Home sale paperwork has become progressively more complicated over the years, in an effort to stave off lawsuits and disputes from either party. The exact paperwork each Victoria home seller needs will depend on the province in which they live, but there are general best practices that sellers can use to prepare. The idea is for sellers to consider what the buyer needs to know as they're gathering up all the necessary documents.
The Main Paperwork
Sellers are likely already familiar with the most important documents:
- Survey data
- Property tax records
- Renovation information
- Transferable warranties
These items are there to give buyers the facts about the condition of the home and the protections they're entitled to. Sellers can also include utility bill statements to help buyers better estimate their yearly budgets.
Consult with an Agent
A real estate agent can let their clients know whether they'll need to stand in line at their municipal office to get their tax assessment, or if they need to hire a specific type of surveyor to give their opinion on the property. Some provinces require more information from sellers in an effort to protect the buyers. But sellers who take the extra steps—whether legally required or not—can come across as more trustworthy to buyers. This can make the escrow period go a lot smoother than if sellers only provide the bare minimum.
Write It Down
The Standard Agreement of Purchase and Sales is a form that is generally prepared by the seller to give to the buyer. This document delves into the minute details that may eventually come back to haunt the major parties later. Canadian law states that the fixtures of the home are included in its price, unless the seller specifically states otherwise. The chattel, or the easily removable items, are presumed to be the seller's responsibility. So if a seller doesn't want to lug away their satellite dish from the roof, they have to state that it's included in this agreement.
Sellers are highly encouraged to give the title company as much information about the home as possible. Ownership disputes are more common than buyers and sellers realize, which is why it may take a while to get the official title. Ownership disputes can come in the form of a neighbor contesting the border of the property, or an ex-spouse claiming the property was sold out from under them. A bank may even appear with an outstanding lien. Sellers who tell the title company everything they know can speed the process along.
Prepare for the Worst
Paperwork can be affected by even the tiniest of details. Even a single penny discrepancy can send people back to the Square One. Plus, there's also the possibility of general delays. From turnover at the title investigation company to weather delays during final home repairs, sellers need to be ready for a longer escrow period than they may have hoped for. To streamline paperwork, sellers should look to an experienced real estate agent who will anticipate and account for common errors (on either the buyer's or seller's side).
Sellers are encouraged to talk to the buyers about what they need in order to feel comfortable with the transfer of the property. This way, the seller has all the evidence on their side in case there's a dispute or accusation.
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The Neal Estate Team is your #1 source for all of your Victoria BC real estate needs. Get in touch with us online or by phone at (250) 386-8181 to speak with a Victoria real estate buying or selling expert today. With decades of experience as a top selling Victoria REALTOR® and ranked in top 1% globally with over 4,000 transactions and $1 Billion SOLD, Ron Neal & The Neal Estate Team have the industry experience and market knowledge to help you make smart and informed buying or selling decisions.