Your Step-by-Step Guide to Conveyancing in Vancouver

March 16, 2020 | Published by

If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in Vancouver, you’ll need to know about the conveyancing process. Not sure what conveyancing is, or what steps are involved? That’s okay⏤we’re here to help! At Morris Law, we know a thing or two about conveyancing in the Vancouver area. Our goal is to ensure a smooth property transfer from seller to buyer. Whether it’s for residential or commercial purposes, and whether you’re buying or selling, we can help streamline the process. Want to learn more about conveyancing? Contact our downtown real estate law office, or read on for your step-by-step guide to conveyancing in Vancouver

What Is Conveyancing?

Simply put, conveyancing is the process of transferring the Title on the property from the seller to the buyer by doing thorough due diligence, then gathering and preparing all the required forms and documents. 

Several documents need to be collected and correctly filled out to ensure a smooth transaction. The process looks a little different depending on whether you’re the buyer or the seller, so our law office helps make those distinctions when they pop up. 

The Conveyancing Process in Vancouver

If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate, you’ll typically need the help of a real estate agent. Buyers will also need to enlist the help of a mortgage broker. 

Working with a Realtor

Your realtor will help you find or sell your property. Typically, buyers and sellers will have their own realtors working on their behalf. 

When there is a good fit between a buyer and seller, the realtors will work together to write up a Contract of Purchase and Sale. This document contains essential transaction details, including the property location, price, important dates, the names of the parties involved, and any special arrangements (if necessary). 

Buyers Also Work with a Mortgage Broker

At the same time, your mortgage broker will see how much of a mortgage you qualify for and will put together a deal between you and your lender.

Once the Contract of Purchase and Sale is created and the mortgage commitments have been met, you’ll need a real estate lawyer in Vancouver to help you with the conveyancing process. 

Now It’s Time for Your Real Estate Lawyer

The Contract of Purchase and Sale, along with the mortgage instructions, is then sent to our real estate law office for review. We want to make sure everything is prepared to ensure a smooth and stress-free transaction process. Keep in mind the entire process can take a few weeks to several months! During this time, we’ll be there to make you feel comfortable and confident. We’ll be available to answer any questions you may have about conveyancing along the way. 

Gathering Information on Your Potential Property

Before we get to preparing your documents, we’ll do some research on your potential property to ensure there are no outstanding costs buyers can be held responsible for. We also ensure the property taxes are up to date and take care of a few other housekeeping items. 

Reviewing the Title to the Property

Our law office can then start reviewing the Title to the property to make sure the seller on the contract is the actual owner of the property. We also check to see if any charges might affect what a buyer can do with their property. Potential charges that might come up include:

  • Mortgages
  • Judgements (unpaid personal income tax)
  • Liens

The seller is responsible for these costs. When you buy real estate in Vancouver, it should be free of any financial encumbrances. 

Conducting a Tax Search and Confirming Insurance

A tax search is necessary to ensure that all taxes are paid and up to date. If you’re buying a condominium in Vancouver, we will also investigate whether all strata fees have been paid.

We check to see if there is insurance on your new property. If you’re purchasing a house, you may need a new insurance policy. All of the background work done during this time makes the conveyancing process much smoother and ensures that both parties are informed and satisfied during the conveyancing process. 

Once we have completed all of these housekeeping items, we can move on to preparing your conveyancing documents. 

Conveyancing Documents You Need in Vancouver

The required purchase documents differ depending on whether you’re the buyer or the seller. These documents need to be collected and signed as appropriate. Of course, our law office can guide you  through this process. Remember, if you have any questions about conveyancing in Vancouver, you can contact our real estate law firm

Buyer documents include:

  • Mortgage documents
  • Mortgage Commitment
  • Cost of Borrowing Disclosure Statement
  • Insurance documents
  • Tax documents
  • Form B – Mortgage
  • Purchase documents
  • Property Transfer Tax Return
  • Buyer’s Statement of Adjustments

Seller documents include:

  • Form A – Freehold Transfer
  • Seller’s Statement of Adjustments
  • GST Certificate
  • Residency Declaration
  • Parking stall or storage locker assignments (if it’s a condo)
  • Site Survey Declaration (if necessary)

Our law office prepares the seller’s documents and sends them to the seller’s notary or lawyer. The notary or lawyer  will ensure that all the documents are filled out correctly before they are sent back to us with certain undertakings. An undertaking is a promise that we won’t use the transfer documents until we’re in a position to complete the transaction. 

Once all the documents have been signed by both the buyer and the seller, we help manage the financial process between the lender, buyer, and realtor. At this point, we can move onto the next step: completing the conveyancing process. 

Completing the Conveyancing Process

Our law office does a thorough check to make sure all of the paperwork and finances are in place. We ensure that:

  • Strata forms F and B are in hand
  • The required party pays all the necessary fees
  • There are no remaining penalties or liens
  • Insurance coverage is up to date and confirmed
  • The mortgage has been funded or is ready to be registered
  • Anything related to your unique situation is taken care of

Once all the checks are complete, our real estate law office is ready to file Form A – the Application to Transfer Ownership of Property, Form F – Certificate of Payment, the Property Transfer Tax Return, and Form B – Mortgage. We then start a pre-registration title search. 

If everything is looking good, we register all the documents with Land Titles and the transaction is complete.

Transaction Reports and Payments

Now that the paperwork has been filed, we’re ready to report on the transaction and pay proceeds. Our real estate law firm helps ensure that payments are delivered to the right parties safely and securely. 

At this time, the realtors exchange keys to the property. Typically, the buyer will be able to gain possession of their new property a day or so after completing the above steps. 

Finishing up the Conveyancing Process

There are still a few loose ends that need to be tied up by our law office before the conveyancing process can be considered complete. Any outstanding payments like the seller’s existing mortgage, or property taxes, are paid by the seller. Form C, which is the Discharge of Mortgage, needs to be completed as well. 

Once Form C is discharged, our office orders the State of Title Certificate. This document includes the name of the registered owner, mortgage information, and the true state of the Title. We’ll give a copy to both the lender and the buyer, and we keep a copy for our records. We then close the file, and the conveyance process is complete!

Conveyancing in Vancouver Can Be Comfortable

At Morris Law, we’ll do everything we can to make you feel at-ease during the entire conveyancing process. There are a lot of steps, but we’re here to guide you and be your resource centre along the way. If you have any questions about buying or selling real estate in Vancouver or want to learn more about conveyancing, contact our real estate law firm today.