to have the locks changed the day that you take possession to your new property. There is no way to know who has keys to your home and you don’t want to be surprised by any unwanted guests! This is a small investment into your big one, and will help to keep you and your family and possessions safe.
Insurance: Look into this the moment you have purchased a home as some insurance companies require inspections and in those cases, you need significant time to arrange that. Also remember that if you are putting in an offer on property that has a wood stove or fireplace, your insurance company may require that it be decommissioned if it does not meet safety standards which are strict and sometimes costly to comply with. It is better to make your offer subject to a provision that contemplates your insurance being able to inspect, and approving the use of the unit as is, than to find out later you must decommission it as it is unsafe.
Inspections: Also remember that if you are putting in an offer on property that has a septic field, well water, or shared driveway, be sure to allow time for a professional to inspect these and ensure that you can back out if things are not in order. These issues are big price tag issues if a problem arises post closing. Inspect everything BEFORE you buy! Also, if your land being purchased is less than 2 acres and has a septic field, there are many issues to investigate so be sure you have the right conditions in your offer!
Budget: Before you decide to BUY be sure to:
I) get a quote for your legal costs and disbursements, and your land transfer tax (that tax will shock most!);
II) determine what your moving costs will be;
III) budget for your monthly insurance (house and life and disability)?
III) NOT change your occupation or have any new other purchases going on. Just because you qualify for financing, does not mean your lender will advance if your ability to pay is compromised with a job change, or increase in debt load;
IV) Look into private insurance options for your life insurance, disability insurance, and perhaps even critical insurance. These are often much more affordable, flexible and enduring, through private insurers but these take time to get into place so when you decide to buy, look into these coverages right away.
Mona Jodoin has been practicing in the area of Real Estate law since she began her practice in 1998.
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments a person will ever make in their lives and should not be regarded lightly. Take the stress out of this important transaction by retaining legal services early on so you have someone to turn to with your questions.
We are here to help make this experience as enjoyable as it can be.