With over 20 years of Real Estate experience and over ten thousand deals closed, we have come across most of the issues that come up in closing a Real Estate deal. To help our clients we publish a newsletter “Title Tips” to answer questions and keep closings smooth. Below are the most common questions and issues we find.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is not intended and should not be relied on as legal advice. Feel free to call John Zinati to discuss your particular situation today.
The Condo market still seems to be going strong and many people are buying condominiums or new homes for the purposes of investment; either to “flip”, or resell the unit, or to rent it out. What they don’t realize, however, is that most condominium and new home agreements contain a provision requiring that the purchaser be buying the property for his/her own use.
Grow Houses are houses used to grow large amounts of Marijuana. These seem to be more common and are regularly being listed for sale. Before you list, or take a purchaser to a former Grow House, you should be aware of some concerns and issues.
Grow Houses use a lot of electricity and Police monitor usage to detect Grow Houses. So, in order to avoid detection, grow house electricity connections are often tampered with and illegally connected to the electricity grid. This means that the connection could be faulty and that the home’s electrical system overburdened, causing safety, health and repair cost concerns. Wires, panels, etc. may have to be replaced. Also, plumbing and sewage systems may be altered necessitating substantial repairs.
Tile Insurance, which is now commonly used, covers purchasers for losses which result from not obtaining a survey or not having an up to date survey. This means that in most cases a purchaser does not need a survey to close the transaction. Title Insurance can be obtained instead. The Title Insurance policy will usually cost about $270.00, which the vendor can be asked, or offer, to pay if a survey is unavailable (we include this in our closing cost package). So, a vendor should not agree to provide a survey unless he/she is sure he/she has one and, if so, should not agree to provide a more legible/current/complete/signed survey than is available. The purchaser can usually close with Title Insurance protection.
Very often a purchaser is changed after the offer is signed. Legally speaking, when changing a purchaser, the vendor wants to make sure that the new or added purchaser can be held legally responsible for closing if there is a problem. The new purchaser wants to make sure that the vendor can be legally bound to deal with him/her.
The person(s) registered on title should be shown as the Sellers in the Agreement and all should sign the offer. A non-titled spouse should also sign the Offer and closing documents for a transfer of a Matrimonial Home except in limited circumstances. If this is not possible and one of the registered owners or spouses is selling by Power of Attorney the Power of Attorney must include a power to sell the property (most do, but if in doubt check or have the vendor’s lawyer check). An original or Notarized copy should be provided to the vendor’s lawyer before closing. Where an agreement is being signed under Power of Attorney, the agreement should clearly so indicate. We suggest the following wording:
Anybody can enter into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale unless he/she is under 18 or mentally incompetent. A Corporation also has all the powers of a natural person can enter into an agreement, as can a partnership. However, unless the acquisition of land is in the ordinary course of the business of the partnership one partner cannot enter into the agreement on behalf of the partnership. All partners must sign. Where an agreement is being signed under Power of Attorney, the agreement should clearly so indicate. We suggest the following wording:
“Mr. Smith, as attorney for Mrs. Smith” or “Mrs. Smith, by her attorney, Mr. Smith” – where Mr. Smith is the attorney for Mrs. Smith.
A frequently raised issue is about who must be and who may be on title to a property. Where a mortgage is being registered, all the Borrowers on the mortgage must go on title as owners. It is therefore not possible for an individual to be a Borrower on the mortgage, to help with financing for example, without that individual also going on title. He/she must go on title. However, if the individual helping for financing purposes is only a Guarantor, not a Borrower, he/she may, but does not have, to go on title.
With estimates of over 150 new condominium projects under construction in the GTA, many bought by investors, and many homes and subdivisions being developed, there’s a lot of interest in flipping (assigning) builder agreements. While quite worthwhile to both buyer and seller, this involves a little more work and can get a little tricky. To assist in the process we’ve posted a detailed Assignment Guide on our website, but these are the basics you need to know:
As more and more people are choosing condos as their entry into the market, we thought we would remind you of some of the essentials of condo buying.
Status Certificate: Make your deal conditional on Status Certificate review even if you know the building and have closed deals in it before. This is because the particular unit being purchased may have liens, notices of violation, common expense arrears or outstanding notices from the Condo Corp. Also, Special Assessments, increases in common expenses or lawsuits may arise at any time. Order it fast and try to allow 3 days for review if possible.