Whether you are looking for a holiday home, investment property, retirement property, or a place to call home, I will dedicate myself to realizing your dream. If this is your first time buying property, or if you're an overseas buyer who has never purchased real estate in Canada before, I understand that you will have many questions regarding the process and legalities. The following text will help to understand the details in practical terms. As in most countries, the purchase usually takes place in 5 stages:
Step 1: Reservation
Once you're ready to make an offer on a property, I will immediately contact the seller in order to verbally confirm your offer. During this time, you will need to write a check for the reservation deposit (sometimes known as a good faith deposit) to hold in the broker's escrow account. Overseas buyers will need to make arrangements to wire transfer the reservation deposit to the notary's escrow bank account. I will provide you with these coordinates. You can usually expect a reservation deposit requirement of 1-5% of the purchase price.
Step 2: Offer to Purchase
As soon as the reservation deposit has been received, I'll write up the offer to purchase for you, obtain your signature, and present it the seller. We can make the offer contingent upon satisfactory financing (which can be easily covered by a mortgage pre-approval) and if you wish, a satisfactory formal inspection (payable by you at a cost of about $500 CDN). Overseas buyers may also make the sale contingent upon satisfactory personal visit to occur within 3 weeks of the acceptance date. The seller will have 48 hours to accept, decline, or counter-offer.
Step 3: Mortgage Coordination *
The finance clause in the contract will need to be satisfied within 10 days of offer acceptance. During the approval process, the bank will ask you for various documentation, including statements regarding your income, assets, debts, and identification. Once the bank has all their paperwork in order, you will be given an approval letter. They may or may not ask for an appraisal to be completed on the property. Once the file is complete, the bank will contact the notary and send all the documentation. The notary will then contact us to set the specific closing date. Please note: for overseas buyers, a bank account in Canada is usually a requirement to taking a Canadian loan. Due to changes in recent legislation, this cannot be done via power of attorney. Therefore, if you do not already have a bank account in Canada, you must complete the account opening in person or through a referral process from an international bank where you are able to appear, such as Scotia Bank or HSBC.
Step 4: Formal Inspection
If you choose to have a formal inspection completed, this clause will need to be satisfied within 15 days of offer acceptance. There are a number of reputable licensed and insured inspectors in the area that I can recommend to you, and I'll be happy to make the arrangements. After the inspection is complete, you will be given a comprehensive report detailing every aspect of the construction and mechanics of the property, complete with photographs and renderings. If a major defect is found, you must notify the Seller within 4 days of the expiry date and provide them with a copy of the inspection, at which point you have the option of render the contract void or negotiate with the seller.
Step 5: Act of Sale
You can expect the closing date to be set from 6-8 weeks after acceptance of the offer. If you cannot be present at closing, the power of attorney will be arranged via the notary and all documentation will be sent to you via courier.
* I recommend that prior to looking for property, you obtain a pre-approval from a local lender. This will help to make sure that you are only viewing properties that fit your criteria, and will give you a realistic scope of what you can afford. I will be happy to assist with this and there is no fee for the service.