Blog

Tag: video signing real estate

  • 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.

    1
    Read more
  • How Do Video Closings for Real Estate and Mortgages Work?

    How Do Video Closings for Real Estate and Mortgages Work?

    Virtual video closings keep mortgages and Real Estate transactions flowing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, it has become challenging to close a real estate transaction, especially for those thousands of buyers and sellers who are planning to close their transactions over the next few weeks or even months.

    Why Do We Need video Closings for Real Estate and Mortgages?

    The closing process requires documents to be signed and commissioned in front of a lawyer or a commissioner of oaths, which presents an issue when people are quarantined, stuck abroad due to travel restrictions, or simply cannot travel to the lawyer’s office due to quarantine or closure of the office.

    As of March 16, 2020, the Law Society of Ontario has issued a special bulletin to allow remote commissioning of documents as a special measure to deal with the disruption caused by COVID-19.  In addition, title insurers and some lenders have indicated flexibility given the situation.

    Deeded has invested in virtual signing technology that allows clients to securely sign their documents from the comfort of their home.  All they need is a computer, an internet connection, and a smart phone.   There’s no need to print, courier or scan documents.

    This technology allows us to securely present documents, have them signed and witnesses in real-time, and record the entire interaction for security purposes.

    How Do Virtual Signings Work?

    Step 1 – Scheduling The Signing Appointment

    Clients will receive a calendar meeting invite with a link.   The session takes place live and can be scheduled at a convenient time.   All individuals who are signing need to attend, but they do not have to be at the same location. 

    Step 2 – The Virtual Signing

    All parties will be able to see each other on a live video stream.  The lawyer will explain the entire process and will ask each signer to identify themselves and show photo ID.  Clients will

    Each document to be signed is presented on the screen, explained, and is signed on the screen by each party.  If the client does not have a touch-screen device, a SMS or email can be sent to their mobile device and they can sign on the surface of their mobile device using their finger or stylus.

    The lawyer or commissioner will also sign where applicable.

    Step 3 – Security Protocols

    Throughout the meeting, the audio and video of the conference is recorded along with the documents being signed.  A secure audit log is used to confirm items such as the signer’s location and identification.   The video is stored on servers offering bank-grade security.

    Step 4 – Final Documents Distributed

    As soon as the meeting is complete and parties sign off, the final electronic version of all signed documents is distributed securely for everyone’s records.  

    Preparing for Your Virtual Signing Appointment

    Make sure you have your laptop, tablet and mobile phone ready and that you have a high-speed internet connection.

    Have all signing parties bring picture ID to the Virtual Signing appointment

    Ensure all parties signing have the calendar invite and meeting link

    Log into the Virtual Signing session on the scheduled time

    Ensure only those parties who are signing are in the room, or if there is someone else in the room, that person’s identity would be noted, and possibly they would be asked to leave the room

    If you are interested in using a video closing on your next real estate closing or mortgage transaction, our Deeded Team is ready to help you get started, to obtain a quote, please click here. 

    1
    Read more