FAQs2016-12-27T18:38:29+00:00
What about asbestos insulation, siding or other materials in a property?2015-09-15T05:54:44+00:00

Asbestos is a known carcinogen representing a serious concern. Most often, asbestos is found in older homes, usually built in the 1920s and 30s, with hot water heat utilizing a boiler and radiators. Review the Property Disclosure Statement to determine how the seller has answered this question and ask your property inspector to investigate the possible existence of asbestos. Please note that the Property Disclosure Statement for Strata Titled Properties does not cover the issue of asbestos.The above information is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions, contact your legal advisor.

Do I pay a commission when I buy and sell a property?2015-09-15T05:54:00+00:00

A commission is payable when you sell a property, but not when you buy.

Should I list my home with the realtor who simply suggests the highest price?2015-09-15T05:50:23+00:00

No. Optimism is good, but realism makes the sale. Take a close look at the comparable sales and listings information that the realtor has used to arrive at the value of your property. The suggested asking price should be consistent with the market and price should not be the only criteria used when selecting a realtor.

How should I select a realtor?2015-09-15T05:50:00+00:00

You should interview the real estate representative that you are considering to assist you in the purchase and/or sale of real estate. Prior to the interview determine what criteria are important to you. During the interview you should ask a number of questions to determine if you are satisfied and the realtor will be able to meet the criteria that you have selected.

What is Limited Dual Agency?2015-09-15T05:49:34+00:00

Limited dual agency is where an agent represents both buyer and seller (landlord and tenant) in a real estate transaction. In a typical agency relationship the agent has previously been appointed as the agent to one of the parties. Usually they have been appointed by the seller to sell the seller’s property as evidenced in the signing of a Listing Contract. Since the agent has already become obligated to act in the best interest of the seller the agency relationship needs to be altered. A new agency relationship which limits the duties and obligations of the agent is created. This relationship requires that both the buyer and seller give their written consent to this relationship. This is accomplished by the agent, seller and buyer authorizing a Limited Dual Agency Agreement.

What is Buyer’s Agency?2015-09-15T05:49:13+00:00

Buyer’s agency is where a buyer appoints an agent to represent them in an agency relationship. The principal (in this case the buyer) appoints an agent (the company which the sales associate is licensed with) to represent them as their agent in the purchase of a property. The agent (the company and their sales associates) is legally obligated to protect and promote the interests of their principal. A principal (buyer) may appoint their agent through a written agreement called an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent Contract. This is similar to the listing contract that a seller would sign with an agent when appointing an agent to sell their property. An appointment of a buyer’s agent can also be made verbally. This process requires that a realtor describes the various forms of agency representation to a buyer and then receives verbal confirmation of their appointment as the buyer’s agent.

I already own a property. Should I buy or sell first?2016-12-27T18:38:44+00:00

It depends on your personal circumstances. You should consult with your real estate professional to discuss which strategy best meets your needs.

If GST applies, can I apply for a GST rebate?2015-09-15T05:48:26+00:00

Yes. You will need to obtain the form GST 190 E(01). See the guide called GST/HST New Housing Rebate available from Revenue Canada. Contact Canada Customs and Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-5525 (web address: www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca). Ask the lawyer or Notary handling the conveyancing for you to assist you in applying for the rebate.

Do I have to pay GST when I buy a property?2015-09-15T05:48:03+00:00

If the property is not being sold by the original developer or builder, you are not required to pay GST. If it is a new property being sold by the original developer or builder, GST will be applicable. GST also applies to the purchase of raw land, an empty lot, and any property which has been “substantially renovated”. Contact Canada Customs and Revenue Agency for more details.

What types of taxes are associated with the purchase of a property?2015-09-15T05:47:42+00:00

The Property Purchase Tax (PPT) is calculated at 1% on the first $200,000.00 of the purchase price of the property and 2% on the balance over $200,000.00. In addition, GST may be applicable.

Are there any advantages for first time buyers?2015-09-15T05:47:21+00:00

First time buyers can use their RRSPs (up to $20,000.00 per individual) to assist in the purchase. First time buyers MAY be exempt from provincial property taxes. You should contact your real estate professional for more information.

What about old fuel oil storage tanks on a property?2015-09-15T05:46:52+00:00

These do represent a concern. The current fire code in British Columbia requires the removal of these tanks, as they constitute a fire risk. In addition, oil tank leakages pose a legal liability on the part of the property owner. Check the Property Disclosure Statement to ascertain what representations the seller has made, if any, regarding this issue, and have your inspector look into this issue at the time the inspection is performed. Please note that the Property Disclosure Statement for Strata Titled Properties does not cover the underground oil storage tank issue.

What about Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI)?2015-09-15T05:46:29+00:00

This type of insulation was installed in properties primarily during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. It was discovered that UFFI could cause an extreme allergic reaction to the formaldehyde gas which came from this insulation.
Although the majority of UFFI has been removed from houses, a prudent buyer should still be aware and concerned about this issue. Check the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement to determine whether UFFI has been disclosed. Please note the Property Disclosure Statement for Strata Titled Properties does not address the issue of UFFI.

Do I have to pay a deposit when I buy a property?2015-09-15T05:40:42+00:00

No. It is legally possible to purchase a property without putting up a deposit. However most sellers will not accept an offer from a buyer which does not include a deposit. From the seller’s perspective an offer accompanied by a reasonable deposit (5% of the purchase price or more) is usually viewed as a serious attempt to purchase.

A deposit does not have to be given immediately upon making an offer to purchase a property. It can be given when all of the subjects have been removed (conditions precedent have been satisfied) from the transaction or at some other time that is mutually agreed upon by the buyer and seller.

Should I have an inspection done before I agree to buy a property?2015-09-15T05:40:18+00:00

Yes. This is an important step in the property purchase process. It allows a buyer to have a third-party independent opinion about the physical condition of the property. This could reveal potential problems with the property which may impact your decision to purchase.

What is the difference between a strata titled property and a non-strata property?2016-12-27T18:38:44+00:00

There are many types of properties that can be strata titled, including townhomes, artist live/work studios, offices, warehouses, retail commercial units (stores), and industrial type properties. Detached single family dwellings can also be part of a strata subdivision.

The most important point to keep in mind is that a strata titled property (a strata lot) is part of a complex which contains at least two strata lots and has common expenses for the maintenance of common property. When you own a strata titled property you are part of a strata corporation that shares common expenses for the maintenance of common property.

A non-strata titled property is simply a property, which is not strata titled or part of a strata corporation. Sometimes these types of properties are called “freehold”.