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Tag: real estate closing

  • What’s The ideal Day To Close your Real Estate Transaction?

    What’s The ideal Day To Close your Real Estate Transaction?

    When you’re making an offer to purchase a property, you’ll be asked when you would like to “close” on your property as part of the agreement to purchase.  The date you pick will also have to align with your seller’s expectations as they may need to arrange to move and vacate the property.

    On closing day, the ownership of the property is transferred to you, the buyer, and in most provinces, you will receive the keys to your property towards the end of the day.

    While typically any business day can be designated as your closing day, it is important to consider a few factors that may make your closing experience easier and avoid potential issues when picking the ideal day to close your real estate transaction.

    Key Takeaways:

    • • Picking a closing on a Friday may cause issues if you cannot get everything before 5:00pm, businesses and systems will close for the weekend leaving you stuck.
    • • Real Estate transaction peak in month-end especially during the Spring, be aware this means everything will be busier making it harder for you to get things done.
    • • When picking a closing day, try to avoid Fridays, long weekends, and month-ends wherever possible.

    Here are a few of our suggestions when you’re picking the ideal day to close your real estate transaction:

    Avoid Fridays, if You Can

    While a Friday might sound like the ideal day of the week to close on a purchase.  Friday closings can be the cause of major challenges and extra costs should something not go according to plan.

    That’s because mortgage lenders and the electronic land registry are open until 5pm on Friday afternoon. After 5pm, registration and transfers of funds, if needed, become impossible until the following Monday.

    During the day of closing a lot goes on behind the scenes and timelines can be very tight.  Funds move between the buyer, the buyer’s lender and the seller and their lender (and their respective lawyers). After the funds arrive, the transaction needs to get registered before keys can be released to the buyer. 

    Needless to say, even the slightest delay or something not going according to plan can mean the difference between meeting the 5pm registration deadline or missing it.   If the 5pm deadline for registration is missed for whatever reason, your transaction will likely not close till the next business day, which is Monday.

    Depending on your circumstances, such delays can be costly and put a wrench in your moving plans, so if you can potentially avoid a Friday closing date, you may just eliminate a few potential headaches and hassles.

    Before a long weekend or holiday?

    We love our long weekends and while it may seem like the ideal time to close and settle into your new home, a long weekend can present the same challenges of closing on a Friday.  

    With mortgage lenders and the land registry closed for the long weekend or upcoming holiday, any delays in closing may result in having to wait until the next business day to close.

    Month-end, Especially in the Spring

    The volume of Real Estate transactions peak during the months of May through to September.

    This means that law firms, movers, appraisers, and many other parties involved in your transaction get particularly busy these months, and particularly on the last few days of the month.

    Closing at month-end isn’t an issue.  In fact, it’s quite common.  

    However, with an increased volume of transactions and all the players in the system working to hit month-end deadlines, the chances of something slipping through the cracks will likely increase.  It also means you may not always get your first choice of lawyer, mover, etc., especially as Covid continue to slow down and change processes in the industry.

    Final Thoughts

    When negotiating your closing, the ideal day to close your real estate transaction would be before Friday, prior to a long weekend and not on a month-end.

    While your transaction may close without a hitch, even if on a Friday or the end of the month, picking the right closing date can decrease the chances of having closing issues.

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  • Status Certificate. What is it and Why Should You Care.

    Status Certificate. What is it and Why Should You Care.

    If you are buying a condo, you will probably encounter the term “status certificate”.  What exactly is a status certificate and why are status certificates important?

    Think of a status certificate as a comprehensive document that provides information about the current state of a condominium property.  The purpose of it is to give potential buyers as much information as possible about their unit and the overall health of the operations of the condo complex.

    What Information Can I Get From A Status Certificate?

    A condo unit is typically subject to additional rules and regulations compared to a (freehold) house because it’s managed by a Board of Directors and often a property manager. 

