Buying Real Estate in Vancouver – What To Expect From Your Notary Public

January 12, 2017 | Published by

Now that your realtor has helped you find your dream home, it’s time for a lawyer or notary public to finalize the real estate purchase. What can you expect from this process?

After you confirm the purchase with the seller and arrange for a mortgage, your notary public will begin the steps of conveyancing. Your notary will prepare all the necessary documents, leading up to the closing date.

Here are five steps you should expect during the conveyancing process, and the ways in which you can prepare for them in advance.

1. Determine Ownership

Your notary will collect information from you, such as how you wish to hold the title to the property. Will you be jointly buying the house with your spouse? Or, will you be splitting ownership?

  • A “joint tenant” title means that if one owner dies, the other will inherit the property. This is the most common option.
  • A “tenants-in-common” title means that each owner owns a percentage of the property
    • If one owner dies, the owner’s share of interest passes under their will.
    • The property is split into any division: 50/50, 70/30, or however you wish to divide ownership.

It may be wise to discuss these options with your spouse ahead of time, so everyone is on the same page when finalizing the sale.

2. Preparing the Statement of Adjustments

Your notary will prepare a statement of adjustments to account for taxes, strata fees, utilities, insurance, or rental income. Your notary may ask for additional tax information from you.

You can consider the statement of adjustments to be a financial worksheet of sorts. You will notice at this stage that any deposit that is already paid, as well as any rebates that the seller has agreed upon, are represented in this document.

3. Preparing Necessary Documents

Your lawyer or notary will then prepare all the necessary documents, including transfer documents, mortgage registration documents, property transfer tax returns, consent forms, and the statement of adjustments from above. Your lawyer will also send documents to the seller’s lawyer called Vendor’s Documents, which the seller is required to sign before the closing date.

4. Signing The Papers

You will meet with your notary in person at least two or three days before the closing date, to sign the final papers. At this time, you will need to deliver the balance of the down payment. Ensure that you have the funds ready for the down payment, as indicated in the statement of adjustments from step 2, and provide your lawyer or notary with a bank draft or certified cheque for the balance.

5. Completing The Real Estate Transaction

On the closing date, your lawyer or notary will register the transfer and mortgage documents, and arrange for the Seller’s lawyer or notary to pick up the closing funds. You will be notified when the transaction is complete.

After this process is completed, you will receive the keys to your new home from your real estate agent on the date of possession. Congratulations, you are now a home owner in Vancouver!

If you have any questions about conveyancing or the real estate transfer process, please feel free to contact our notary office or fill out the form below. Our notary public will be in touch shortly.


    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)


    Your Message

    Are you human? captcha