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Tips & Pointers

Real Estate Purchase  /Sale - TIPS and TRAPS

Closing Date - this is the date that the transaction is concluded.  On this date normally the purchase price is paid and possession is granted.

Consider closing date as a business day not a weekend to avoid risk of either paying late closing interest.

Real Property Report/Surveyor's Certificate - does the offer require the seller to provide a current survey?  Without one a purchaser usually has to either obtain one (consider delay and expense) or purchase title insurance in lieu.  Title insurance includes boundary coverage for potential encroachment issues of buildings or improvements interfering with neighbor's boundaries or easements.

Fixtures - the purchase of land includes all fixtures.  At law a fixture is a chattel that has been affixed in such a significant way that it stays with the real estate (goes with the land).  If in doubt list items on the offer.  Appliances like washers and dryers are NOT fixtures as they rest on their own weight so include them in offer if it is intended that they are being sold/purchased.

Other items - sheds, shelving, window coverings may need to be listed to be included.

GST - applies to every transaction unless there is an exemption.  Used residential property that has not been significantly renovated is exempt from GST.  Bare land may attract GST.  Purchase price in the offer usually states if " GST is applicable."  If GST is not mentioned the purchase price does not include GST.

Dower/Homestead - every real estate transaction requires consideration of dower rights.   If a spouse is not shown on title they must consent to any sale or mortgage.  The consent must be signed in front of independent lawyer from the named spousal owner.

Mortgages - consider payout penalty on closed mortgages.  Closed mortgages typically attract a penalty by the bank on the early payout of a mortgage.  Consider if the mortgage includes 'portability' language to allow the loan to be transferred to other property.



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