Buying a home is a very exciting but can also be a stressful process – and it’s important to make sure that there aren’t a bunch of surprises along the way. There are last minute costs that are due on or before completion, such as property transfer tax, legal fees, appraisal fees, and strata maintenance fee adjustments. One of the best things to do to ensure that you are prepared is to estimate your closing costs, and the time to budget for those “later” expenses is now. This blog post will focus specifically on the cost of legal fees when buying a house in BC, and how much you should budget for to ensure completion is smooth sailing.
Cost of Legal Fees in BC
The transfer of home ownership from the seller to the buyer must be recorded at Land Title Office and which you’ll want to have performed by a notary public or lawyer. Legal costs for a purchase with a mortgage usually range from $900 to $1300 regardless of whether the buyer retains the services of a lawyer or a notary public. With that being said, you’ll want to make sure that you understand what is included in those fees as some notary’s or lawyer’s may have hidden fees. Typically, a purchase that was considered “all in” would include:
- Legal fees for preparation of documents, review of the contract, mortgage and other documents, correspondence, reporting, etc.
- LTO Registration fees (both property transfer and mortgage)
- Title Searches
- Miscellaneous charges (TAF fees, electronic signature fees) and other disbursements
Oftentimes, the following are not included in the base price due to price fluctuations and should be accounted for separately:
- Insurance binder fee (price fluctuates between $0 and $55)
- If Strata: Strata Forms (price fluctuates between $55 and $85)
- If House: Title Insurance (approx. $175) if a survey certificate is not available – My office uses online ordering system that saves my clients $50 on each order. We don’t charge additional fees for ordering the policy.
If you are requesting quotes from offices, you should always ask them what their quote includes and specifically ask about the following:
- all taxes on legal fees and disbursements
- mortgage, transfer registration fees aka Land Title Office Fees on purchase (approx. $170)
- tax search (approx. $50)
- courier charges (approx. $50-$60 on each transaction)
- additional hidden fees such as: file opening, file administration, title insurance ordering/administration, etc.
In the case that you are not working with a realtor, you’ll want to hire a Lawyer or Notary Public fees to assist with drafting documents and ensuring that your contract is written to protect you. This will cost you additional funds and will depend on the complexity of your transaction. However, as always, we recommend that regardless of whether you are a buyer or a seller that you work with a realtor to protect your best interests. [Related Article: What Does a Buyer’s Agent Do?] Keep in mind that when you enlist the services of a realtor when purchasing that it’s free! That’s right – FREE! For more information on buying with Bridgewell, check out our full service information page here.
Are you thinking about purchasing in the near future? If you’re wondering about legal fees for buying a house in BC or closing costs in general then give us a call at 604-765-0376. Prefer text? 604-319-0200. or email [email protected] to start a conversation.