    The condo board is responsible for managing the budget for the overall condo, which includes upkeep, repairs and improvements to the common elements on the property.  Common elements are typically anything outside of your unit such as elevators, lobby, amenity facilities, etc. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure that the condo board is fiscally responsible and can handle necessary repairs that come up now and in the future.

    That’s where the status certificate comes in.  The status certificate is a recent collection of relevant information such as the condos by-laws (rules about things like pets, fitness facilities, swimming pools, barbecues, smoking, etc.), a current budget for the condominium, a recent reserve study (we’ll talk about that in a moment), and whether any lawsuits may be pending against the condo.

    With this information at-hand, a status certificate can help you make your purchase decision and anticipate any issues such as:

    • • Anticipated increases in maintenance fees
    • • Any major future repairs you may be liable for a share of
    • • The overall financial health of the condo
    • • Any special assessments that may be costly down the road

    Where Do I Get Status Certificates?

    You or your Real Estate agent can order a condo corporation’s status certificate. All you have to do is submit a written request and pay the $100 fee (plus HST) to management or the condo corporation.

    It takes about 10 days, although it can be rushed for an additional fee.

    Is it Mandatory to Get a Status Certificate?

    Typically, when buying a resale condo, your real estate agent will recommend that you obtain a copy of the status certificate and thoroughly review it with your real estate lawyer before you commit to a purchase.

    Most offers on resale condos are conditional upon review of the condo status certificate, so that buyers can ensure everything is in order.

    If you are getting a mortgage or refinancing your mortgage on a condo property, your lender will require a status certificate be obtained and reviewed by a lawyer as a condition of the mortgage.

    How Do I Review the Status Certificate?

    Status certificates can often be complex and contain key information within dozens of pages, we recommend having an experienced Real Estate lawyer review the status certificate for you. A lawyer will know the key information to look for, how to interpret the information and will typically summarize the key points and what you should be aware of.  

    What is a Typical ‘Deal Breaker’ That Can Be Found in a Status Certificate?

    Condos carry a monthly maintenance fee to pay for common expenses are shared between all owners. If the condo corporation is running short of funds to pay operation expenses, you will notice an increase to your maintenance fees.  While some increases may be reasonable, in some circumstances, when reviewing the status certificate is a condition of your offer to purchase, a sharp increase to maintenance fees may not be within your budget and you may decide to not proceed with buying the unit. 

    Another major item that can be found by reviewing the status certificate is called a special assessment.  A special assessment is an additional charge that condominium owners are required to pay on top of their regular monthly maintenance fees. While all owners are responsible for paying a special assessment, it’s important to realize that the condo board of directors does not need to get the approval of individual owners to add a special assessment.  For example, if the condo has an urgent requirement to repair the roof at a cost of $500K and does not have sufficient funds in the reserve to cover the cost, each unit may have a special assessment put against it, which means you and other unit owners are liable for your share of the cost of repairs. 

    Under Ontario law, there’s very little owners can do if they can’t pay or disagree with a special assessment. If an owner can’t pay, the condominium corporation can put a lean on the property. 

    Keep in mind that reviewing status certificates will only highlight any issues at the current time but does not guarantee against having condo fee increases or special assessments in the future.

    Can Deeded Help With My Status Certificate?

    Of course! As you are shopping for a condo unit, we’d be happy to review the status certificate for your property and provide you with a comprehensive, yet understandable summary.  If you are in a bidding war situation, we’d be happy to turn around a status certificate review within 48-72 hours.  Please feel free to contact us anytime.

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  • Title Search – What is it and Why Do You Need It.

    Title Search – What is it and Why Do You Need It.

    Before we explain what a title search is, it is important to understand what title means.

    Title is a legal term that means registered owner of a property

    Records associated with the title of a particular property are usually kept in a land registry office, which is responsible for record keeping.  These records include deeds, court records, property and name indexes, and other documents related to the property.

