How does a residential property transaction close and when do you get title in your name?
A transaction can close once both parties sign all necessary documents, and once the buyer has provided its lawyer with the full amount required to close. This amount will include the purchase price but will also include any other payments required, such as property transfer tax, legal fees, and any amounts the buyer must pay the seller in addition to the purchase price for matters needing adjustment (property taxes, utilities and strata fees being the most common). Lawyers will exchange documents by exchanging letters via email or fax, with funds normally either provided by courier to the seller’s law office, or by depositing the proceeds to the seller’s lawyer’s trust account.
The property is transferred into the buyer’s name immediately upon successful submission on electronic documents to the land title office. Title will continue to show as pending until the electronic submission is reviewed by a land title officer, but the transfer is effective as of the moment of registration electronically. The buyer’s lawyer will receive a print form of the title called a “State of Title Certificate” which is provided to the buyer via mail or email. This normally can take many weeks or months to receive, depending on the volume of transfers submitted.