The Real Estate Process - After the Deal is Signed

On the surface, buying, selling and refinancing (mortgaging) of real estate seems relatively straight forward and simple. Why then, is it so complicated? Why does it require the involvement of Realtors, Appraisers, Building Inspectors, Insurance Companies, Mortgage Brokers, Banks, Credit Unions, Notaries, Lawyers, and so on?  In short, it’s because real estate is expensive!

As a result of the high cost of these types of transactions, every party involved should ensure that these two key components are fulfilled. First, is that you as the consumer have the knowledge required to make informed decisions, and second, is ensuring your interests are protected by all of the professionals that are working for you.

Once you have signed the deal or finalized the terms of your refinance, and worked with your Realtor and/or Mortgage Broker, you’re now ready to bring in another professional to complete the deal. In British Columbia you have the choice between a Lawyer or a BC Notary Public.

Once you know you require this service, you should then contact your chosen professional directly to inform them that you have either removed, have had the subject-to’s removed, or finalized your refinance commitment. The most common question Notaries get asked at this point is: “What happens next?”

Step OneContact Information

At this time your legal professional will begin to collect some preliminary information from you that will assist them in beginning the document preparation and communication with the additional parties involved. The information they will need from you is regarding the key people involved in your transaction, and generally includes your Realtor, Mortgage Broker, Home Insurance company and of course, you! Notaries will also look to gather information from these contacts to ensure your deal goes smoothly.

Step Two – Behind the Scenes

Before you come in and sign, your Notary works diligently to gather all of the information and documentation required to complete your purchase, refinance, or sale on time. The documents and information they are tracking down and organizing include:

Purchase or Refinance Transaction

  • Obtain and review your Contract of Purchase and Sale.
  • Obtain and review the Mortgage Instructions - what does your Lender require the Notary and you to complete prior to providing the funds to complete your transaction.
  • Title Search/Transfer Documents - confirm you will take legal possession of the right property if you are purchasing, and if you are refinancing it confirms the mortgage that you will be discharging. Overall ensures you have no “surprises” on title.
  • Order and review the Insurance Binder to confirm your Lender’s interest in your new or current home will be protected.
  • Order a Payout Statement if you are refinancing to inform your current Lender that you will paying off your existing loan.
  • Title Insurance - most lenders require this to be purchased in addition to any personal insurance you may have on your home.
  •  Other Documents - could include tax certificate, utility/water account information, and strata
    account information (if applicable) to ensure all accounts are paid up to date.

If You are Refinancing or Selling:

  • Reviewing your Contract of Purchase and Sale
  • Existing mortgage payout statements - we contact your Lender right away to ensure they know you will be paying off the mortgage once the sale or refinance is complete.
  • Transfer Documents - we ensure all documents, including the statement of adjustments (the document that goes over all of the financial aspects of your sale) have been obtained and accurately reflect your contract of purchase and sale or your new mortgage instructions.
  • Other Documents - could include tax certificate, utility/water account information, and strata
    account information (if applicable) to ensure all accounts are paid up to date.

Step Three – Your Appointment

Often a staff member of the Notary’s office will contact you around a week before completion to arrange a meeting. When you arrive for your appointment, you will go through all of the documents with your Notary and they will answer any questions you may have about the documents and/or the upcoming process. These documents include the Statement of Adjustments, your mortgage commitment and/or payout statement, your order to pay, and your transfer document. They will also ensure that you understand every penny and component of your transaction.

If you require additional money to complete your deal, your Notary will inform you of the amount during this process, and will let you know when they need to receive payment. If you are getting a mortgage, they will also ensure that your Lenders’ requirements are being met in order to finalize your transaction.

One of the key roles a Notary plays is verifying your identity. Your Notary will request your ID to verify your full legal name as this is an important aspect of your transaction, as well as one of the key role Notaries play in reducing property and mortgage fraud in BC.

Step Four – Completion Day

On completion day, your Notary will be in contact with your Lender to ensure they are being funded. Once the money is received, they will begin the process of transferring the money to the appropriate parties, and registering the title in your name if you are purchasing. The Notary will work to inform you of their progress on that day, and in most cases transactions are completed by midafternoon.

Step Five – After the Completion Day

Whether your transaction is a sale, purchase, refinance or family transfer, your Notary is still working on your transaction even after the completion date. Their duty now is to ensure you and your Lender receive proof of your new ownership.

If you are purchasing, they will ensure that any existing mortgages are removed from your title. Your part of the process is done and if you purchased your goal is to work on unpacking and enjoying your new home!

If you are selling, your Notary will ensure the Lenders get paid and sign off so they can remove this mortgage from the property. Your heavy lifting is over!


For more information:


Farley Martin SealName Logo

Kristy Martin, Notary Public

Farley Martin Notaries Public Inc.

At Farley Martin Notaries Public Inc., our goal is to handle your transaction in
the most professional manner possible from start to completion; a manner that allows you to
be informed, educated and completely satisfied with your experience. Our primary
aim is providing excellence in service to an informed public.

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