5 Legal Things To Consider When Selling Your Home

Are you planning on taking advantage of BC’s active housing market and listing your home? Selling your current residence can be an exciting experience that gives you the ability to chase after the home of your dreams, but in order to make sure you’re fully covered, there are quite a few aspects you’ll want to be on top of. At Paperclip Law, we’re proud to partner with homeowners and property investors to help you navigate Vancouver’s tricky real estate market with ease. From listing to purchasing, renting and everything in between, we’re here to make sure you always have the protection you need. Below, we’ll cover five aspects you need to keep in mind if you’re selling a home in Vancouver. Read on to learn more!

1. You don’t have to use a realtor, but you may want to

One of the most common questions asked when people are looking at selling their home is whether or not they have to use a realtor in order for the transaction to be legal. While the simple answer is “no”, you’ll want to thoroughly consider your options before cutting out the “middle man”. Even though you may save the realtor fee, you’ll also face a lot more legwork that you’ll have to do on your own. For example, not only are realtors more aware of current market trends and selling points that may help your listing garner more attention, but they’re also well connected to a network of potential buyers, mortgage specialists, and yes, even legal experts. Instead of having to navigate things on your own, realtors can help you handle necessary paperwork, ensure all details are properly disclosed to interested parties, deal with your existing mortgage, and more. Before you decide whether or not to use a realtor, you’ll want to consider how much time you have, how much existing real estate knowledge and comfort you have, and how much risk you’re willing to assume on your own.

2. You’ll Need to Handle Your Existing Mortgage

One lesser-known fact with regards to selling is that, if you have an active mortgage on your home, you’ll need to resolve it in some way prior to selling. Options to deal with your mortgage includes having a buyer assume your mortgage (which can save you the costs of paying out the mortgage on the sale), or paying off the mortgage when you sell your home. Bear in mind, however, that many mortgages have restrictions on paying out the mortgage early, including prepayment penalties and more. Partnering with a lawyer can make it easier to explore your options here and avoid harsher payouts where possible.

3. You Must Disclose Any Defects

British Columbia is very clear on its standards where disclosure is concerned for sellers. All sellers must perform due diligence and disclose any material latent defects in the home, meaning any defects that cannot be determined through a reasonable home inspection. Defects that make the home dangerous, unfit for habitation and/or the purpose for which the buyer is purchasing must be shared in full in order to avoid future legal problems should the new owners be able to prove that you had existing knowledge of any issues.

4. Completion Date

When drafting documents of purchase and sale, you must ensure that you have the correct date for completion listed. On the completion date, legal ownership will formally be transferred to the new owner(s) in exchange for the purchase price of your home. A lawyer will typically be involved in this process to help you prepare the documents correctly, and can help protect you by:

  • Checking the documents prepared by the buyer’s lawyer,
  • Ensuring your old mortgage has been properly dealt with,
  • Confirming all payments for which you are responsible have been made,
  • Arranging for you to sign the transfer documents, and more.

5. Handling Listing Agreements and Offers of Purchase

Remember when we said there are quite a few details a realtor can help you sort through? Both realtors and your legal team can help you deal with listing agreements and offers of purchase, ensuring that everyone is on the same page, your best interests are being protected, and you’re ready to sign on the right dotted line when the time comes!

Need Help Moving in BC?

Paperclip Law is here to help! Whether you’re selling or buying on your own or with the help of an agent, we’re happy to partner with you to help make your dream move a reality. Contact us today to learn more!