Legal Fees for Selling a House in BC: Real Estate Costs to Consider for Sellers
Selling a home can be an overwhelming but exciting process. You’ve built memories in your home, and now you’re moving on to start an adventure in a new home – you’ll want to make sure that the last of your time there is well spent. To minimize stress and ensure that there aren’t a bunch of surprises along the way, when you sell your home we advise that you hire a notary or lawyer to represent you in your transaction. There are last minute costs that are due on or before completion, such as realtor commissions, legal fees, property tax adjustments, and mortgage discharge. This blog post will focus specifically on the cost of legal fees for selling a house in BC, and how much you should budget for to ensure completion is smooth sailing.
The Role of your Lawyer
The transfer of home ownership from the seller [yourself] to the buyer must be recorded at Land Title Office and which you’ll want to have performed by a notary public or lawyer. Your lawyer or notary will perform the following tasks to ensure that your interests are protected and that the sale goes through smoothly:
- checking the documents prepared by the buyer’s lawyer and explaining them to you
- ensuring that your old mortgage has been properly discharged, if this is required
- ensuring that you have no further obligation regarding your old mortgage if it is being assumed by the buyer
- confirming that all payments for which you are responsible have been made
- arranging for you to sign the transfer documents
- preparing a statement for you outlining where all the purchase money was disbursed and giving you the net proceeds of the sale.
The Cost of Your Lawyer & What Is Included
The cost of the legal fees for selling a house in BC is typically less than the fees for purchasing. Therefore, you will usually see legal fees ranging from $500 to $900 depending on the complexity of the transaction and the location of your notary/lawyer. [urban vs. suburbs]
When taking in to consideration the legal fees for selling a house in BC, a typical sale with 1 discharge and a payout should include:
- Legal fees for preparation of documents, review of the contract and other documents, paying out your existing mortgage, correspondence, reporting, and all tasks previously listed above
- Land Title Office mortgage discharge registration fees
- Title Searches
- Courier Fees
- Miscellaneous charges (TAF fees, electronic signature fees) and other disbursements
If you are requesting quotes from offices, you should always ask them what their quote includes and if there are any hidden costs that you’ll need to consider before committing to them.
What Other Costs Can You Expect?
- The commission you agreed to pay your brokerage/realtor
- GST on the real estate commission and on your legal fees
- Any prepayment penalty levied by the financial institution for early pay-out of an existing mortgage
- Adjustments for property taxes, utilities, and/or strata maintenance fees
- Penalties for late payment of unpaid taxes, if any
- Holdbacks on strata special levies, if agreed to
Have your notary/lawyer write up a list of all the costs to expect prior to completion, so that there aren’t any surprises on the day the money is due. Your realtor will be able to provide you a rough estimate as well.
Now that you have a rough idea of the cost of legal fees for selling a house in BC and other associated costs of selling, you should be ready to get the ball rolling. If you’re interested in a free market evaluation for your home, then give us a call at 604-765-0376. Prefer text? 604-319-0200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation. We’re here to help, and we can provide you with a comprehensive pricing strategy and an estimate on the NET amount that you can get for your home in today’s market.
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