Home Buyer’s Completion Checklist

Now that your purchase is official, we’ll be waiting for the Completion and Possession Date, which are noted on the contract! On the Possession date, we will meet at the property to do a walk-through (to make sure everything is as expected) and then you’ll officially be the new owner! Note that the Contract stipulates a specific time with regards to the Possession – it’s often at Noon, but can be later or earlier in the day – so you want to make sure that you have planned the movers around the Possession time so you don’t get stuck having to pay the movers until you finally get the keys!

There are a few tasks you need to complete before the Completion and Possession Date. Take a look below:

1. GIVE NOTICE TO YOUR LANDLORD

This one is for renters. Ensure that you give notice to your landlord before the end of the month. You can also be proactive and book a move out date with your current building (to reserve elevators).


2. CONTACT A LAWYER OR NOTARY PUBLIC

You’ll need to arrange for a Lawyer or Notary to complete the sale. It’s best to get an appointment set now to ensure the Lawyer you want to use is available. You’ll likely have to meet with them once or twice before the Completion Date to sign the transaction documents and give them the rest of the purchase funds via bank draft. The Lawyer/Notary will organize the mortgage funds with your Mortgage Broker.

If you do not have a Lawyer or Notary in mind, we recommend:

Lawyer:

Khushhal Bains with Bell Alliance
Suite 201, 1367 West Broadway,
Vancouver, B.C., V6H 4A7
Tel: (604) 873-8723 Ext 105


Notary:

Steve Tidder with Bell Alliance
Suite 201, 1367 West Broadway,
Vancouver, B.C., V6H 4A7
Tel: (604) 873-8723

3. SET UP HOME INSURANCE

One of the most important things you’ll need to do before the Completion Date is to ensure you have home insurance on the property starting on the Completion Date. Set up your Home Insurance with an insurance provider, and feel free to gather quotes from multiple firms. Ensure that your personal insurance is in line with the Strata Insurance Policy, and covers all the strata deductibles. The current Strata Insurance policy for your new building would have been in the Strata Documents you received (either in its own file or attached to the most recent AGM). If you can’t find it, let us know and we’ll get it from the property manager.

4. SWITCH YOUR ACCOUNT WITH BC HYDRO

You’ll want to make sure that you have electricity and heat when you move in, so ensure that you either switch your account with BC Hydro, or set up a new account. You can get this going on the BC Hydro website.

5. SET UP YOUR CABLE/PHONE/INTERNET SERVICES

Contact Shaw or Telus to get this set up. Appointments are often scheduled in advance, so call early to ensure you can get someone in as soon as possible after you move in.

6. CONTACT THE STRATA

You’ll need to let the Strata know that you’re going to be the new owner. You’ll likely be able to set up an account to automatically pay your strata fees, and you’ll have to book the elevator for your move day. The contact information for the Strata Manager would be in the minutes, but you can contact us for more information. Strata Managers aren’t the easiest to get a hold of so you might have to try a few times.

7. WAIT FOR THE COMPLETION DAY

Here are some things you can expect on the Completion Day or a few days prior, depending on when you’re meeting with the Lawyer):

  1. Your lawyer provides you with a Statement of Adjustment with costs payable by you. This takes into account the purchase price, any applicable GST, Property Transfer Tax, some property taxes or strata fees, etc. When you meet with the Lawyer, you’ll need to bring these funds by way of a bank draft, along with ID.
  2. Your mortgage lender forwards the mortgage funds to your lawyer.
  3. Your lawyer forwards funds to the seller and completes all the necessary documents.
  4. The title is transferred from the Sellers name to your name and is registered at BC Land Titles Office.

Once the sale is registered in the Land Title Office, the property is officially yours! You’ll get a notification from the Lawyers that the transfer was successful and that you’ll get the keys on the Possession Day indicated in the contract.

8. KNOW YOUR COMPLETION COSTS

These are the fees you will pay on Closing Day. All or some of the following may be included. Check with your lawyer for details.

  1. Adjustments – costs you will incur in order to reimburse the seller (such as pre-paid property taxes). On adjustment date, the buyer credits the seller with these adjustments.
  2. Appraisal – ask your lender if you will be charged an appraisal fee.
  3. HST – this tax is only applicable to the new property. View info on HST. N. B. it is applicable to real estate fees, legal fees, appraisal fees etc.
  4. Property Inspection Fee – this will be around $425+, the inspection takes 2+ hours.
  5. Insurance – you may want to insure your personal contents. Condos require you carry third-party liability. Your lender will require you to have House Insurance. If your loan is greater than 80% you will be required to have mortgage insurance. Property title insurance is sometimes used in BC.
  6. Legal fees – to be discussed with your lawyer but budget $900+.
  7. Property Transfer Tax – is charged on all properties that are sold in BC and is a Government of BC tax. It is 1% to $200,000 and 2% of the remainder. First-time buyers may apply for an exemption, if the purchase price is under a specific amount and if you meet certain criteria.
  8. Survey fees – For detached purchases, your lender will require an updated survey, which confirms the lot size and any encroachments. The seller may have a current one.
  9. Utilities – set up an account with BC Hydro, cable and internet services on possession date; there may be a connection cost associated with this.


9. PLAN YOUR PACKING & MOVING SERVICES

Moving Services is another part of your move that you’ll want to book as soon as possible, especially if your move is at the beginning or end of the month. There are companies that offer both packing and moving help, boxes, or just the move. They should be professionals, with the proper equipment to ensure your breakables are protected.

The companies we recommend for packing and moving help are:

Green’s Moving: http://greensmoving.org/

Vancouver in the Box: http://vancouverinthebox.com

You Move Me: http://www.youmoveme.com/ca

If you are just looking for the moving help, but want to pack yourself: Frogbox http://frogbox.com/


10. FORWARD YOUR ADDRESS

You’ll need to forward your mail to your new address, via Canada Post, and let people know of your address change (including your work, friends and family, magazine subscriptions, etc).


11. LOOK FORWARD TO THE POSSESSION DAY

Congratulations! We meet you at the property for the key exchange and you can move in. Check your contract for the specific Possession Time: sometimes it’s in the morning, and sometimes it’s in the afternoon. You’ll need to plan your move accordingly.

Questions? Contact us!