Buying or Selling Real Estate in Saskatchewan



Kevin Rogers for The Lawyers Weekly

What Home Buyers and Home Sellers are Usually NOT Informed About

Real estate lawyers understand that most people are not too sure how the home buying or selling process works. This is why Kevin Rogers shares an article about this process in The Lawyers Weekly.

Saskatchewan real estate lawyers support the idea that as a home buyer or home seller, it is always in your best interest to get as much as you can. Specifically, when down payments are involved it is suggested to give or receive as much as financially possible. Saskatchewan lawyers assist by holding onto the amount you deem as economically sufficient for a down payment. Real estate lawyers also make sure you are aware of how the final home buying agreement works.

Real estate lawyers in Saskatchewan warn home buyer or seller that you should understand what appliances will be included in the home buying agreement. If the final home buying agreement does not have certain appliances listed then the home seller has every right to take them. Once the home buying agreement is arranged, real estate lawyers ensure the home buyer or seller is happy with the outcomes. This is especially true when the final document process starts.

Real Estate Lawyers Handle Final Home Buyer Documents Smoothly

Your Saskatchewan real estate lawyer will deal with most of the paper work once the home buying conditions are met. In Saskatchewan real estate lawyers prepare the mortgage and arrange the land transfer, saving you time and money. Less stress is also put towards finding another real estate lawyer, which means that only a few signatures and approvals are needed by the home seller and buyer. As a result, you can peacefully pack away your belongings and memories, while your real estate lawyer negotiates and makes the necessary land transfer.

To further educate yourself on the process of buying or selling a home read the article below. Let a real estate lawyer guide you along the way of settling in your new home by taking care of overwhelming documents. To find this experienced real estate lawyer in Saskatchewan visit Canadian-Lawyers online directory.

Residential real estate transactions in Saskatchewan have changed substantially since 2001. In that time the Saskatchewan Land Titles system has been computerized, and is now known as the Information Services Corporation, or "ISC". As well, Saskatchewan real estate brokerages in the province have re-written and standardized the forms real estate agents use when completing an Offer to Purchase. The Law Society of Saskatchewan has also been active in establishing standardized conditions and terms for Saskatchewan real estate lawyers to use when completing residential real estate deals.

The result of all of these changes has been improved and standardized service in Saskatchewan.

Selling Real Estate in Saskatchewan

Before you begin, do some preliminary work. Find your Saskatchewan Surveyor's Certificate. If you live in a condominium, pull out your copy of the bylaws, and your copies of the latest financial statements and budget. This is information which your Saskatchewan realtor, or any buyer, will want. Finally, consider having Saskatchewan utility providers do a line location so you can provide an assurance that there is nothing built over an area that should be clear.

When entertaining offers, you want to receive as much as possible as a down payment. It should be provided to your Saskatchewan real estate lawyer to hold.

One area that can be confusing is to determine what is included in the sale. The starting point is that anything which is permanently affixed to the lot or house is included in the sale. There are some strange items, like central vac. The canister must stay because it is bolted down, but the hose and power head are not bolted down. These kinds of things should be covered in the offer. As well, if there is anything that is fixed to the house that you do not want included, you should either remove it before the house goes up for sale, or you must mention in the Offer/Counter-Offer that it is not part of the sale.

Once an Offer to Purchase is accepted and conditions are met, your realtor will provide a copy to your Saskatchewan real estate lawyer. The lawyer will obtain copies of real estate title, a payout amount on your mortgage, and will prepare the necessary documents. There are only a few signatures involved.

Your real estate lawyer provides the land transfer which you sign to the lawyer for the purchaser. The purchaser's lawyer submits that transfer, along with the mortgage of the purchaser, to ISC for registration. Depending on when documents are signed, it is possible that the transfer will not have been registered by the date of the purchaser's possession of the property. The Law Society's uniform trust conditions allow possession to take place, however the seller should know that they will not receive the sale proceeds until title has transferred and the purchaser's mortgage company has advanced the mortgage. That could take anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks from the date of possession, depending upon when documents were signed, and how far behind ISC is in terms of completing registrations.

Buying a Home in Saskatchewan

Once you find the Saskatchewan house or condominium you want, it is time to make an offer. Sit down with your realtor and start the negotiation. One of the considerations is what you want for "extras".

As mentioned above, anything that is permanently affixed to the property is included. Are the appliances to be included? Make the offer and provide a down payment that you can afford.

If you are buying a Saskatchewan condominium, the vendor must be provided with copies of the condominium corporation's financial statements, bylaws, budget, proof of insurance and an "estoppel certificate". You should review the bylaws to make sure that there are no provisions which are a problem for you. The financial statements and budget are to ensure that the condominium corporation is financially sound and has adequate reserves for repairs. The "estoppel certificate" is a document from the condominium corporation providing assurances about the condominium fees, any special assessments or any known problems.

If you are buying a house in Saskatchewan, you want a copy of the surveyor's certificate. Normally, there is one in existence and it can be obtained from the vendor or their mortgage lender. Your lender may not be willing to accept an old copy if there have been changes, such as a garage or an addition to the house, but you should get a copy of whatever exists.

Once you choose a Saskatchewan lawyer you need to let your real estate agent and your lender know who that is. They will provide instructions to the real estate lawyer you choose. That real estate lawyer will prepare the mortgage documents, and will handle getting title into your name. The process is done through the exchange of documents between your real estate lawyer and the real estate lawyer for the vendor, described above. Some provinces in Canada require a separate lawyer to prepare your mortgage. In Saskatchewan, the same lawyer generally prepares the mortgage, and acts for the purchaser to arrange for the transfer of title to the land.

Costs

Registration costs for transfers and mortgages are set by ISC.  Mortgages are subject to a registration fee, as long as there are four titles or less involved. These are not the legal fees. These costs are charged by ISC (Land Titles) and are payable by the purchaser.

There will be other costs for items such as property insurance, mortgage application fees, appraisals and home inspections.

Legal fees for real estate work in Saskatchewan vary substantially between locations. When choosing a real estate lawyer you should ask for referrals from friends, your realtor and your banker. You should then phone around and choose a real estate lawyer you feel comfortable with. You should check the legal fees, but it is strongly suggested that you should not simply take the lowest fee. Make sure the real estate lawyer you choose has a strong real estate background and is known to be good at what they do. Sometimes the low fee causes you to get what you pay for. This transaction is one of the biggest most people ever make, so be careful and don't cause yourself a problem for a small reduction in legal fees.

Whether buying or selling, do your homework. Deal with a realtor, mortgage lender and Saskatchewan real estate lawyer that you can develop a relationship with, and ask them for advice on how to proceed. Once you have that advice, make your own decisions, based on your needs. If you take those steps, your real estate experience is likely to be a satisfying one.

Kevin Rogers is a lawyer with Leland Kimpinski

A great way to start your search for a local Canadian Real estate lawyer is at Canadian-Lawyers.ca. Go to the 'Find a Lawyer' search box that appears on the right hand side of this screen to start your lawyer search. Type in Real Estate or the name of the law firm, the city and the province that you are looking to hire a lawyer from, and click on the 'Search Now' button. This will generate a list of local Canadian Real Estate lawyers.


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