Real Estate Lawyers Helping Clients Sell Residential Property in Vernon, Salmon Arm and throughout B.C.

When selling your house, obtaining a signed Contract of Purchase and Sale with a buyer often feels like the last big hurdle before moving on to your new property. Whenever you are selling a residential or recreational property, it is important to secure experienced and knowledgeable legal representation. Whenever a piece of property is exchanging hands there is the potential for issues to arise that need to be proactively resolved to avoid a delay in closing, which can result in costly fees or even litigation, depending on the severity of the issue.

The real estate lawyers at Cherkowski Marsden LLP have prepared countless real estate closings for their clients and their more than 50 years of combined experience allows them to anticipate each step and react quickly and effectively in the event of any unforeseen issues.

Approachable and Accessible Real Estate Lawyers

Many real estate practices operate very impersonally, with lawyers reviewing files only on occasion, and support staff overseeing the details and dealing directly with the clients. At Cherkowski Marsden LLP, we adopt a hands-on approach and establish a personal connection with each client from the start. Our priority is to ensure our clients are informed and included in every aspect of the sale throughout the closing process.

When your file is received at our office, you can expect a call from your lawyer within a few days in order to discuss the closing process, and any concerns you may have. Our lawyers and staff will make themselves available for questions along the way and will keep you informed in a timely manner of any changes or issues that may arise.  Our casual atmosphere is evident throughout our office, from our suit-free dress code and our friendly staff.

Quickly and Efficiently Handling Any Complications

Generally speaking, complications are most likely to arise when a purchaser’s lawyer makes the seller’s lawyer aware of a problem with the title. The title is the record of ownership rights for a property, along with any encumbrances that are registered against it. Sometimes in a real estate transfer, issues that the seller may not have been aware of will surface, and they need to be resolved prior to the closing. Examples of potential issues on title include:

  • A private mortgage that has been paid off but was never discharged;
  • Easements (the right of others, such as neighbours or utility companies, to access the property under certain circumstances);
  • Restrictive covenants (a legal mandate restricting use of a property, such as the ability to hang laundry in the yard);
  • Builder’s liens (a registered debt relating to contracting or construction that requires payment before a property can be transferred).

In some cases, such as an easement in favour of a utility company, these items will remain on title after a closing, but others, like a lien or an old mortgage, must be resolved prior to the closing date. Your lawyer will review any and all encumbrances on title and advise as to any that must be removed before closing. With respect to a lien or other registered debt, we will make arrangements with the debt-holder for payment from the proceeds of the sale in exchange for the removal of the encumbrance from title. We will also provide an undertaking to this effect to the purchaser’s lawyer so that the closing will progress as planned. We have significant experience in handling these types of matters and will work with you to find the best and most efficient resolution to any such issue.

Closing Costs

As part of Cherkowski Marsden LLP’s commitment to transparency, your lawyer will prepare a Statement of Adjustments that lays out all funds owing to and from you on closing, so that you’ll know exactly what to expect and can prepare accordingly. The closing costs typically associated with the sale of a residential or recreational property are as follows:

Realtor commissions – The seller is responsible for paying the commissions for both the buyer’s and seller’s agent on closing. These fees are also subject to GST.

Mortgage balance – If there is a mortgage on the property being sold, the balance owing will be paid out of the proceeds, including any applicable prepayment penalties. It is advisable that seller’s reach out to their mortgage lender prior to selling their home in order to determine what those penalties may be in order to avoid a surprise down the road.

Property taxes – If there is any balance owing for property taxes, this will also be paid from the proceeds of the sale upon closing.

Adjustments – Adjustments will be determined by the lawyers for the buyer and seller with respect to expenses such as property taxes, condominium fees, utilities and rental income, if applicable. These amounts will be pro-rated to the date of the closing.

Proactive and Effective Lawyers for Residential Real Estate Sales

We will always prioritize your convenience and our own accessibility during the process of closing your real estate sale. We will make you aware of any changes or progress, and if you have questions, we will be available to answer them. Contact the experienced real estate lawyers at Cherkowski Marsden LLP in Vernon & Salmon Arm for trusted legal advice and proactive risk management with the sale of your residential or recreational property. You can reach us online or by phone at 250-308-0338 (Vernon office) or 250-803-9171 (Salmon Arm office).