Your Attorney’s Role, Closing Costs and Moving
Selling your Vancouver home could well be one of the costliest transactions you will ever make. Have a good real estate attorney look after your interests. You also need to familiarize yourself with the various closing costs you have the responsibility to pay once you sell your home. The closer subtracts these costs from your proceeds at the closing. Your agent or attorney can answer any questions you have about the costs.
For sellers who still occupy the home, there remains the process of moving out of the home once the deal closes and you turn over possession to a new buyer.
Your Attorney’s Role
If you do not already have an attorney, you might want to hire one to protect your interest as you close the transaction. Usually, the buyer’s attorney or notary will prepare closing documents to transfer the ownership to the buyer. It makes good business sense to have an attorney to protect your interests.
A good real estate attorney handles the following tasks:
◾Examine documents prepared by the buyer’s attorney and explain various provisions within those documents
◾Check to ensure your old mortgage has been discharged, if applicable
◾Relieve you of any obligation on the old mortgage if the buyer assumes responsibility for the debt
◾Insurers and confirm that you received all payments due
◾Update your signature on the transfer documents
◾Prepare an itemized statement of disbursements and ensure you receive a cheque for the balance
The transference of ownership of property requires financial adjustments between the buyer and seller. Rather than you paying these costs and expenses up front, the closer deducts them from the purchase price of the home.
These adjustments include:
◾Prepayment penalty financial institutions charge for early discharge of an existing mortgage.
◾The commission you agreed to pay your real estate agent
◾Goods and service tax or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of 12 per cent of your legal fees and real estate commission
◾Your portion of property taxes due for the current year if you have not already paid, as well as a late payment penalty for unpaid taxes
◾GST applies to new homes, land, or properties that have undergone substantial renovation
◾Unpaid Strata Corporation monthly maintenance fees, special levies, proposed assessment, or outstanding amounts under Form B
Keep in mind that information regarding the closing cost for Vancouver home sellers is approximate and can change at any time. Check with your agent, attorney, or provincial agency for current information.
You actually started the plan for your move once you made the decision to sell your home. Many of the tasks associated with preparing to sell your house helped to move you to this point. If you are leaving a Vancouver condominium, you might need to contact the management association to arrange certain aspects of your move.
The cost of your move depends on how many personal items you have, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring professional movers, and whether you will remain in the Vancouver area or relocate out-of-town.
Find out if your real estate agent, family, or friends can recommend moving companies. Obtain all estimates in writing. Make sure you understand the various insurance coverage options for your belongings. Select a licensed and bonded mover.
Even if you decide to hire movers, save yourself money by packing your own items. Gather or purchase the items you need to complete your packing, such as an assortment of boxes, markers, razor, scissors, tape, and styrofoam peanuts.
Begin packing one room at a time.
Submit a Canada Post and inform your insurance company and creditors before you leave your present home. Arrange to have the telephone, cable, and other utilities disconnected at the old home and started at your new home. Discontinue newspaper service or other deliveries
Make your move and smooth as possible by working with a checklist.
If you have a pet, plan your move carefully because animals possess a high sensitivity to new environments. Check online for information, or speak to your veterinarian about things you can do to help your pet transition to a new home with minimal anxiety.
Turning Over Possession of the Home
Once you sign the ownership transfer documents, have packed any remaining of your belongings, and received your cheque, you will need to turn possession of the property over to the new owners. Give your agent the keys to the home to transfer to the buyer.
The possession date might coincide with the actual closing date, or any such date as agreed to in the Contract of Purchase and Sale, such as 30 days after closing. You will need to pay the buyer for any time you remain in the home after the closing date.