Buying a home is exciting – but the process can feel overwhelming. An experienced real estate conveyance lawyer can reduce your stress and ensure your purchase goes smoothly.
Property conveyancing in BC
Whether you are buying a house, condo, or townhouse, “conveyancing” is the process of legally transferring title to property from one person to another. There are a number of steps and a lot of paperwork involved in the conveyancing process. The buyer and the seller are each represented by their own lawyer, but in BC, the buyer’s conveyance lawyer is responsible for preparing most of the paperwork.
How a conveyance lawyer will help you in the early stages
Depending on your needs and the type of property you are buying, in the early stages your conveyancing lawyer will:
- Draft and review of the Contract of Purchase and Sale.
- Conduct “due diligence” on your behalf. This includes searching title to the property (and any common property, if applicable) to determine whether there are mortgages, outstanding taxes, liens, judgments, easements, rights of way, or other issues that might impact your property purchase.
How a conveyance lawyer will help you as the deal progresses
Once due diligence is complete, your conveyancing lawyer will collaborate with the seller’s lawyer, your mortgage company, the realtors, and your insurance company to prepare the transaction for completion. For example, your lawyer will:
- Receive and review mortgage instructions from your lender, ensure financing conditions are met (e.g., property insurance requirements), and prepare the Form B – Mortgage and any other mortgage documents.
- Prepare two copies of all the necessary documents to complete your real estate conveyance (the Form A – Transfer, Statements of Adjustments, Property Transfer Tax Return, GST certificate, etc.) and send one copy of the documents to the seller’s lawyer for the seller to sign.
- Meet with you to review and explain all conveyancing documents before you sign.
How a conveyance lawyer will help you on the closing date and beyond
As the closing date approaches, your conveyancing lawyer will review all documents to ensure everything is in order, and search title again to ensure there are no new or outstanding issues. Your lawyer can also give and receive “Letters of Undertaking” to deal with any contingencies that arise and facilitate the completion of your property purchase. On the closing day, your lawyer will:
- Ensure registration of all real estate conveyancing documents.
- Conduct a post-registration title search.
- Pay the purchase funds to the seller’s lawyer in exchange for the keys to your new home.
- Ensure that the purchase funds are used by the seller to pay out the seller’s mortgage or other charges on title by requiring proof of payment and registration of discharges.
After the closing date, your conveyancing lawyer will order a State of Title Certificate from the Land Title Office to confirm that existing mortgages or encumbrances have been fully discharged, giving you clear title to carry forward.