The final step in the purchase of your apartment is the signing of the deed of sale. As soon as all the prior conditions of the sale are satisfied, the vendor must transfer the property upon the payment of the price.
Section 1719 of the Civil code of Québec states that the seller must provide the buyer with a copy of the deed of purchase, as well as with a copy of the owner history and of the certificate of location he has on hand. Prepared by a land surveyor, the certificate of location is part of the property titles the seller must supply.
In the interest of the buyer, the certificate of location should clearly describe the current condition of all private portions (for instance, an apartment, a parking or storage space, or even land). Should the seller not have a certificate of location on hand (and unless the promise to purchase states otherwise), they will need to have one prepared, at their own expense.
Before purchasing the apartment of your dreams, find out the status of the expenses (condo fees) of the apartment owing by the vendor, as you will have to pay the arrears once you become the owner of the apartment.
Transfer duties, commonly called “welcome tax” implemented in 1976 by the then minister for Municipal affairs, Guy Tardif. An “urban myth” falsely attributes the parenthood of this tax to the liberal minister Jean Bienvenue. (Bienvenue means “welcome” in French). An additional source of revenue for cities and municipalities, the tax requires you, as the new owner, to pay duties on the acquisition of real estate. It applies to transfers of any new or used building and land, unless exempted by Law.
Any new owner has 30 days to pay his transfer duties from the receipt of an invoice asking him to pay. Generally, this invoice is sent a few weeks after the acquisition of the apartment.
Seeking the services of a real-estate broker, who was formerly referred to as a real estate agent, is not mandatory.
However, unless you are able to assume the purchase and / or sale of a fraction of a building held in divided co-ownership by yourself, which will require ample time as well as in-depth knowledge in various fields, you would benefit from being accompanied by a competent real estate broker during your procedures. When you use the services of a real estate broker to buy, sell or lease a property, you are protected by the Real-Estate Brokerage Act.
Since May 1, 2020, mortgage brokerage has been a discipline covered by the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services and subject to the regulation of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (Financial Markets Authority) to ensure the protection of the public. Not only must every mortgage broker have professional liability insurance, they must respect the rules of ethics applicable to mortgage brokers.
Its role is to advise you, whether you are a buyer or owner, about the best mortgage products available on the market. He will do it better than anyone, because this task is not simple. It involves careful and methodical research, so that the winning conditions are met, and you can make the most of them.
The intervention of the notary is very important when purchasing an apartment in a divided co-ownership. A professional, member of the “Chambre des notaires du Québec” (Québec Chamber of Notaries), he is also a public officer. As such, the notary has without limitation the mission of executing deeds to which the parties wish or are required to endow with authenticity (such as a declaration of co-ownership). Even though it is preferable that he should get involved at the outset of a transaction, this legal adviser usually gets involved after the signing of the offer to purchase or of the preliminary contract.
The notary, in his capacity of public officer:
Warrants the validity of the deed of sale;
Is bound to act objectively and to give legal advice to all the parties (equally to the purchaser and the vendor);
Is bound to a duty of information to the parties, which means he should give the parties relevant advice and information in relation with the deeds signed before him.
When you purchase an apartment in a recently built co-ownership, a portion, if not all the private portions of the immovable, can be encumbered by a prior notice of a legal hypothec in favor of persons having taken part in the construction.
As a purchaser, you will be compelled to pay the debts of the developer, if he is in default of paying its construction creditors? If so, how will the amounts claimed be allocated between the co-owners? And what happens if they refuse to pay?
There are two different types of guarantee plans: a compulsory guarantee plan for new residential buildings, governed by the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings, and optional guarantee plans which cover, in certain cases, specific types of buildings.