Thinking of Selling Your Home? Here’s What You Need to Know
We understand that selling your property is a major life event. Home sale must knows are key for selling your first or 10th home. Consequently, whether you are selling your first home or have sold properties in the past, selling your home can be a complicated process. Consequently, each transaction requires a high level of lawyer involvement in order to safeguard your investment. Our Calgary real estate lawyers are experienced at guiding you through the entire process. In order to ensure that your transaction is seamless, read these home sale must knows to find out what sellers need to know when selling their home.
When Do I Sign With The Real Estate Lawyer?
7-12 days prior to the closing date of your transaction, we will contact you to make an appointment to sign the closing documents. If you plan on being out of the country or city during this time, you should let your real estate lawyer know as soon as possible. This is because we will have to coordinate for you to sign the closing documents in front of a notary public and have them courier the originals back to our office. Early on we will send you a more detail list of home sale must knows to ensure a smooth transaction.
Do I Need a Real Property Report (“RPR”)?
Unless you are selling a conventional condominium unit (not a bare land condo), you require an RPR. If you do not have one, inform your real estate lawyer immediately to avoid delays in closing. We will review your RPR with you, when you come in to sign, and advise if an update is required. Since your RPR was issued, if you have built new structures on the property including decks, fences or installed an air conditioning unit, you will likely require an updated RPR. (We have a whole page on Real Property Reports.) Also call us right away if there are:
- any encroachments onto neighbouring properties or right of ways;
- structures on the property but not shown on the RPR;
- If any structure offends any restrictive covenant on your title; and
- the RPR has not stamp or letter of compliance.
When Do I Need To Vacate My Property?
A key one of the home sale must knows is when you have to be out of your property. Your property should be vacant as of noon on the closing day of your transaction. Failing to vacate your property in time can result in financial compensation for the buyer. Sellers should ensure that any chattels (items that are not fixed to the house) included in the purchase price, such as refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, and garage door openers, remain on the property. Further, sellers should also fulfill any obligations in the purchase contract including conducting repairs and cleaning the property.
When Do I Cancel My Property Taxes?
Your real estate lawyer will calculate and adjust taxes for you. Because sellers are responsible for taxes up to and including the closing date, sellers who are subscribed to the City of Calgary’s Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP) should allow the payment for the month the transaction closes to go through; even if this is on the first of the month. There is a limit as to how quick you can cancel your payments. The City must receive a cancellation request by the 21st of the month, so ensure that if your closing is on the 25th or 29 (etc), that you cancel before the cut off.
When Do I Cancel Utilities?
Sellers ought to contact their utility companies and service providers to terminate utilities prior to the closing date. Sellers should also forward final billing invoices to their new address. Notably, your real estate lawyer will not be able to secure any payment overages for utilities should you fail to terminate your accounts before closing.
Cancelling Homeowner’s Insurance
Under the purchase contract, sellers are liable for any losses until the transaction closes. Of all the home sale must knows, this one stands out in terms of liability problems. It is imperative that you refrain from cancelling homeowner’s insurance until the proceeds of the sale are in your bank account. While real estate lawyers endeavour to ensure that transactions close in time, occasionally, delays may occur on the part of the purchaser, lawyer, lender, banks, couriers, etc. which may postpone payment for a few days. In that case, you will be compensated by the buyer through late interest fees. However, you must maintain insurance on your home.
When Do I Receive The Sale Proceeds for My Home?
You should anticipate that the funds will be deposited in your bank account or ready for pick up at your law firm’s office in the form of a cheque the day that your real estate lawyer receives funds from the buyer’s lawyer. There are no holds placed on lawyers’ trust cheques, unless your bank account or bank’s policy includes one that places holds on cheques.
What We Do to Assist Your Home Buying Process
While this list of key home sale must knows starts things off, we work with you on the whole process. Our real estate team works tirelessly to ensure that your transaction closes on time. When acting for buyers, we aim to ensure that sellers comply with any conditions they have and ensure that they receive good title to the property. When acting for sellers, we ensure that they receive payment before transferring title to the property. Either way, we complete real estate transactions on a flat rate basis. In particular, when acting for sellers, our real estate lawyers:
- review mortgage instructions and the purchase contract;
- conduct property tax searches, title searches and other searches;
- obtain mortgage payouts and information on other liens;
- prepare the Statement of Adjustments which outlines the cash needed to close the transaction;
- prepare closing documents such as tenancies at will, transfers of land and directions to pay;
- review real property reports and estoppel certificates;
- send out trust letters to the buyer’s lawyer;
- negotiate trust conditions;
- register to discharge any mortgages;
- communicate with real estate agents to verify the completion of the inspections;
- pay out any mortgages on title and real estate agent commissions;
- deposit sale proceeds in the seller’s bank account; and lastly
- provide reports to the seller approximately three weeks after the transaction closes.
More Than Home Sale Must Knows: Other Things We Do
As not every transaction is the same, some transactions involve extra fees. Additional services you may require include:
- applying for a relaxation or an encroachment agreement for non-compliant RPRs;
- reviewing condominium documents before waiving conditions;
- bridging finance mortgages; and
- resolving disputes between sellers and tenants residing on the property.
Lawyers Who Help Through The A-Z Home Sale Must Knows
Should you have more questions about the home buying process, we are happy to speak with you and discuss your concerns. This list of home sale must knows contains some of the key steps but we help you through the details. The experienced conveyancing team at Kahane Law Office in Calgary look forward to answering your questions regarding your transaction. Call today! 403-225-8810 or email us directly here.