    Before you purchase a property, your lawyer conducts a title search to examine the property’s title history and ensure that the seller has the legal right to sell the property, and that there are no other encumbrances (such as liens, title claims, judgements, mortgages etc.) or property line issues that could prevent the buyer from taking full possession.

    What Does a Title Search Show?

    A title search clarifies the legal owner(s) of the property, any existing easements, leases, or restrictions that affect the property, any mortgages, judgements against the property, liens, or unpaid rental contracts (such as hot water tanks) that will need to be dealt with before the property can be sold to a buyer.

    What if There Are Issues Found With The Title?

    If title issues arise with the property you are purchasing, your lawyer will work with your seller’s lawyer to try to resolve.  Often times, issues can be corrected prior to closing

    What if There Are Issues Found With The Title?

    If title issues arise with the property you are purchasing, your lawyer will work with your seller’s lawyer to try to resolve.  Often times, issues can be corrected prior to closing.

    What If a Title Issue is Discovered After Closing?

    In case an issue is discovered on your title after you have closed your transaction, title insurance covers several situations and is meant to protect you against the unforeseen. For more information on title insurance, click here.

    How Much Does a Title Search Cost?

    Our transparent fees include a title search for purchases and refinances of properties.  Depending on the extent of the searches required, you may incur some disbursements for service fees incurred for the searching the land registry.

    I’m Refinancing, Why Do I Need a Title Search?

    Your lender will likely require a new title search as a condition of refinancing.  Lenders typically will need to see if there are any issues standing in the way of your property being fit to sell when approving refinancing transactions.  

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  • COVID-19 and Residential Real Estate Closings

    COVID-19 and Residential Real Estate Closings

    Will COVID-19 impact residential Real Estate closings?

    As the disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, it may become increasingly essential to quarantine a large portion of the population to counter the spread of the virus as we’ve already seen happen in China, Italy, Iran and other countries.

    Given that we are in the midst of a very busy spring market, closing residential real estate transactions may face unexpected challenges that may cause ripple effects for buyers and sellers. 

    These challenges can range from not being able to attend a lawyer’s office to sign documents to disruption for professionals such as appraisers, lawyers and lenders.

    Am I Still Obligated To Close?

    Most residential real estate transactions in Ontario require the buyer or seller to close the transaction by a specific date.  Contrary to some commercial real estate contracts, residential transactions do not usually include a force majeure clause that could potentially excuse a party from performance if the failure to perform is due to an event beyond the party’s control.

    Therefore, in most cases, you will still be obligated to close your transaction despite any circumstances.  

    If you are considering buying or selling a home in the near future, a specific COVID-19 clause can be included in your agreement to allow for potential delays cause by potential disruption to lenders or the land registry.

    Can Closing Be Delayed As a Result of Quarantine?

    Closing can be delayed if an amendment to the agreement of purchase and sale (APS) is signed and agreed upon by all parties. If you foresee the need to postpone or change your closing date, the sooner amendments can be signed by both parties, the better.

    What If I Cannot Make It To Sign Documents?

    To close your transaction, you will have to attend a lawyer’s office to sign your closing documents. Some lawyers may offer at-home signing, which may not work in the case of a full quarantine.  

    At Deeded, we have implemented advanced video signing technology to allow you to sign closing documents from home. We will make this option available for free for qualified clients. Please contact us at hello@deeded.ca if we can help.

    What If The Land Registry Closes Down?

    Most title insurance policies include Gap Coverage that insures both purchasers and lenders against losses due to intervening registrations on title between the date of closing and the date of registration.

    This means that in the event that online registration is no longer available, or land registry offices experience delays or closures due to COVID-19, transactions can close on time and funds and keys can be released to the respective parties.

    What Else Should I Know About COVID-19 Impact Residential Real Estate Closings?

    The escalating situation with the spread of COVID-19 may impact other parts of your transaction such as your movers, utility companies or your condo property management. 

    It is best to be proactive in planning your closing and contacting the various parties involved to ensure contingency plans are in place should the closing be impacted by the COVID-19 disruption.

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